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The Fine Line Between Direction and Engagement – Part 1

on September 7, 2011
Resources Employee Engagement

I was recently talking with a client who is launching a new vision and strategy.  The vision isn’t new, but it hasn’t gained the necessary traction to focus the business and provide real meaning to the strategy.  The client said, “We need to take the words off the wall and embed them into our operations so people are inspired to execute our strategy.”

As many of our clients have realized, purpose leads to engagement, and engagement fosters execution.  An organization without an inspiring, operationally relevant vision is missing one of the key ingredients in getting employees actively working to build the future.

We brainstormed solutions for the barriers and challenges to the vision and strategy.  But one conundrum emerged that required more dialogue than the others.   Apparently, “faith in leadership” doesn’t score well on their employee survey.  This wasn’t surprising, as they’ve had turnover at the leadership level.  So leaders viewed the launch of the vision and strategy as an important opportunity to set the overall business direction.  They also knew the power of getting input on the strategies from people beyond the leadership.  Involvement is another important contributor to engagement and execution.

So, the question became, “How can we balance the need for leaders to establish their vision while gaining commitment from more employees?” The good news is there are a number of principles that can help guide leaders as they try to achieve this balance.

Stay tuned!  Next week’s blog will go into detail on these principles – defining current business reality, involving leaders are various levels, creating strategy ambassadors, and action planning at the team level.

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