As part of our Socialized Purchasing Series I am pleased to welcome to the Procurement Insights blog guest contributor Randall Craig, who shares with us his thoughts about truthful engagement practices within an enterprise.
Randall’s post resonated with me on a number of levels particularly in terms of utilizing social media to effectively engage employees within the enterprise. Specifically, it reminded me of what has been referred to as the “Big Idea” in Arthur L. Jue’s book Social Media At Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organizational Performance, in which the author states:
“Within organizations, social media demonstrates a new reality– the reality that employees are co-creators of organizational success rather than servants of the company who simply salute and take orders.”
There is no question that people think differently from each other. Proof points abound: people wear different clothes, choose different hairstyles, hold different jobs, and prefer different foods. Yet, whenever we write a report, make a presentation, or write a blog post, we often feel challenged by people who voice different opinions. Some companies are so concerned about this, that they turn off the ability for others to post comments, “vote” on the post quality, or interact in any way.
Typically, this (relatively cowardly) attitude is a result of past momentum, where a command-and-control authority would proclaim, and all others would scurry to comply. Or it is a result of stiff corporate communication policies that seek to foster “group think” under the guise of standard corporate messaging. Allowing different thinking opens the possibility for respectful, constructive, and open debate. And this results in a more refined – and creative – end result. More importantly, it results in engagement.
This week’s action plan: Choose an engagement that is most important to you: employee engagement, customer engagement, volunteer engagement, or donor engagement. Then find a way to open up the debate on something that matters to them. Not only will you learn something through the exchange, but you’ll eventually prove that engagement delivers results.
Post Script: While Social Media is an obvious candidate as a venue for exploration and debate, opportunities to engage are often most effective in the real world: team meetings, one-on-ones, lunch-and-learns, etc.
Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.
Randall Craig has founded several successful start-ups (including Pinetree Advisors) held a long-time position at a “big-four” consulting firm, and was an executive at an American public company. He has served over 100 clients, including international financial institutions, public companies, non-profit associations, government, and a number of entrepreneurs.
He lectures at the Schulich School of Business, has a column on Monster, and is the host of Professionally Speaking TV. Randall is the author of six books (Leaving the Mother Ship, The Working Resume, the best-seller Personal Balance Sheet, the Online PR and Social Media series, and Social Media for Business: 101 ways to grow your business without wasting your time). He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, and has been profiled in all national media.
Randall served as 2010 Toronto Chapter President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and has earned an HBA, CFA, MBA, CMC, and a Black Belt in karate.