I attended one of the better communication sessions I’ve ever been to last week. The IABC Houston Chapter hosted a luncheon and workshop with Ron Shewchuk, one of North America’s leading communicators and BBQ champion from Canada.
The day could not have been more perfect. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was about to kick off and we had a Canadian BBQ champion grilling lunch for us as we sat outside on the patio of Goode’s Armadillo Palace. Let’s be clear: the food was FAB.U.LOUS.
But before you think that we just ate great quesadillas, brisket, New Zealand lamb, maple salmon on a plank and yummy pears (all from the grill), this was an intense lunch presentation. Ron showed how food, in this case, BBQ, is a great metaphor for good employee communications. One example (Ron, I’m summarizing here so I apologize if I misspeak) is that if you want some of the best brisket ever, i.e., fall-apart-tender, you have to cook it slowly and tend to it throughout the grilling process. If not, more than likely people won’t like it and won’t try your food again. As with communications, if you just blast an e-mail out and expect people to jump on board, you probably won’t achieve your goal.
I then stayed for the workshop “Communicating With Employees in Changing Times; What Shifting Social Values & Emerging Web Technologies Mean for Internal Communicators”. Ron lead an afternoon workshop on best practices in internal communications, including a look at the changing values of today’s employees and the implications of social media and “Web 2.0” for communicators. Simply put, it was OUTSTANDING. It was quite interactive and while some of us were more experienced in “Web 2.0” than others, Ron gave everyone a lot to think about.
I am energized – even more than before!!!
By the way, if you love to grill and/or BBQ, buy his book, “Barbeque Secrets”. YUM.MY.