Last week communications agency AB hosted their fourth AB Thinks Live event in London. I was their facilitator for the day and you can read my opening comments on the future of work here. Speakers covered purpose, virtual reality, culture and technology and the panel delved into the skills internal communicators need in the future.
There were some lively debates from the panellists around the need for an internal communications strategy – but I think the blog from AB Associate Helen Deverell nicely captures some of my own thinking; you should be able to have your strategy on a page, evolve it as needed and be strategic with the tactical.
Find what is uniquely human
In a world of AI how do we find purpose? Dr Alex Stubbings took us through her belief that there is a uniqueness to humans and this can’t be replaced by robots.
After The Big Yak I blogged about my belief that we are forgetting we are human and Alex opened her session saying that we have been encouraged to think like machines – and I don’t disagree. When it comes to technology Alex suggested that robots can’t be creative (intuition), drive compliance through touch (survey completion jumped from 55% to 81% with the touch of an arm) nor do they have ethics morality and values – traits that drive us.
Democratise communication and bring it into the business operation
When it comes to a change in leadership there is often an opportunity for a change in environment. For Rooftop Housing this included a desire to change the technology that the teams were using day-t- day. John Rockley gave great insight into how the team went about implementing Workplace by Facebook. He blogged about it before the event but on the day there were two things John said that stayed with me:
To embrace virtual reality, we need to be immersive and interactive
Nadine Oehmcke from game developer nDreams gave us an insight into the virtual reality industry – exploring growth trends (there has been a 117% growth in headset sales in the last 12 months), what to expect in the future with the rise of AR and VR together, a look at headsets that don’t require a PC or phone and the need to create completely immersive experiences that transport the individual into a different world. It reaffirmed my belief that our use of VR in the workplace is so much more than training or looking round an office.
Confidence, pace and strategy
The panel of experts gave their views about the skills we need for the future. With experts in digital, employer brand, corporate communication and internal communication they all gave their views on what was needed. The big takeaways for me were:
The Future of Content
AB’s MD Katie Macaulay ended the afternoon with her predictions into the future of content. There were six:
Katie has shared her full transcript here and it really is worth having a read – the analogy to Clapham junction really resonated with me and I have long been a fan of fewer, bigger, better – enjoy!