Leadership is Communication is Culture

Final_EIaconoSince graduating the MPC program at Ryerson, many of our alumni have found themselves using their skills and expertise to helping organizations. We caught up with Elena Iacono (MPC 2011), the founder of EPICOMM to see how she’s inspiring the workplace through New Comm Rules.

Q: Tell us about yourself!

Born and raised in Ottawa, I moved to Toronto in 2010 to pursue my Masters Degree.  Reflecting on my career and academic background, I believe that communication as an organizational function is a prime enabler, and I am passionate about helping people be as effective as possible when connecting with others.

Q: What is EPICOMM about?

I fundamentally believe leadership is communication is culture.

I started EPICOMM because I believe in an organizational culture where employees and leaders communicate with each other so well that distractions are eliminated, employees are motivated, and performance is enhanced to new heights. I am blogging, tweeting, sending out weekly newsletters and have launched a YouTube channel because I am so passionate about helping others be the best communicators they can be.

Employees, especially new generations like Gen Y, are absolutely counting on their leaders to engage, inspire, and motivate them. All of this starts the minute a leader speaks.  What leaders say and how they say it impacts how employees feel and businesses can get better with how communication is shaped, managed, measured.

Q: A few of our current MPC students have connected with you at EPICOMM’s New Comm Rules Bootcamp on April 4th, 2014. Tell us a bit about this event.

I decided to organize and host this 2-hour leadership communication session for two reasons.

One, I wanted leaders at all levels to realize that workplace landscapes have changed: Gen Y is rising in the ranks (and fast) and are incredible talent sources that require a very focused and tailored communication strategy.

Second, the need to be authentic when connecting with employees has never been greater. Leaders need to drop the ego and give themselves altruistically to their people. This starts by listening, coaching, turning off the noise and frequently being available for impromptu conversations.

I firmly believe that leaders hold the ability to change how they communicate with employees – it’s just a matter of being mindful and willing to prioritize communication as an integral corporate function.

Check out The Case of the Ego as one video that was an extension of my bootcamp. I also provided a top 10 list of New Comm Rules

that addressed what and how leaders can improve and enhance communication within their organization.

I can’t wait to hold another bootcamp and I’ll be sure to let MPC alumni know about it first!

Q: Do you think that there is value in connecting with current communication students (not only limited to MPC students)? Why or why not?

I actually can’t agree more with your question and in fact ask others to do the same. It is so incredibly important to stay connected with current communication students because they are the next generation talent of this profession.

I spoke at an IABC Toronto networking event a few weeks back and I was so inspired by the students who participated. I left the session feeling incredibly inspired and assured that the future of communication is alive and well.

Q: Any last words you want to share with the community?

Be consistent, be dependable, be true, and stay humble. These keys to success I believe, can be applied to both our professional and private life and are so important to keep in the forefront.

As communication professionals, we hold the power to shape how organizations are run, how people make decisions, how perceptions are shaped and how behavior driven. I’m proud of the work we do as professional communicators and am confident the future of our profession is alive and well.

To learn more about EPICOMM visit:

YouTube channel: Elena Iacono
Twitter: @4Epicomm
Website: www.epicomm.ca
Weekly newsletter: EPICOMM