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Learning at the IABC Leadership Institute

5 Mar 2018

Alison Senti, IABC Canberra Vice President, shares a summary of how 2018 started for her – a new role on the Board, and a trip to San Diego for the IABC Leadership Institute.


A photo of participants in the Leadership Institute in San Diego

Connecting with some of our Asia Pacific colleagues at the Leadership Institute in San Diego

Hi fellow communicators, has your new year started at full throttle? What happened to the ‘quiet January’? I’ll admit returning back to work in early January left me a little flat – I’d barely recovered from the trials and tribulations of a busy 2017 professionally.

My new year also started with some changes: I moved roles on the IABC Canberra’s Board from Treasurer to Vice President. Secondly, I was heading to my first international IABC event – the IABC Leadership Institute (LI) in San Diego, USA.

IABC Canberra President Victor Zalakos and I were lucky to attend the LI early last month, with a handful of other Asia Pacific Chapter Leaders in a mix of mostly Canadian and North American fellow IABC Board members. I was not sure what to expect but was delighted to find the 2.5 days were packed with thoughtful insights, new friends, enthusiastic presentations (yes! Yes! YES!) and opportunities to push my own professional development even further.

Photo of new SCMP graduates celebrating together

New SCMP graduates celebrating together!

As Victor did last year, I also took the leap and sat the Strategic Communications Management Professional exam offered by the Global Communications Certification Council. I now join Victor and about 30 other SCMPs globally to hold this prestigious certification. So far these exams have only been offered at global events but we do hope to host an exam in Canberra in the near future – stay tuned.

I had two ‘lightbulb’ moments that will stay with me this year as we develop and deliver a stimulating and relevant professional development program for you, our members and supporters. The first was the IABC’s Strategic Framework for 2017-2020:

  • Advance Profession – advance awareness of communication as a strategic leadership function, demonstrating its impact on business performance.
  • Create Connection – create global peer connections, facilitating ways for practitioners to interact and support each other.
  • Develop Strategic Communicators – develop opportunities for learning, leadership, and recognition to help communicator become trusted business advisers.

I loved the simplicity of the framework, summed up beautifully in this tweet. To that end, your Board will evaluate all of our activities against these three pillars – if the events and programs we are putting together don’t in some way contribute to achieving these, we won’t do it!

The second a-ha moment was from the opening keynote speaker at the LI, Cynthia D’Amour, who spoke to us about leading great chapters and ways to get members and Board volunteers involved. She said to us that there were three reasons why people chose to join a group, which she called the ‘hot buttons’:

  • People want to learn
  • People want to help
  • People want to meet people

Again, we will ensure we can make every event meaningful to you by providing opportunities for learning, for contribution and for you to connect to your vibrant Canberra Chapter. See you at our next event!

Alison Senti
Vice President 2018

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