2015 Archives

Calliope Learning Workshop – Five Practices to Enhance Your Strategic Leadership

Date: May 21, 2015
Recap by: Tracy Tang

“Complaining isn’t a strategy.”

With these four words, leadership coach and IABC/BC guest speaker Tammy Dewar recently brought to a close a thought provoking, engaging, and participation-driven professional development workshop for IABC/BC members.

The half-day session, held at the YWCA in Vancouver, drew IABC/BC members from the transportation, health care, industry, media, and education sectors. The focus of the workshop was on enhancing strategic leadership skills through five core practices:

  • Grounding Yourself
  • Envisioning a strategic direction
  • Making sense of complexity
  • Cultivating a learning culture
  • Modelling the way

Dewar, a certified coach with a PhD in Adult Education, had a delivery style that was highly interactive and participatory – reflecting a previous career and training as a high school teacher. Instead of the conventional “Sage on a stage” format of one-way delivery, Dewar’s presentation involved movement, walking, and group activities and discussion.

One of the more outstanding concepts that Dewar introduced was the Cynefin framework of decision making, developed by Dave Snowden. The framework assists leaders in recognizing the space in which a problem or issue sits, and responding accordingly, depending on the situation, reinforcing for leaders that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to decision making.

Facilitated by Dewar via an exercise, members acted out a version of the Reciprocity Ring, developed by Wayne and Cheryl Baker. In a Reciprocity Ring, each person makes a request for help. Others in the group volunteer knowledge, skills, or assistance to help that person with their request. Each member is challenged to use their resources to help the person fulfil this request. This example of facilitating a learning culture ties back to enhancing one of Dewar’s core concepts of strategic leadership skills.

Though complaining is still not a strategy, IABC/BC members who attended the valuable workshop will now be prepared with some practical tools to influence, inspire, and innovate.

Communicating the Change Process

Date: May 6, 2015


  • Jennifer Hamilton, Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Matthew Friesen, Provincial Health Services Authority


Change happens. Effective communication can help make it easier.

This presentation will explore how internal communications can contribute to successfully implementing change within an organization. Jennifer and Matthew will share tips and strategies on how to forge the important link between “what gets said” and “what gets done,” illustrating the connections between change management principles and internal communications tactics. They will draw from their experiences with the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project, which required the relocation of nearly 140 clinical programs and services on the hospital site, followed by the construction of the eight-storey Teck Acute Care Centre currently underway in the heart of the hospital campus.


Speak Up: Important Conversations

Date: April 7, 2015

This event was filled with great company, inspiring stories, and last but not the least, important conversations. The great novelist Jane Austen said: “my idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”  Discover the defining conversations that made our eight extraordinary speakers’ careers.

Social Media: Interpreting and Measuring Success

Date: March 3, 2015


  • Cam Steed, founder and CEO of Smashed Abacus. To keep updated on Smashed Abacus and Cam’s work, follow their tweets @smashedabacus and @camsteed


“Success in social media is not well-defined – it’s subjective”, said Cam Steed, founder and CEO of Smashed Abacus, as he opened IABC BC’s Fraser Valley professional development event on social media metrics.

A seasoned social media expert, Cam has used his extensive online experience to provide services in the area of social media monitoring, measurement and analysis in an agency environment. His presentation focused on how to determine social objectives that align with your organization, how to influence what you measure, and some excellent DIY ways to get started on a social media metric program.

Cam noted that often the biggest challenge for companies is looking at the huge landscape of social media measurement tools and resources available. When in doubt, go back to the core basics of what you are trying to achieve with social media activities. He gave five brief steps on how to get started in one’s own organization:

  1. Determine SMART goals.
  2. Establish benchmarks.
  3. Create a plan.
  4. Measure and track activity.
  5. Review performance and adapt.

Some companies already measure social media using factors such as growth rate, # of posts, # of mentions, and comparators to previous month or year data. However, he cautioned that oftentimes these are “vanity metrics” which measure output more than outcome. A more advanced key performance indicator matrix would measuring things such as how much engagement was received on brand-produced content; ascribing a numerical value to “likes” and “comments” and trending the differences over time; the response rate to direct messages or feedback, brand sentiment, conversion rates through paid advertising; and, how much social content exists about your brand versus your competitors.

Cam finished his presentation by showing a sample template for monthly reporting which showed the metrics in a highly visual and reader-friendly format, suitable for executive presentations and for sharing staff. He added that no two companies have the same report or metrics because their core objectives for using social media likely differ. “Start small – figure out a number that’s important to your purpose and measure it,” he recommended as his closing remarks. “Every company and brand will have a different definition of success. The nature of social media requires new approaches for measurement.”

Social Media: Interpreting and Measuring Success is part of IABC/BC’s Communicators Toolbox series with a focus on building foundational and emerging skills for today’s communications and marketing practitioners.


Presentation (a_pdf 4.24MB PDF)