VMA GROUP’s Advisory Board is a great place for communications leaders to get together and ‘think tank’ ideas, discuss challenges, discover new trends, debate hot topics and generally let off a bit of steam with their peers in a safe environment.
In case you were wondering, these Boards (also run out of the UK and the Netherlands) were established by the VMA GROUP leadership to provide valuable guidance and potentially serve as an ally to the business in its pursuit for continued excellence in the market. The Advisory Board is also a bit of an exclusive club aimed at encouraging greater involvement and enhancing the status of members, thereby bringing them closer to the business.
As a communications professional, now recently working in the executive search field (and loving it by the way), I found the recent event in Brussels hosted by the VMA GROUP Belgium team fascinating. There I was, sitting around the table with some of the best Communications Directors Belgium has to offer, soaking up their insights into some of the major challenges they are currently facing. I was captivated by the lively discussions and debates.
Having Julia Meighan, VMA GROUP CEO, present and share her vast knowledge and experience, gave people insight into some key topics such as internal communications and its true value today and in the future. Julia highlighted that there are lots of opportunities for internal communications which are driven by business needs such as change management, crisis communications and transformation management. However they require certain skills and investment in people to meet these changing requirements.
This led to one of the first challenges discussed - agile teams with a 360 degree approach. With limited resources, time constraints, and increasingly blurry lines defining internal and external, communications professionals need to be more agile in keeping the balance and moving forward in a pragmatic way.
Aligning the business is not a new challenge but an important one, especially if you want to engage hearts and minds. Welcoming new talent into a business is one thing; aligning them with your agenda and other areas of the business is another. Introducing ways that will create movement across a sector is an ongoing issue Communications Directors have to grapple with.
And then there is the role of being visionary or the new buzz word ‘activism’. This was mainly raised in relation to external stakeholders. Communications Directors need to be quick and show foresight when handling opinions these groups are voicing; they also need to look through the window and to the future as to what may come next. But, and there is a but , they seriously question the availability of time to do that.
Legislation, especially for our Pharma friends; managing perceptions relating to hot issues such as plastics; and attracting the right talent to the business were debated. Debate no further my friends, VMA to the rescue on the last one!
Can we do internal communications without communications support? Are we ready to empower people to be self-sufficient and be their own communications managers? These thought provoking and rather challenging questions left the group with something to reflect on. Would be great to know what you think ….
The evening ended with a presentation on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality with some tangible examples demonstrating how this new technology can really drive effectiveness for communications teams.
To find out more about how we can help you with your career development in Belgium, or to hire the best communications, digital or marketing talent into your team, please contact Willem de Ruijter today.