Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the IoIC's super Thursday - a day packed full of events, five in total actually - and I managed to be there for most of them! We started with a lovely lunch at midday which ended with the Communicator of the Year and ICon awards. I found myself sat with some very friendly ladies from Circle Housing among others, (congratulations on your award ladies!) We then moved in to the next room for the Insight Seminar on Internal Communication crossing cultures. Which is what I really want to talk about!

The first talk was by John Smythe and Larraine Solomon who outlined the latest insight from the work of the Cross Cultures group of the Engage for Success movement. John and Larraine want to find out if the ingredients for engagement are the same across all cultures and are asking people to participate in and contribute to their research by holding a DIY Discovery Workshop in your office. We had a little taster of this workshop, condensed!

We started with a task: pair up and talk about what brings out the best of you outside of work? We were asked to think about something that immersed, committed and engaged us. I actually found this quite tough, it made me think 'wow, I need to take up a hobby, quick smart!' We then shared some of our stories and went back to our pairs, this time to answer the question: what brings out the best of you inside of work? Again, we thought about projects and moments that had immersed, committed and engaged us. I found this easier (I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing!) and again, we shared our stories with the group. This was very interesting, and so nice to hear so many different stories from around the room, which was filled with comms professionals from many different countries.

Next we opened the conversation to talk about about what disengages people at work. Some of the answers included: lack of knowledge/understanding/meaning, lack of trust and feedback. Then we talked about what being engaged means in our culture, and explored other social influences in our society that impact on how people engage at work? This is the big question, the information that John and Larraine are looking for. So if you're part of a diverse team and want to take part in this research, get in touch. It's all for a good cause, after all! All the findings will be available on the Engage for Success website once there's enough to present, and I for one will find it extremely useful to read about the different ingredients that engage people at work around the world, especially when choosing the right words for my global clients.

The other two fantastic talks were about 'Social media and internal cross-cultural comms' and 'Understanding cultural clash' and they are most certainly blogs for another day so watch this space! Thank you to the IoIC as always, for a great event - filled with good food, company and knowledge.