Organizational Excellence

People and Process Improvement

Archive for November 2012

Got Vision? Tree Huggers, Unite!

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I really don’t consider myself an environmentalist nut. Yes, I am very aware of our global issues but who isn’t? Now and then my avocation (wind industry) leads me to information that is really hard to blow off, like this.

A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms

How aware are you of global warming? Think about your grandchildren-what will their world be like, if we only get 1-2 degrees warmer which is already about guaranteed? Don’t even read the projections for a more than 2 degree increase.

This is sobering to the nth degree. Read it, share it, wake up.

Now, for that engagement thing…when someone connects to a larger purpose their emotional connection therefore engagement levels ramps up dramatically. I’m lucky-I don’t even have to stretch to see my greater purpose. How about you?

Leaders and influencers-what things have you done, to help people connect to a greater purpose? How do you do it without sounding like a fringe evangelist?



Written by Craig

November 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Feeling Engaged-Thanks George

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George Mosley posted the following in the Employee Engagement Network’s  discussion forum. So many relevant points that it deserves reproducing here, followed by my reply.

Feeling Engaged

A while back, following the annual employee satisfaction survey, it struck me that conversations in our workplace were almost always focused on “why aren’t we engaged”. So, a few of us got together and talked about “why we are engaged”. We found we had the following feelings and attitudes in common.

  1. I enjoy what I do
    – The work I’m doing is interesting and challenging
    – I feel the work I do contributes to the success of the organisation
    – I feel that my expertise and talents are well matched to what I do
  2. I’m self-motivated
    – My self-motivation is acknowledged and honoured
  3. I’m curious about and aware of the various corporate activities and initiatives
  4. I’m interested in making a difference
  5. I feel my creative side is encouraged and supported
  6. I’m happy with my manager(s)
    – Supportive without getting in my way
    – Trust me to know what I’m doing and to know what needs to be done
    – Good behaviour model (an engaged manager –> engaged employees)
    – Comfortable social relationship
  7. I feel my input is welcomed by the corporation
  8. I’ve been happy with my growth and advancement opportunities

Our hope was that others might recognize their own feelings and attitudes (or absence thereof) in the list and find a starting point for personal change.

(my reply)

George, just a quick count…it appears there are about 38 key points embedded in you post! Not enough time to highlight all of them, so here’s just a few that jumped out at me.

  • The list is top-heavy on “feelings” and conspicuously excludes “things”.
  • It’s clear by the comments that engagement is highly personal as it is nurtured by individual values, or drivers, or whatever you want to call the stuff that makes each of us who we are and defines what we really, really need to succeed.
  • To be fully engaged people need to be given a personal reason to feel vested in their company.
  • This strengths-based leadership stuff has something to it!
  • Surveys, while they are dogged quite a bit for good reason, do have a secondary value-adding purpose: they spur dialog around the right things. If this stuff is water-cooler chatter at your company, George, it must be a pretty cool place to work!

Last…data is dandy, but anecdotal evidence often points to the really relevant stuff—the story behind the numbers. While comments take much longer to sift through and analyze, and the Board prefers black and white is / isn’t numbers, the effort is well worth it!

George, those comments you listed represent critical elements that are essential to engineering an environment that is capable of sustaining this weird life form we call high engagement. Develop a strategy focused on establishing those elements, and life is Good!

Written by Craig

November 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Engagement

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Connecting With Dusty

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I mentioned in the “Cipher” section of What Drives You?  that I always took extra steps to connect with “tough case” students in classes I was assigned to substitute teach in. Validation of that strategy succeeding came once again yesterday when I ran into “Dusty”. He smiled and said “hey, Mr. Cool Sub! How ya been?” It was good to see him, and we visited a while before moving on.

Dusty and I have some history between us. He remembered me, and I sure remembered him from over six years ago…..

Before my first day assigned to sub a week for Dusty’s class, I was warned about him by his regular teacher-that he was an especially surly, disruptive, troublesome student and I shouldn’t give him an inch. On down the standard list. I identified Dusty first thing, slouched down in his chain-drooping gothic black clothes and five piercings that I could see, scowling “don’t mess with me, I’m bad”.

Enough of that. Before class started, I walked along the rows of students and set the strategy in motion. Simply “hey Dusty, how’s it going?” as I passed his desk. No response beyond a dark stare, but none expected. He had his game face on, after all.

In the halls, I greeted him every time I saw him. Same thing every morning in the classroom. Toward the end of the week, he finally walked up to me before class. “You know what’s cool about you?” he said, looking me square in the eye. “You know my name. My other teachers don’t even care if I’m alive.”

How powerful is that?

Written by Craig

November 11, 2012 at 2:11 am