I feel overwhelmed after two days of smart people and wise advice. Here are some bits from the sessions I’ve attended.

Dawneen MacKenzie at the IABC world conferenceThe unconference

Although the tech people were upset by the lack of wi-fi, the old-fashioned talking around tables worked just fine.
Here’s what some of the people with successful employee social media said:
Anyone can blog about anything as long as it reflects our corporate values.
To encourage people to switch from email, cripple their reply-all and other functions.
Don’t let people comment anonymously or they might get nasty.
Age is not a reliable predictor of who’s going to make use of social media.
Let people create their own intranet based on their interests, for example news on their business unit and wellness advice.
Expect results quickly.
Ask for ideas for cost-cutting or other specifics and let employees comment and vote on each others’ suggestions.
Don’t moderate comments. Very seldom do comments need to be removed.
Go mobile.

Drum cafe

Since drumming is the oldest form of communication, what a great way to kick off the conference. Gotta remember where I stashed my bongos.

He walks the talk

Kevin Warren, CEO Xerox Canada, had us when he called the Excel award he won the Pulitzer of business communication. It’s a phrase we will hear many times, I’ll bet.

But his best, most repeated, line was: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

People were also talking how he had employees write a pretend future front-page business article for the Wall St. Journal about Xerox. Now that’s real vision.

On top of his memorable phrases, he wins my vote Best PowerPoint:  nice photos each with a quick, inspiring thought. No bullet points, no boxes, no trouble reading.

The truth about engagement

Julie Gebauer walked us through the latest employee engagement study of Towers Watson.

So much for the myths that people want many careers and money does not engage. According to the Towers Watson global study, employees want, above all, job security and fair pay.

Only after those conditions are filled can you encourage employees to go above and beyond the call of duty, through involved leadership, career development opportunities, empowerment and other strategies.

Definitely worth reading later.

A recipe for merger success

Susan Rink and John Clemons told the stories of some of the mergers they’d been involved with and shared their recipe for success:
Communicate early and often.
Show respect through open and honest communication.
Be responsive.
Align yourself with HR, the executive team and others.
Tap into the power of managers.
Let people mourn.
Don’t order cookies for the celebration too far in advance or they will taste like hockey pucks.

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The best bits of my IABC world conference–so far

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