Explorer Treasure Map TWO-EEN and More Zingers

In Much Ado About Nothing, I proposed that we need to think less and do more in the way of engagement. Maybe it would help if there was an “Engagement Fieldbook” much like Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. The engagement fieldbook, like Senge’s, would offer real-world validated ways to actually implement engagement theories and concepts.

I’ve been an off-and-on regular at the Employee Engagement Network for several years now, and have gotten fairly familiar with host David Zinger’s work on engagement, especially his pyramid model.

Opinion: the resource capacity of the EEN and its community is highly under-leveraged by the over 6000 practitioners who have been loosely brought together. I’ve often challenged why community members don’t engage more in the numerous discussions and groups there.

The pyramid link above connects to a series of blogs by David exploring the pyramid. Major personal “aha”… right here is the closest thing to a “fieldbook” that David seems to be even remotely interested in putting out there for us. And it’s really good stuff! So along comes a second opinion that contradicts the first: while host David has committed himself to giving us an amazing resource, he simply wants us to waggle. If you’ve taken a deep dive into beekeeper David’s world of bees you understand what I’m referencing. Have you checked out Waggle While You Work or the original Waggle?

Some time ago, when the EEN community was kicking around the notion of rallying around a shared goal of 20% increase in global engagement by 2020, I proposed to David that maybe we needed a structure with focused sub-groups and a shared vision / values etc much like Engage for Success ended up doing a few years later. David resisted that notion, and I think I’m finally getting it. I was proposing a very non-waggly action.

The UK’s Engage for Success is by comparison highly structured around the MacLeod Report’s four enablers, with several sub groups and official white papers et al.(Here’s another treasure map, this one for the UK’s Engage for Success) David is just providing a very large playground with no fence around it. Or to stay consistent with David’s work, he is content to let the bees do what bees do.

So…what think you, David? Am I on to you? And what think you, engagement explorers? Which approach is “best”?

My opinion for the record, if we’re keeping one…”yes”.





2 thoughts on “Explorer Treasure Map TWO-EEN and More Zingers

  1. David Zinger

    Hi Craig:
    Yes, I think you are on to me. I love the image of a very large playground. I remember the old statement about how do you contain a raging bull….”you give him a very large field.” I am more about nudges, hints, and small bets while constantly building the hive to feed the bees and pollinate the flowers. Yes, I think the Engage for Success movement has built the structure for the UK and has a lot of people directly involved and raised money to keep the movement going. I am now experimenting (isn’t all of life an experiment) with a community of organizations. Will see where this takes me. As my youngest son used to say when he was about 8 and was preparing to go into goal for a hockey game, “I’ll see what I can do.” I loved that statement as it was open and not falsely positive and even a little detached from outcome while trying his best. I think many of us would be more engaged each day if we just started off by thinking or saying, “I’ll see what I (we) can do.”

  2. Craig Post author

    I feel like busting out in a rousing chorus of “I Saw the Light” David. A lot makes sense now.
    You brought back a somewhat painful but lasting lesson about “raging bull, large field”. I was 6 years old. My older brother, sister and I were crossing a large field that we discovered was home to a raging bull-a real one, and he did not like us getting that close to his heifers. So he took out after us. The barbed wire was almost too far away, I ducked through pretty much just in time and gashed the top of my head on the wire. So my older brother and sister got in trouble and I got coddled. They remind me still that “trouble / coddle” mix was pretty much standard procedure.
    The relevant lesson here though-what if the field is too large and the bull too raging?

    Community…I’m looking forward to seeing whether it’s hive-based or EfS-style structured. Pretty much a no-brainer, but I’ll be there!

    And yet another memory triggered by your son’s hockey experience. I was the same age and even though I was pretty good on the ice I was the designated keeper. Back then I was ‘long’ for my age and was the only one who could keep our one set of gear on. Sigh.

    Thank you!


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