Browsing articles from "May, 2015"
May 1, 2015

Leadership, Communication, and Engagement: How Connected Are They?

Last year, I was interviewed for a paper the Hay Group prepared regarding mega trends and engagement, which if you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend you do because it’s really insightful and well done.

For my part in the paper, I addressed the role of organizational change, how employee engagement gives you insight into the agility of your organization, and how receptive people are to change. As I’ve mentioned before, we made a lot of changes while I was with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), and we started to see how people were responding to the changes based on how positive they were feeling about the organization.

Through this work, I connected with Ben Whitter, who leads the people and organizational development department at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China (UNNC). He reached out to me so we could talk about my experiences as well as the work he was doing at UNNC. Our goal…to go on a culture change journey.

Using those initial discussions as a baseline, we learned we had similar thinking in the organizational development space, particularly around how connected leadership, engagement, and communications are to organizational effectiveness. Ben suggested that there’s a lot of opportunity for fresh thinking and thought leadership in these areas in the Asian markets, and that’s a space that UNNC wants to investigate.

That said, the university graciously flew me to China to talk about some of these things. The result is something very interesting that we think will be a new way of approaching organizational development. First up is a three-in-one assessment that we jointly developed which will explore, integrate, and evaluate the intersection of leadership, engagement, and internal communication within organizations — all through one survey.

UNNC wants to pilot the survey in early June to gather benchmark data and validate the assessment, so they’ve partnered with the ICLC (Internal Communications Leadership Consortium) to offer a few organizations the opportunity to participate in the pilot free of charge. If you’re interested, please attend our upcoming webinar on May 6 to learn more.

In advance of that, I’m interested in hearing from you about the connection you are seeing between leadership, engagement, and communication. How strong do you think the linkage is among these three areas? What is the role of the communications team in forging the right connections to manage across these linkages in organizations? Do you know of any good models that describe this connection?

Below are some pictures from my time in China:

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