Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Engagement is Not Enough

On a recent flight I read "Engagement Is Not Enough You Need Passionate Employees to Achieve Your Dream" by Keith E. Ayers.

This truly is an outstanding book. I must admit for the first section, it took me a while to get into it, almost to the point of discontinuing it. Much of the first section dwells on how having employees that are not engaged are not good for a company -- duh!

It cited many statistical studies of how few employees are engaged and the damage it does for a company. Scary stuff.

In todays' turbulent times, employees are likely to be more engaged. They fear for their companies and know they need to go the extra mile. Fear is a very strong motivator. This is also a great time for companies to Topgrade - replace B players with A players (and usually the difference is just engagement between A and B players). And there will be a lot of very good people who need jobs because many larger companies reduce headcount based on only one dimension of what the person does or how they are. They lose the other golden attributes of their people.

The book calls heavily on some existing psychological theories like DiSC and different personality types.

It was not until Chapter 7 -- "Values -- The Missing Link" that I became truly inspired. I know for my own motivation if my values are aligned with my goals, I am unstoppable, so it should come at no surprise that the same is true of organizations. If people work for a company whose values are aligned with their own then clearly they will be highly engaged and unstoppable.

I am adding this to my list of "Must Read Books" for any business person.


At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I enjoy reading your book reviews, which is a shortcut to read the whole book instead. It is like listening to wise people's talk. For this bookreview, I agree that "if people work for a company whose values are aligned with their own then clearly they will be highly engaged and unstoppable." But in reality, it is not easy to motivate common employees to align their values with their company. How could you turn an engaged employee to a passionated employee?

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, many thanks for sharing your experience and allowing for comment. I enjoyed your presentation at the Strategic Capability Network meeting in Toronto earlier this month but didn't have an opportunity to thank you for your participation and sharing.

A client shared the TopGrading methodology with me, a little embarassing when the client is advising the consultant on new methodologies. The methodology is quite powerful and in the few times when I've used it, I am convinced it has "weeded out" the marginal or exaggerated applicants. For Recruiters, my experience has been it provides a repeatable process to identify top performers. Thanks for the reference to it and please keep the book suggestions coming.

Shimada Kambei


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