engagement

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Thoughts from the HCI Engagement and Retention Conference in Chicago


Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in two panel discussions at the Human Capital Institute’s Engagement and Retention Conference in Chicago.

I moderated the first panel on behalf of my friends at the Management Innovation Exchange. This panel featured the winners of the first Human Capital M-Prize: Lisa Haneberg of MPI, Joris Luijke of Atlassian, and Doug Solomon of IDEO. The Human Capital M-Prize competition, run jointly by HCI and the MIX, was designed to find bold ideas, stories, and innovations highlighting ways to unleash the passion of people within our organizations.

Lisa began by presenting her winning hack, entitled Start with a better question to create a better talent management system: the Talent Management Cloud. She made the case that the “old kind” model where engagement and retention are owned within the HR function is fundamentally broken. Because there are so many factors well beyond the control and influence of HR alone, responsibility for talent management must be the responsibility of the whole organization. I’d encourage you to go take a look at Lisa’s winning hack if you are interested in learning how to put her more holistic model into practice.

Next, Joris, who came in all the way from Sydney for the conference, took on the performance review– something he described (accurately in my book) as universally hated by both employees and HR people around the world. Joris shared his story of how Atlassian designed a kinder, gentler, more humane performance review system and rolled it out within the organization. You can read Joris’s original story Atlassian’s Big Experiment with Performance Reviews on the MIX.

Finally, since I make no secret of being an IDEO fanboy, I was excited to share the stage with Doug Solomon, CTO of IDEO. Doug shared his winning story, entitled The Tube: IDEO Builds a Collaboration System That Inspires Through Passion. Frustrated by so-called collaboration systems that IDEO found desperately lacking, they took on the challenge of designing their own, using a model based on facilitating person-to-person interaction more akin to Facebook than your typical knowledgebase or database-driven collaboration system. Doug also shared that a company called Moxiesoft has taken The Tube and turned it into a product, which I can’t wait to go check out.

At the end of the session HCI announced a new M-Prize, which will run from now through December 9th. This M-Prize is called “Encouraging the Gift of Leadership” and will be an effort to discover innovative ideas for how we can stimulate and support the development of “natural” hierarchies, where influence comes from the ability to lead, rather than from positional power within organizations. Have a great idea? You should go enter it on the MIX.

Later that afternoon, I participated in another panel where Katie Ratkiewicz of HCI shared the results of a recent survey regarding the relationship between career development efforts within organizations and overall employee engagement. I was joined on the panel by Stuart Crabb, Head of Learning and Development at Facebook, Russell Lobsenz, Director of Talent Development at Orbitz, and Cathy Welsh, SVP of Leadership Consulting at Lee Hecht Harrison.

I was particularly interested to hear Stuart’s comments regarding Facebook’s approach to career development. Basically, his thinking is that career development is primarily the employee’s responsibility (not the company’s) to drive, something that I expect was fairly controversial to many in the room (judging from the data shared in the survey), but which I couldn’t agree with more fully.

While I was excited to hear him say it out loud (because I wasn’t sure whether I’d be driven from the room tarred and feathered if I’d done it on my own), I did acknowledge that there were prerequisites for an approach where employees are accountable for their own career development to work. In my view, there has to be an entrepreneurial culture in place in the organization where employees have the freedom to explore new opportunities. I certainly felt we had those sort of opportunities while I was at Red Hat and it sounds like there is a culture based on freedom and personal accountability at Facebook as well.

I want to thank my new friends at the Human Capital Institute for a great day and some wonderful hospitality. Also thanks to my friends in the MIX community and especially Lisa, Joris, and Doug for participating on the panel. I’ll see all of you again soon!

An interview about communities of passion, the MIX, and HCI


The other day, Peter Clayton of Total Picture Radio interviewed me in preparation for the panel I’ll me moderating at the HCI Engagement and Retention Conference in Chicago in July.

We talked about the Management Innovation Exchange and I shared some ideas from the winning hacks and stories of the folks that will be on the panel: Lisa Haneberg, Joris Luijke, and Doug Solomon. In addition, we talked more broadly about communities of passion, employee engagement, and social media, among other things.

You can listen to the podcast here.

A State of the Union address delivered the open source way?


This evening, United States President Barack Obama will be delivering the annual State of the Union address at 9pm EST (if you want to learn more about the tradition of the State of the Union address in the United States, the White House has put together a nice video about the history and making of it here).

The president’s staff is trying out an interesting concept during tonight’s address. Here is an excerpt from an email sent out this afternoon with the details:

This year we’re trying something new.  As President Obama addresses the Nation, we’ll offer a companion stream of visual aids, including charts and quick stats about what’s happening in the country.  You can view this feature at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.

Immediately following the speech, stay tuned for our live Open for Questions event with policy experts from the White House answering your questions about key issues in the speech.

They’ve branded the event with the slogan “Watch & Engage” and have planned a whole week of events where citizens can participate in interactive sessions with government officials including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebellus, and many others.

I’ll be interested to see how this plays out. Over the past two years, I’ve been excited to see many attempts within the US government to increase transparency, improve sharing of information, and create better forums for citizen collaboration. I’ve also seen examples where transparency, openness, and engagement are more spin than substance.

