Engaging employees for change: new rules too?

by Steve Seager on November 30, 2010 . Views: 43

As you know I come in two flavours: strategy and communications director of Storywise and President Elect of the Netherlands chapter of the IABC – the International Association of Business Communicators.

Last Friday I donned my IABC hat and attended the IABC European and Middle East Leadership Institute in Covent Garden in London.

The keynote presentation was from John Smythe, director at ‘Engage for Change‘, a consultancy focused on helping corporations and public institutions engage their employees and leaders to drive performance.

Here’s a summary of the main points of his presentation:

  1. Employee engagement is a major factor in driving organisational performance
  2. Engagement with your job is not the same as engagement with your company
  3. The work situation has changed: portfolio careers have replaced cradle-to-grave careers
  4. Drivers of engagement are your business leader’s footprint, the organisation’s orientation and the worker’s role
  5. Information sharing is power, as opposed to information control
  6. A culture of distributed leadership enables performance
  7. Communication is not the same as engagement!
  8. There are 10 building blocks for engagement
  9. Leadership philosophy is the starting point, programme and process second
  10. All leaders, managers and supervisors are ‘chief engagement officers’
  11. Change interventions should flip the top down hierarchy
  12. Engagement should be created as an integral part of strategy, not as an exercise in itself

The full presentation is below.

What do you think?

Is this a useful model for matrix organisations? What about when (as our Danish IABC EME-LI participants pointed out) specific national culture predetermines a social, collaborative, participative workstyle? What about when an industry business model and processes are built upon a strict hierarchy? Is this still a useful model?

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