According to IABC’s Consultants Shared Interest Group (SIG) leader Jane Mitchell, FRSA, IABC Fellow, consulting is sometimes a lonely place to be, especially for those working for themselves. Thanks to IABC’s Consultants SIG, both solo and organization-backed consultants can find a community for conversation, new learnings and professional development.
Consulting is one of six SIGs IABC created to provide members with a global community to develop their interests and share experiences within a specific subject area. Hear more about Mitchell’s plan for a “flourishing, energetic and fun international group.”
IABC is thrilled to launch SIGs to allow our global community to connect about the topics that interest them most. What inspired you to become a SIG leader?
My favorite thing about IABC is the international group of people whom I have gotten to know and love and who enrich my life, knowledge and understanding of what makes the world go around. I would love for other people, particularly for those working on their own and who are consulting to organizations large a small (which is sometimes a lonely place to be), to know that there is a community that can nourish and support them. And where it is safe to share and let off steam!
Based on your professional background, what expertise will you bring to your specific focus area as its leader?
I have had my own organization now for over 20 years. My organization is me, and I have worked with a number of associates, individually and in communities, in that time. The sense of mutual respect and learning that you build with these experiences is something that I trust and value. But as someone once said, you have to kiss some frogs along the way. There are always lessons learned and that can be shared.
Why is it important for communication professionals to join a SIG? How can the takeaways from these discussions enhance their day-to-day career?
The SIG network is a new IABC initiative. I believe in it because it shows a commitment to continue to build communities of belonging with a recognition that sometimes people need to feel as though they are sharing and talking with empathetic and like minds. If we can build understanding and share expertise and knowledge, we can grow both individually and collectively. Ultimately, the impact on client experience could be hugely positive, and for communication professionals and IABC, profound. The more consistently great we are and are recognized for, the better for all.
What is one goal you hope to achieve through the discussions and collaboration with your SIG?
All of the above of course! Essentially, I would like our consultant communication professionals to feel as though this is their favorite forum. We do have to pick and choose, and I would love to see a flourishing, energetic and fun international group forming.
Get involved! Keep up with the IABC Consultants SIG and mark your calendars for upcoming events.
Jane Mitchell, FRSA, IABC Fellow
Working with organizations to develop vibrant, ethical cultures, Jane Mitchell, FRSA, IABC Fellow, has made extraordinary contributions to clients, IABC and the future of the profession. After beginning her career at the BBC in London, Mitchell has advised a range of companies including Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, BP, Tesco, BT, Q8 and Airbus. She supports organizations in exploring and uncovering their values, assessing the state of their ethical culture, developing codes of ethics and creating communications and engagement strategies to ensure they are successfully embedded. She leads her own consultancy, JL&M, and is also trust chair of leading environmental design and planning agency, LDA Design. Mitchell has been a leader within IABC, serving as a member of the IEB, heading the international Ethics Task Force, U.K. chapter president and drafting modules for certification programs, among many responsibilities. She was the 2021 chair of the World Conference Program Advisory Committee and proudly received her IABC fellowship in 2020.