IC Space Live 2017!

What is the IC Space?

The IC space is the place for Internal Communication professionals across government to focus on best practice. The information in the IC Space has been pulled together to help you deliver excellent government communications. It’s a great resource for all aspects of internal comms so check it out– even if you’re not working government.

IC Space Live is where Government Communications Service IC professionals get together in person… a great way to network, share ideas and discuss IC issues of the day.


The event took place last Wednesday at BEIS conference centre. It was hosted by Russell Grossman – GCS IC professional lead and professionally compered by Soraya Mitchell – Department for International Trade.

Russell asked us to be “in and visible, don’t be invisible”, which is good advice for all communicators.

There were about 60 senior internal communications delegates from across departments and Arms Length Bodies. We had some great case studies throughout the day which I will definitely be taking inspiration from.


We started off with a session led by Poli Stuart-Lacey on the A Brilliant Civil Service vision.

This vision for the Civil Service of the future, developed with the help of many, has four pillars:


  1. Improved outcomes – a much stronger focus on the difference we can make for citizens, not just on processes and procedures
  2. Effective leadership – with confident leaders who inspire and empower colleagues to be the best they can be
  3. Skilled people – our commitment to building a broader set of skills in the Civil Service, to make us more effective and offer more varied careers that will help us retain and attract the best talent
  4. A great place to work – creating a truly inclusive environment, in open, modern workplaces, with the technology to get the job done

It’s good to start the day with a discussion about being brilliant! Rolling out the vision and embedding it across Government will be a positive challenge to work on and one that we will continue to work on together.

We then heard from Dr Laura de Moliere, a behavioural scientist at the Department for Work and Pensions. She advised us to:

  1. Define behaviour
  2. Diagnose barriers
  3. Communicate in psychologically effective ways

She went through the COM model – capability –opposition – motivation (the detail is outlined in the GCS behaviour change guide). I love the psychology of communicating and behaviour change theory really helps us to understand this.

crowdWe heard from Joss Mathieson at Glaxo Smith Kline. He talked about similar similarities between public and private sector in internal communications including the complexity, level of change and diminishing resources. He talked about his CIA approach involving:




la-la-landJane Sparrow from The Culture Builders rounded of the days sessions by using a popular culture themed presentation– LAA LAA Land. LAA – standing for Legitimate, Assumed and Allowed, in this instance. We took some time to look at our own goals, barriers and how to overcome them.


My takeaways

  • We can learn a lot from other organisations, even if they might seem completely different to where we’re currently working.
  • We need to share ideas, tools and learning wherever possible.
  • It is important for communicators to be at the top table and build trust.
  • It will be key to align the organisations message with the Civil Service vision.

Check out #ICspace2017 to find out what others thought.

Did you attend? What do you think? Let me know @katygibbins1

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