The corporate environment comprises the various aspects of work that affect employees’ productivity, including when, where and how they work. According to Indeed.com, “A work environment is the setting, social features and physical conditions in which you perform your job. These elements can impact feelings of wellbeing, workplace relationships, collaboration, efficiency and employee health.”
Elements of a corporate culture include the physical environment, the company culture and working conditions. Business analysts have made attempts to categorize different types of corporate environments, like “artistic” (promoting innovation and experimentation, as well as personal expression), “enterprising” (emphasizing guidance of employees toward goals) and “conventional” (built on specificity, predictability, and organization).
Can communicators help create the right environment for their companies? Can they help sustain an existing environment?
In this installment of Circle of Fellows, four IABC Fellows answer these questions and explore the various ways communicators can influence the corporate environment.
About the Panelists
Mary Hills’ career as a marketing and communication professional has been in companies undergoing significant evolution, change and growth. She has held leadership positions with responsibility for developing plans and schemas to support long-term growth and business sustainability goals. She has more than 20 years’ experience and expertise in designing and delivering training and development programs for companies and organizations, bringing theories, models and frameworks into everyday practice. In addition to her role at HeimannHills Marketing Group, Mary serves as adjunct faculty in the MS — Global Strategic Communication program at Loyola University Chicago. Mary speaks internationally and nationally on marketing, communication, standards and practices.
Edward “Ned” Lundquist is a retired U.S. Navy captain with 33 years of professional public affairs and strategic communications experience. He is a principal science writer at MCR Federal in McLean, Virginia, supporting government clients, and has his own company, Echo Bridge LLC, which provides outreach and advocacy support to commercial clients. He served on active duty for 24 years in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer and public affairs specialist. Captain Lundquist was a Pentagon spokesman with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, director of the Fleet Home Town News Center and director of public affairs and corporate communications for the Navy Exchange Service Command. His last tour of duty was commanding the 450 men and women of the Naval Media Center. He is an accredited business communicator and award-winning communicator who served as president of IABC Hampton Roads and IABC Washington, director of U.S. district 3 and chair of the International Accreditation Council. He was named an IABC Fellow in 2016. Captain Lundquist is a member of the executive committee of the Surface Navy Association and chair of the SNA communications committee. He writes for numerous naval, maritime and defense publications and chairs and presents at communications, naval and maritime security conferences around the world.
Leticia Narváez, ABC, is CEO and founding partner of Narváez Group, a consulting firm focused on strategic communication, employee engagement, corporate reputation, social responsibility and communication training based in Mexico City. A profession with 30 years of experience, she held management top level positions at Sanofi, Merck, American Express and Ford Motor Co. among others. She builds communication bridges with the utmost excellence standards. During her career path, she has been at the forefront of divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, diversity leadership, issues and crisis management, team and leadership development, strategic planning and senior executive consulting. She has been a speaker at international forums, is co-author of several books and manuals on business communications and has written a large number of articles on the subject. Leticia has a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from the Latinoamericana University, a master’s degree in digital communications from Cantabria University and a postgraduate diploma in top business administration at the Panamerican Institute of Top Business Administration — IPADE.
Mark Schumann is the former vice president of culture at Sabre and the co-author of Brand from the Inside and Brand for Talent. Before joining Sabre, he was director of graduate communication studies at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City, as well as a managing principal and global communication practice leader at Towers Perrin. He served as IABC’s chair in 2009–2010 and is the winner of 17 Gold Quill awards.
Shel Holtz, IABC Fellow, ABC
Shel Holtz, IABC Fellow, ABC, is director of internal communications at Webcor, a commercial general contractor headquartered in San Francisco. Before joining Webcor, Shel spent 21 years as principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. In addition to integrating technology into communications strategies, his expertise includes strategic communications planning, change management, organizational culture, business initiatives and communications research.