Build a Better Pizza (and the rest of the top 5 takeaways from my last ALI adventure)

Build a Better Pizza (and the rest of the top 5 takeaways from my last ALI adventure)

internal communications I think by now we all know I’m a big fan of ALI Conferences and last week in Nashville was no exception. This time I was thrilled to be a speaker at their “Social, Mobile and Video for Internal Communications” conference to bring some small pieces of wisdom on incorporating video into your internal communications strategy. It turns out I still know how to use a microphone.

All events require behind-the-scenes work and I know Michela Moe spent many, many hours chasing down presentations from this group in particular… A consummate professional, she ran the show like a pro and took it all in stride.

Aside from meeting stellar comms pros to add to my growing network, I took away great tips from some insightful speakers.

We can all build a better pizza.

Michael Anton from IBM Global Business Services shared a great story about challenging teams to “build a better pizza.” Which resources are working for you and which resources could you use more of? Take those elements to build a better work pizza and share it with your colleagues. I love the concept of using food as a metaphor for evaluating the way you work. Even more, I love that the winning team actually got pizza as a reward.

Colouring with crayons never gets old.

Pizza, crayons, juggling…there was never a dull moment! The therapeutic benefits of colouring are endless and Chuck Gose (ICology and BroadSign) let us all have a little crafternoon fun with crayons when he asked us to prioritize the employee experience at our organization into a pie chart (mmm, pie) separated into three categories: technology, physical space and culture. It led to really interesting conversation about perception (yours vs. employee vs. CEO) and the importance of knowing your audience. I think this exercise could easily grow legs at future events and I’m curious to see the data when he releases it.

Your video needs more Stamos.

Yes, that Stamos. My presentation included some humour but Chris Bias (Roche) and Rocky Walls (12 Stars Media) absolutely rocked it with their tips on when to use comedy in your internal videos. If you’ve never met this dynamic duo, you’re missing out on sarcasm and cheekiness at its finest. They used “Stamos” as a verb and provided some truly funny examples of when you can incorporate humour in corporate videos, while still maintaining a professional voice. They embodied my most important piece of career advice: have fun.

Walk a mile (or a hallway) in their shoes.Advanced Learning Institute

My favourite Texan is Rachel Butts and I’m starting a fan club in her name. In addition to her wisdom on back combing (big hair is kind of our thing), she is a master communicator and has a knack for understanding her audience on a personal level. Because she works with health care professionals at Children’s Health, she spent time shadowing nurses, doctors and hospital support staff in an effort to get a full picture of their roles. This is something we all need to do more often: walk a mile to gain perspective.

Honk your own horn.

I’m not one to turn down a microphone, but it’s been a few years since I’ve had the opportunity to speak professionally. My first thought when I was approached to speak was, “why?” I couldn’t think of why my own experience would be beneficial for others to hear about. Dolly Parton famously declared, “sometimes you gotta honk your own horn!” So I will.

I had a blast speaking to a very receptive group of colleagues and I’m almost finished signing cheques for those of you who laughed at the appropriate times. As my friend Rachel shared after,

Isn’t it wonderful when we know our worth,
what we want and what we can give?

It was and it is.

Advanced Learning Institute

I believe strongly in professional development and I’m always looking for new ways to learn. You can follow #ALI_IC on Twitter for more conference updates and tips. Connect with me @KristinAnneH if something in this article sparked your interest!


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