Michael Grant

Marketing & Communications Director, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Opening Keynote: Four Keys to Earning Your Creative Freedom

As communicators, we long for the creative freedom to execute the brilliant ideas we have and even some of the half-baked ones too. Leading a small communications team in the not-for-profit sector, I’m all too familiar with operating in an industry not known for its creative risk taking. Yet, my plucky communications team has garnered nine IABC Gold Quills in recent years, executing creative ideas from an animated web series to sending custom designed pocket protectors to Canadian celebrities. The freedom to take on such projects didn’t come overnight and earning the trust and respect from senior leadership has been a process. Learn how the communications team has carved out their creative freedom and earned the right to take calculated risks, using their own Gold Quill winning projects as case studies.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to push creative boundaries in a risk adverse culture
  • Examine how to increase your influence within the organization by demonstrating success
  • Learn why the language you use with leadership is important to building credibility
  • Discuss how to gain leadership’s trust and maintain that key relationship


Michael Grant is the director of marketing and communications at the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario. He has worked in marketing and communications in the healthcare and education industries for the past 15 years. Having spent his career in the not-for-profit sector, Michael is used to finding creative solutions that do not require big budgets. He and his team have developed and executed multiple Gold Quill Award-winning projects.