A confession: I’m an ENFP. Whether you trust the Myers Briggs personality profiler or are among those who consider it discredited, I’m still as ENFP as they come. I can’t think without speaking, I’m in my element in a room full of new people, and my passing interests become obsessions before the box set is even unwrapped.
So give me a day full of other passionate internal comms folks sharing their ideas and challenges and it is literally “internal comms Christmas” (thanks Tony Stewart @TSDigi for that very apt description!).
Christmas for IC pros comes in the form of The Big Yak, an open space style ‘unconference’ where attendees set the agenda as the day goes on. Don’t like the topics? Add your own. Don’t enjoy a session? Get up and move. Perfect for a flexible magpie like me, although each of the five sessions I attended (of 30 available across the day) was so interesting I wanted to clone myself to experience more, rather than leave the one I was in.
The topics covered ranged from leadership comms and successful change, choosing and using the most appropriate channels, to all aspects of measurement (engagement surveys vs other measures, ROI and metrics). We also talked about how to keep networking via professional bodies – and with both CIPR and the IoIC well represented, I’m looking forward to helping make this happen.
Basics or bling?
A common theme to the end-of-day reflections was that this third Big Yak saw a return to comms basics rather than bling. At the first Big Yak, many people were grappling with the idea of Enterpise Social Networks, apps and all things shiny. At the second, we’d moved on to making these new tools work and how to engage users. This time, although tech was part of the mix, more focus was in-person comms, whether within teams or communities or between leaders and their people.
It’s all about the people
What I love about The Big Yak is the people:
The passion of the people who chose to come along (did I mention it was on a Saturday? Yep.).
The mix of those who have grown up in the IC profession and those just starting out – all with something to share and all finding plenty to learn from. We are an ageless Generation IC and in the words of one tweet “The profession is in great hands”.
And I have to mention the people who make it all happen – Rachel Miller, Dana Leeson and Jenni Field, who started The IC Crowd and turned it into a thriving IC community before soon adding the IRL Big Yak element. You rock, ladies!
I spent the train journey home trying to process all the great ideas I want to share back with my team. Fortunately we have our monthly Lunch & Learn this week so perfect timing. I also fell victim to the other classic ENFP trait: of all the extroverts, we most need our downtime. I’m sure my husband was grateful for the quiet journey home. “All yakked out?” he asked. I was! Well, til next time…
Keep on yakking
Here are just some of the Tweeps who came along – give us all a follow and check out #thebigyak hashtag for our key takeaways. See you next time!