Today is All Things IC’s fifth birthday and I have something special to share with you.

Every year on 31 January I buy a piece of artwork to mark another year of running my own business. That’s the date my company was incorporated (registered) back in 2013.

It’s a significant milestone, so I wanted this year’s artwork to be personal. A couple of months ago I commissioned a wonderful designer, Lisa Kirkbride to create a bespoke picture I can frame in my office.

Lisa runs her own business and is the talented lady behind the cute robin on my Christmas cards last year (pictured).

What did I choose?

A quote I heard at the CIPR Inside conference back in November from the lovely Danielle Chan from Community Integrated Care resonated with me. She said:

It stayed with me.

I wrote that quote on a post-it note and it’s been above my desk since the conference. When I was briefing Lisa to create my All Things IC Christmas card for 2017, I shared an idea with her.

I asked if she could create a piece of artwork for me using that quote as inspiration. I’m a fan of her handlettering style and knew that’s what I wanted.

I’ve edited it to be: “What happens inside is reflected outside.”

That works for me both from a mental health and wellbeing perspective, but also in terms of organisational culture and internal communication.

It’s a reminder to myself to invest in my wellbeing, development and knowledge. It’s also a reminder that organisations are a sum of all their parts and if there’s a toxic culture internally, it will be reflected externally.

We need to check if there’s an integrity gap between what we say and what we do as companies. I believe it’s also a reminder to examine our values and personal branding (who we are and what we’re known for).

It works for me on many levels, which is why I’ve chosen to turn it into an artefact to mark this milestone.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I practice Working Out Loud. So I have shared the fact this artwork was being created with groups of professional communicators I’ve spoken with recently – at the BBC’s team day a few weeks ago, and the NHS Communicator’s event I chaired last week (pictured below).

So here it is, my gift to myself and also to you.

Thank you for the inspiration Danielle and thank you Lisa for translating my idea into something stunning. Every flower has been chosen because it represents something for me professionally or personally.

I can’t wait to get the physical version and hang it above my desk in my office as a constant reminder, and a celebration.

How to work as a Consultant
If you want to learn more about working as a Communication Consultant, I’ve published two articles in my current series to mark All Things IC’s five-year milestone.

Thank you for all your feedback and queries. I’ve published 1100 articles over the past eight years and this series has prompted an unexpected reaction. For example, colleagues I worked with 10-15 years ago have got in touch to share their career plans and stories based on what they’ve read on my blog over the past couple of weeks.

Thank you for all your direct messages and emails. I’m still working through them, but will come back to them all.

If you’ve missed the articles, you can catch up here:

My third article in this series – where to work – will be published soon. I also have a guest post from an independent practitioner who is four weeks into running her own business to share with you over the next few days.

Thank you to everyone who has chosen to work together over the past five years or has booked me already for this year. It’s such a privilege to help communicators succeed through consultancy, 1-2-1 mentoring or training.

I held my latest Change Communication Masterclass yesterday and throughly enjoyed it. In the spirit of working out loud, I recorded a short video to share with you:

What do you think of the artwork? You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Here’s to the next five years and beyond!

Thank you as ever for stopping by.

Rachel.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 31 January 2018.

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