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IC Space Live: The future explored

Internal Communication (IC) specialists from across government gathered online last week to explore what the future holds in 2021 and beyond, as well as celebrating successes from the past year.

Colleagues heard from leading experts in IC including Russell Grossman (GCS Head of Profession for Internal Communication), Jenni Field (Director of Redefining Communications), Jennifer Sproul (Chief Executive of the Institute of Internal Communication) and Andy MacLeod (Director, Comma Partners).

Opening the event, Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, gave a personal perspective on how the asks of IC from leaders will change post-pandemic.

“Everyone has had to adapt over the past year, and I am hugely impressed by how the communication profession has risen to the challenge. In my view, at this time when many people are working virtually and feeling a sense of uncertainty, IC is more important than ever, expanding and increasing engagement with colleagues.

“IC at its best supports leaders to engage with their organisations. What are people really worrying about? Through the power of storytelling, the issues that most affect people can be brought alive and better understood, creating that sense of mission and purpose for all our colleagues across the Civil Service.”

Focused on building the skills and abilities of internal communication practitioners to respond to these asks from leaders, along with other new challenges, Russell Grossman was joined by Dee Cotgrove, Deputy Director for Professional Standards at GCS, to discuss how to get the best out of the new GCS IC Curriculum.

Russell commented on what he sees as one of the next key challenges for IC:

“As we start to develop conversations around returning to the office, the GCS community is going to need to come together and support colleagues through that process. The workplace itself is also changing, which means embedding new ways of working that work for our various organisations and the people within them.”

On the changing workplace, Jenni Field, author of Influential Internal Communication, cautioned attendees not to focus on location, but instead to think about evolving how we work:

“Focusing just on locations and where we work isn’t the solution for us to move forward in a post-lockdown world. We need to think about our culture. Society has evolved and changed, we are more flexible, so we should focus on how as internal communicators we can respond.”

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