Which will this be? I’ll have to stay by my computer tonight and find out. If you decide to do the same, please feel free to share your experiences and opinions.

[This article originally appeared on opensource.com]

Are you an expert in building communities? Prove it.


Over the past few months, I’ve started moonlighting as a contributor on the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX), which we’ve featured regularly on opensource.com. My posts on the MIX focus on how to enable communities of passion in and around organizations.

A few months ago, the MIX announced a new contest, the Human Capital M-Prize, which is looking for the best ideas on how to unleash passion in our organizations.

Since this particular challenge is right in my stomping ground on the MIX, and because many people who regularly read and contribute to opensource.com probably know better how to enable communities of passion than almost anyone else in the world, I thought I should highlight the contest in the hopes that some of you might enter.

Details? From the MIX website:

The MIX and HCI are looking for the boldest thinking, most powerfully-developed vision, and the most cleverly-designed experiments for unleashing passion in our organizations. What is your bold new idea or radical solution to the lack of engagement and passion in our workforce? What game-changing story or hack can transform employees everywhere into more engaged, motivated and productive contributors?

If you have a story or hack you think might fit, go here to learn more or enter the contest.

The deadline for entries is January 20th—only about two weeks away.

The grand prize winner will get a chance to present their story or hack to a global audience at the HCI Human Capital Summit in Atlanta in March, and there are other interesting prizes as well. So if this sounds compelling to you, get on over to the MIX and submit your entry.

Make our community of passion at opensource.com proud and let’s show these future-of-management-types that we open source folks know a thing or two about building community.

Quit marketing now tip #1: default to personal communication


Ah, poor marketing.

It has definitely been a rough patch for marketing the last few years. From those predicting that [fashionable term X] is the “new” marketing (social media! engagement! community-building! customer experience! design! communications!) to those predicting its outright demise, there are a lot of people looking past marketing to whatever comes next.

It's hard for me to say I'm sorry for putting a picture of Chicago in this blog post. I just want you to know.

For many of us, marketing is what we know. We’ve been practicing marketing so long, it is, to paraphrase Chicago (yes, I just did that), a “hard habit to break.”

So if you’ve been tearfully exclaiming, “I wish I knew how to quit you, marketing!” I come bearing hope. What follows is the first in a series of things you can do right now to break marketing’s hold on you. Quitting has to start somewhere. It might as well be here.

First, a short history:

In the beginning, communications were personal. I’m sure it all started when Og was sitting in the cave talking to Grog about his new stone arrowhead design, responding to Grog’s questions and telling stories about all of the animals he had killed with the new arrowhead (brand positioning: lighter design, so you can throw farther, kill bigger, and feed your clan better).

Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution, and all of the sudden we humans were creating goods and services that could be delivered to many more people at once than ever before. While this was fantastic, and made a lot of people a lot of money, the downside was that we could no longer communicate the benefits of the goods we were making to each person individually.

So we developed new ways of communicating to many people at once—mass communications. Along the way, the idea of marketing was born (fun fact: a telegraph was used for mass unsolicited spam as early as 1864!).

And all was awesome. For about 100 years or so.

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Community-building tip: surprise is the opposite of engagement


In the interview with Chris Blizzard I posted last week, near the end of the article Chris attributes a phrase to Mozilla CEO John Lilly:

“Surprise is the opposite of engagement.”

This may be one of the most simple, brilliant things I have ever heard someone say when it comes to creating engaged, active communities.

When we talk about building communities the open source way, we often mention transparency and openness as critical elements of any community strategy. But when I saw this quote, it reminded me why transparency and openness are so important.

When we are open with people, we avoid surprising them. We keep them in the loop.

Nothing kills someone’s desire to be an active contributor in a community more than when they feel like they’ve been blindsided. By a decision. By an announcement. By the introduction of a new community member.

Few things help a community get stronger faster than simply engaging community members every step of the way. Asking them for input first. Ensuring they are “in the know.”

When thinking about the community you are trying to create, maybe start asking yourself questions like:

[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]

Gary Hamel: Open Source is one of the greatest management innovations of the 21st century


My colleague John Adams, reporting from the World Business Forum in New York, wrote on Twitter yesterday that during his speech, management guru Gary Hamel called open source one of the greatest management innovations of the 21st century (coverage of Gary’s speech here and here).

Gary_Hamel

Management guru Gary Hamel

I love it. Gary Hamel is a hero of mine, and many consider him one of the greatest business minds on the planet. I’ve written about him, well, too much (start here, here, and here), and I follow him via his website, his non-profit called MLab, and his Wall Street Journal blog.

I knew Gary was familiar with open source after reading his book The Future of Management (one of the top ten books behind Dark Matter Matters). He spends five pages (205-210 in the hardcover) discussing open source and at one point says the following:

The success of the open source software movement is the single most dramatic example of how an opt-in engagement model can mobilize human effort on a grand scale… It’s little wonder that the success of open source has left a lot of senior executives slack-jawed. After all, it’s tough for managers to understand a production process that doesn’t rely on managers.

Here’s his analysis of why the model works so well:

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