When reviewing some material I had produced while working at Deutsche Bank in preparation for a job interview, I found an article I had written about various profile-raising opportunities that the DB brand had opened up for me while I was there. I thought it a good enough read to justify a second outing so here is an abbreviated version:
When did the first speaker slot materialise?
I was first approached by Melcrum in January 2011. I have attended several Melcrum conferences over the years but the approach in January was the first time I had been invited to speak at one. The conference title was “Bridging the gap – Making Managers Better Communicators” and the session they wanted me to speak on was “Supporting managers in a global and multi-cultural environment”.
And this led to other speaking opportunities?
Melcrum is well known in the communications sector so that event, combined with theDeutsche Bank brand, immediately opened up two further opportunities to raise my profile and, by extension, that of the communications function within the Bank.
I was asked to do a speaker slot at the IoIC (Institute if Internal Communications) AGM. The provocative title of this event was “The Rise of the Fearless Communicator”. At this event I was sharing the platform with Alex Aiken – Director of Communication and Strategy for Westminster City Council, who was doing a conference wrap-up session on how to break down barriers, engage leaders and build influence. As it was an entirely different audience I was able to recycle the Melcrum presentation with only minor edits.
The keynote speaker at the IoIC AGM was Leandro Herrero, author of Viral ChangeTM who spoke for an hour about how peer to peer messaging has become more influential within businesses than the traditional hierarchical cascade. The session was very thought provoking and an added bonus was that he had donated copies of his new book – Homo Imitans – to all conference attendees.
This subject – how today’s workforce is receiving corporate messaging – linked directly in to the third opportunity I was offered in as many months. In February 2011 I was invited to take part in a film being sponsored by the IVCA (International Visual Communications Association) about the impact of social media at work.
Is the Bank really happy about you talking about their transformation programme so openly and taking so much time out to participate in these events?
Obviously you need to ensure that you have the appropriate internal endorsementsbefore you agree to do a speaking engagement and that your material has been signed off, in this case by both the business and by Group PR.
There are numerous benefits, both for the business and for the individual, in employees participating in conferences on their technical specialisms, whatever they may be. It’s highly beneficial to take time out occasionally from the non-stop bombardment of day to day demands to consider your approach and your activities in the light of other’s experience and strategies. I may not always be able to relate to the particular scenarios being presented and I don’t always agree with the assertions of the keynote speakers – who are frequently chosen for their controversial views and ability to provoke – but throughout the day I find myself being constantly challenged by new ideas, and being engaged at a more cerebral level than I generally have time for in my usual working day. The business benefits by having a refreshed and inspired specialist keen to try some new solutions and techniques.
I have been working with the Bank for just over a year and it’s obvious to me that the Deutsche Bank name is a real door opener. I need to ensure that the Bank sees a benefit from the exposure I’m getting and continues to see these opportunities as a worthwhile investment in its people.