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Category: Consultative Skills

The Value of Leadership

The communications industry is no different than any other when it comes to the necessity and relevance of leadership. It’s what internal clients are looking for, and it’s also the unique space where communicators can provide real value to the organizations they serve. While the value of leadership can often be invisible (after all, it…

Value Creation or “what have you done for me lately?”

Membership renewal and retention levels are dropping at unprecedented rates. The battleground to win the mind share, attention and affiliation of members has never been more fierce. Our white paper provides some  practical insights on winning this competitive combat through value creation.

A Manifesto for Strategic Communications

Yesterday, I had the privilege of presenting a workshop on Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star at the IABC Canada West Conference in Victoria, B.C. (You can find the prezi here, as well as a few video snippets of the presentation). We had very lively and thought provoking conversations not only about the real frustrations…

Managing the Risks of Consulting Projects

Having owned and directed a consulting firm for the past twelve years, I’ve become a student of the art of managing risks associated with outsourced projects. I find it interesting that while organizations tend to invest significantly in human resources processes to ensure that they are protected from costly hiring mistakes, they often leave themselves…

Live from New York it’s the Top 10 Questions in Strategic Communications

This morning I had the honour of presenting to the World Conference of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The theme of my session was consultative skills. More specifically, an introduction to the top 10 questions that can make us strategic communications rock stars. Here they are: What does success look like? Why this,…

The Communicator as a Sales Person

If you’re a communications pro, I highly recommend Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human to give you a fresh take on your day to day work. Pink’s thesis is that the nature of our economy and of our information landscape has been fundamentally transformed, and effectively, we’re all in sales now. As communicators and PR professionals,…

Why Outsource?

In his excellent book, The Executive’s Guide to Consultants, David Fields emphasizes the importance of carefully defining the nature of a project requirement before hiring an external consultant. In my experience, this is a vital – but often undertreated step in defining a project and establishing a collaborative relationship with a consultant. Before hiring a consultant or launching…

Issue management: it’s about strategy, not reaction

Building strength in issue management is difficult. It’s part discipline, part knowledge and part instinct, and tends to be a skill learned through experience. There’s really no substitute for learning first-hand in the trenches to gain insight on what works, what doesn’t and why. There is, however, one overarching principle of greatest importance to the…

Outside-In Thinking

Top-level strategic communicators bring what I call ‘outside-in’ thinking to their organizations —that is, the ability and instinct to see how an issue, initiative or activity will play among audiences and stakeholders. And as a result of this discernment, the outside-in thinker has a talent for framing content in a way that hits the sweet…

The Top 10 Questions Every Strategic Communicator Should be Asking

Yesterday I was honoured to have the opportunity to deliver a session at the IABC Canada 2012 Business Communicators Summit on the Top 10 Questions in Strategic Communications.  As is always the case when you have a room full of smart, innovative communicators, the discussions were animated, the participation eager and the shared experiences invaluable….