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‘Once you’re at the table, are you able?’

Following the recent IoIC Live event in Birmingham, 44’s Managing Partner Eddie Gormley picked up some tips on delivering value in the board room from an industry-leading icon…

Bill Quirke’s session at IoIC Live 2018 was, for me, the highlight of two excellent days in Birmingham.

A decade after writing his hugely influential book Making The Connections, the leading IC proponent was in witty, challenging form as he looked back on the state of our sector 10 years on.

More awareness

Despite greater standards in the profession, more awareness of the impact of engaged employees on the bottom line and many more ways you can reach those employees and align them to your organisation’s goals, we’re still suffering an existential crisis of confidence about showing the strategic value of what we do to senior leaders.

“What do internal communicators want to do? We want to be consulted,” Bill said. “We know how to articulate thinking, craft messages and we can predict how people will respond. What chief execs say they want and what internal communicators say they want to do, are the same thing. But why is there a gap – why are internal communicators the last people they ask?”

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the challenge is still very real in certain quarters.

Delivering value

As part of an agency client pitch recently (no names, no pack drill), we received a stakeholder map designed to underpin a major business change programme. Employees were positioned as the LAST stakeholder group on the roll-out timeline, behind shareholders, customers, local councillors, suppliers – pretty much everybody, really.

So if you want to deliver value in the board room – and be seen to deliver value in the boardroom – I would recommend buying Bill’s book. Alongside this, we’ve just published a free web tool called the Five Step Value Framework, which was born out of academic research undertaken by our very own Corin Ashby. You can view it at – and watch this space for more posts about the tool.

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