Present:
Angeline Wafula, Ben Hack, Dorine Odongo, Ethel Makila, Evelyn Katingi, Ewen Le Borgne, Fanos Mekonnen, Muthoni Njiru.


Invitation message

Hello all,

(Dorine, Evelyn, Tezira, this is even more optional for you as for the others since neither of you is even homed under E&C)
As mentioned to some of you at last Friday’s comms gathering in Nairobi, we (engagement and collaboration team) are planning this conversation with you to address the following:
  • What possible benefits and opportunities there are in this cooperation;
  • What possible concerns or challenges you have/see and how to address them;
  • How we could agree to continue: how do you see your involvement with this team/with ILRI comms at large…
It may take less than one hour and at the end of that conversation I think/hope we will have much clarified expectations towards one another.

In order to kick-start the conversation, here are some of the benefits that we see in your involvement in this team and in the wider ILRI Comms CoP:

Help with practical problems:
  • Possibility to find support more easily than in the past (formal link with other comms folks).
  • Load sharing: Getting support in areas that are not personal strengths (could be design, editing, strategy development...)
  • Having a support group for difficult moments with the rest of the thematic team (as and when), to rekindle the comms fire and to feel good about one's work
Decision support:
  • Decision support (= more negotiation power): If you are asked to take on tasks and you are not sure if you should, bringing CKM leadership into the conversation may help clarify things.
  • Having a go-to group to pick the brains of when in doubt, a natural peer review/peer assist/critical feedback group.
Connection, communication, coordination:
  • Ensuring one's work is better connected to that of ILRI at large - thus ensuring more visibility for one's work
  • Getting to know others' work, resources, ideas, questions etc.
  • Better connections thus quicker processing of specific tasks ensured by 'central/parachuted' (ie. non-embedded) comms folks
  • Common standards: If CKM staff are entitled to e.g. a training a year, you may be able to extend that to your own personal development plan.
Personal development:
  • Staying ahead of current developments in your discipline: The larger team learns about new trends in the field of comms and KM, being plugged in is a good way to stay up to date.
  • Career development: Being part of a larger network will increase visibility and open up doors. If your position runs out, you may be able to transition into the comms team or other comms positions in ILRI.

And here is what might be nice to be able to do with you:
  • Having the option to pick your brains too, to occasionally organise peer assists with you
  • Seeing you share your work on a regular basis to find out better what is possible to do together
  • Invite you for specific discussions that relate to your area of expertise
  • Find ways to use some of your good work and practices as embedded staff to influence central comms practices too

Hope you can make it and I look forward to hearing from you and chatting with you there and then,

Cheers,
Ewen


Conversation notes

(Quick and dirty)

  • (Fanos) Embedded comms staff and the rest of the team have been communicating and cooperating well together... The things that are listed are already happening... Not sure how we'll manage to work on the extra 10% etc. With ILRI comms there's some slow planning... The embedded comms work seems like additional work
  • (Evelyn) Opportunities are not clear... do we need to write some overview of tasks and see how we (embedded) can be supported? How can we better engage with the E&C/overall ILRI Comms team. It's clear how we work with P&C (e.g. publication, editing)... but this is a new team and we need to understand the core skills that E&C is offering...How is it going to happen when there's a need for E&C inputs...
  • (Ethel) It seems E&C takes care of internal comms. Internal comms naturally hosted in E&C.
  • (Dorine) How is E&C is organized? Who to contact?
  • (Muthoni) How E&C would like to work with embedded comms staff: Would be good to let them know that we are open, it's an open conversation... You can always explore opportunities with us...
  • (Ewen) How to reach us? Contact Angela / Muthoni in Nairobi (for events) and Ben (for collaboration), Tsehay/Ewen in Addis and Ewen for any unclear question or global activity (not in Nairobi)
  • (Fanos) No problem to join team meetings as and when it's relevant...
  • (Ben) The vision is that there is a (growing) community of comms people, it doesn't matter what program you're working on... It's a very permeable space...
  • (Evelyn) One of the ways to engage around events that we have and that we help each other in the co-creation of information, new ideas about how to document and facilitate... We'll be actively looking out for support from the team...
  • (Muthoni) Angie and Muthoni looking into FMCs and they could do with some support from embedded staff...
  • (Ethel) I'm seeing my role rather in line with A&A... but there are good opportunities to work with E&C though...

Action points

  • E&C team to develop the service package of our team to make it clearer what they can benefit from...
  • E&C team to get additional feedback on WIIFM
  • E&C team to update FAQs about E&C specific stuff