Learning to communicate

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As a European association of national professional bodies, ELA provides a neutral forum where such ubiquitous matters can be addressed by our members and experience shared. One of the highlights of this year so far has been the ELA strategy workshop held in Brussels on March 23. Well attended, it provided a chance to look forward and develop a strategy.

It was no surprise that the themes emerging had a familiar ring. Relevance to the needs of professionals remains everybody’s priority, particularly in a world where busy professionals have less spare time than ever. Keeping abreast of change featured highly in our discussions. It is a particular concern for the more experienced professionals who should be especially aware of technical change, often outside their immediate field. We concentrated on solutions and it was valuable to share best practice and its application beyond national boundaries.

But it was the issue of communication that stood out. Notwithstanding the wider choice of media available today, good communication remains rooted in the determination to communicate. This is largely a matter of establishing the habit of communicating and developing good processes to support that habit.

But there is more to it than that. Most of us felt that the need for agility in our choices of media was underestimated. Some new media, such as pod casting, catch on quickly and can be identified with particular audiences. Yet traditional methods still have their place. The top priority to emerge from the workshop was undoubtedly robust and effective communication as the foundation for everything else.

Of course, not all the subjects discussed were so strategic in nature. But the outcomes will help ELA maintain its value to its members and its relevance to the cause of European logistics. Among other things, the results of the workshop will help the ELA board develop its strategic priorities for the next five years.

While I’m on the subject of communication, I should remind you that Eurolog 2006, hosted by ASLOG and to be held in Strasbourg on June 21-22, is fast approaching. This will be an excellent opportunity to consider topical issues and meet fellow professionals. I encourage you to consider attending. It’s not too late to register: full details are at www.elalog.org .

And finally, a reminder of the developing Bestlog project that I wrote about last month. Full details are on the project’s website, www.bestlog.org .

Graham A Ewer CB CBE , President ELA

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