By Lindsay Marcaccio
You may recall your early days in communications and the array of support you had at your office. Fast forward to your current senior role, and you may find yourself “alone at the top” wishing you had someone to discuss the challenges you or your organization face, or explore the evolution of the profession. It was exactly this situation that inspired IABC/Calgary to launch To the Table; regular, invite-only senior level communications gatherings a few years ago.
Kathryn Ward, owner of KW Communications Ltd., is a communications consultant with over 35 years experience and the current organizer of To the Table. Once a month, Ward selects a downtown Calgary restaurant and sends out an invitation to attend the next brainstorming session. You must be in a senior level position with a minimum of 15 years communications experience to be included on the invitation list. Ward does her best to ensure a variety of positions and businesses are represented at the table. Seating is limited to nine guests and there is always a wait list so be sure to cancel with several days notice if you can’t make it.
Each person is asked to bring a question or a challenging situation related to strategy to discuss. Ward mediates the discussion and will ask for feedback from attendees regarding the flow of conversation. Often, those who are facing similar situations will continue the discussions afterward. Valuable advisory relationships are built.
Over the years, Ward has mediated conversations with communicators from diverse backgrounds and has found that a common challenge for many was managing change. She also identified engagement as a reoccurring topic. Her greatest takeaway from these dinners – despite the uniqueness of organizations there are similarities woven throughout and we can all learn from each other.
If you would like to be added onto To the Table’s mailing list or have questions, please email Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2020 dinner series kicked off on February 6.