London, Smith Square, 14th April 2016, at the third IC Fight Club run in partnership with Ellwood Atfield and Working Communication, IC practitioners declared corporate purpose must sit at the heart of everything an organisation says. Guided by a one question Pulse Check™ carried out by Question and Retain, only 3% claimed corporate purpose was a cynical attempt to distract people from day to day issues and 8% declaring it ‘the latest fad’.

During a feisty series of rounds, punctuated by attendees waving green or red cards to agree or disagree with points being made the following observations made were:

  • Being open and transparent should be seen and treated as two separate disciplines
  • Acknowledging the impact of ‘millennials’ in the work place and what they value and attach themselves to
  • Authenticity should be strived for with every communications tool in use
  • Governance is key
  • The role of communicators is changing – communications practitioners help people communicate and are now curators of their own art rather than simply manage a communications cycle
  • It is the brand purpose that holds a business together
  • Face to face remains relevant and arguably the preferred form of interaction
  • The annual engagement survey is dead and should not live inside the company of today or tomorrow 
  • The ability to use ‘pulse’ surveys to define the company narrative has proved itself to be a successful engagement tool

Commenting on the debate, Annabel Dunstan, Chief Insight Officer at Q&R said, “What is clear is that corporate purpose is defining the direction and content of what companies need to be saying about themselves both externally and internally. The nuances of communicating in the right way for staff is critical along with ensuring what you say is credible and endures. In today’s 24 hour ‘always on’ environment, the more you know about what your staff think and the more quickly you can deal with it is a competitive edge. We are seeing more and more companies eschew the annual engagement survey route in favour of fast, incisive Pulse Check™s that deliver rich insight and actionable data.”

IC Fight Club runs twice a year. Last night’s panellists were:

Laura Ferguson, Head of People Engagement & Change, BG Group, now Shell
Suzanne Peck, Managing Director, Sequel Group
Murray Nathan, Head of Internal Communications, Visa Europe
Helen Den Held, Head of Global Communications, GE Capital

Following four competiive rounds and fierce debate there was a final head to head between Laura and Suzanne in a tense ‘Just a Minute’ round.  Laura Ferguson won through as our Fight Club III winner talking for one minute on ‘The Death of the Annual Engagement Survey’ with minimal repetition, deviation or hesitation. No mean feat!