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Vice President’s Update August 2016


Ivan headshotThis month we’ve asked Chapter Vice President Ivan Levacic to provide the update for our members and the Victorian comms community on what our chapter has been up to this month.

I recently had two long-term IABC members, from different states in Australia and in completely separate conversations, tell me there was something unique about the culture of the Victorian chapter of the IABC, and naturally, Boutros Boutros-Ghali immediately came to my mind.

Why? Someone once said “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Now, it might have been Peter Drucker, but we’re not sure, so, even though I have no reason for thinking so, it might have been Boutros Boutros-Ghali – let’s say the jury’s out on that one.

The jury, however, is pretty sure someone other than “Drucks” or “BBG” said on another occasion that “familiarity breeds contempt”. When it comes to culture, while familiarity doesn’t necessarily always breed contempt as such, it can quite commonly lead us to become a little unaware or unconscious of our own qualities and to “commoditise” something about ourselves that’s really quite exceptional or special, and that is often more apparent to those outside of our organisation than it is to us.

Whoever’s actually responsible for the culture and breakfast quote, I’m reasonably sure they didn’t mean that a good culture will succeed in the absence of strategy; more that no strategy can succeed fully without a healthy culture to drive it, optimise it and make it possible.

At the risk of possibly “over-paraphrasing” the quote, one of the other things we took out of it was that no sense of culture is really sustainable over the longer term without an ongoing recognition of the nature and value of that culture, its legacy and what it takes to continue to keep it relevant, vibrant and healthy.

With this in mind, and prompted by the observations of those long-term members, we’ve recently conducted an exercise among our current board to try to capture, define and create a representation of the culture of IABC Victoria. It’s not an easy undertaking and often gets swept up into similar attempts to define “brand character” and other organisational strategic foundations.

In the case of our member organisation though, we felt it important to address the definition of culture specifically in recognition of the fact that we and others in our network regard it as a key asset of the chapter, one we want to consciously recognise and identify, one we want to preserve and one we want to share with the Communications community across Victoria.

The work has a little way to go, but we look forward to sharing the results with you soon.



Ivan Levacic is a Brand Activation Manager at City West Water and IABC Victoria’s current Vice President. 

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