I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in on this engagement thing before it got so “hip”. Back in the mid-90’s I had the opportunity to be highly involved in Gallup’s Q-12 and Blessing White’s Managing Personal Growth. They hit a nerve and I was hooked.
I’m a practitioner and an avid student who devours all things engagement-related. And that’s turned into a lot of “things”…what I thought was a voracious appetite is being stretched to limits I didn’t know I had.
What I’m beginning to wonder: are we working way too hard at all of this?
We’re tied ourselves up in a long succession of Gordian knots of analysis and details and definition and measurement. Much Ado About Nothing! We know what’s right, we know what people need, we know the organizational and social impacts.
You want data? We’ve got data! (proposed: develop a compendium of the endless studies and findings)
Need specific to-do’s? (proposed: develop an Engagement Field Book: different ways high engagement levers have been deployed much like Senge did with The Fifth Discipline).
Need cost justification? Of all the things we’ve found that lead to higher levels of engagement therefore enhanced results, how much of it is rock-the-boat radical? More importantly, how much of it cost-prohibitive? Isn’t it pretty much straight-up good leadership tempered by common sense?
Studies and research have validated the points, and further studies and research have re-validated the validations …this is the right thing to do. How much data, cost justification and “proof” do we need? What part don’t we get?
What’s in our way? (proposed: identify specific barriers and objections encountered by practitioners, and identify real-world resolutions).
Here’s Alexander the Great’s mighty sword: do more, think less. Knots in shards at our feet.
Just Do It!