Zinger’s WILD Vision of Employee Engagement

A WILD Vision
Here is the first iteration of a WILD 20/20 Vision I see for employee engagement.
To foster a 20% global increase
in employee engagement
by the year 2020.

Can you spell vision, W-I-L-D? A WILD vision is composed of the letters in WILD to guide the formulation and development of the vision. A WILD vision is similar and different to a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

A BHAG:

  • is both clear and compelling
  • serves as unifying focal point of effort
  • acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit
  • creates a clear finish line

From BHAG to WILD. Why change the name and focus if they share much in common? I believe WILD gets at the criteria for a vision as opposed to a label for a goal. WILD is more about a vision than a goal as many people assert that a BHAG does not necessarily foster action and movement. Read Bob Sutton’s, Hey Boss — Enough with the Big, Hairy Goals.

Wild Engagement. A wild vision can be used for many endeavors but I specifically created it with employee engagement in mind. I think we need to go wild with employee engagement to stop and reverse the recent rapid decline in engagement and to ensure that work works for everyone.

Here is a quick overview of WILD:

W stands for Woolly and Wow.  A wild vision is simply that, wild. It is not tamed or caged with specific SMART objectives at the early stage.  It is  woolly (a little bit like big and hairy). A wild vision needs to have room to roam and freedom to evolve. A wild vision has a good dash of what Tom Peter’s would refer to as wow. This wild vision will be achieved through community not through proclamations of one voice or the work of a single organization. We may not need to howl but we will need to come together and I believe the 3000 member Employee Engagement Network has the potential to be the start of that community.

I stands for Intentional, Improvised, and Iterations. I prefer, especially at the early stages of a vision to work with intentions over goals. The vision may be improvised and changed and it will go through different iterations as a community or organizations works with it. For example, a major challenge faced by this type of vision will be how to measure a 20%  increase and how to work with so many different approaches and methods of engagement. Each consulting company has a different definition and approach, the academic community is looking at engagement through a variety of lenses and each member of the Employee Engagement Network would probably offer you a different view or version of employee engagement. The advantage is that there are many people already working on this and we have a variety of measures and previous measurements of engagement.

L stands for Lived with Love. A wild vision is both lived and loved. Lived in that it resides within and between people. The vision is not for posting on a wall and it is not a shallow demonstration of faith. Employee engagement is not a problem to be solved, it is an experience to be lived and we must work together to make this experience come alive for the benefit of all. The vision is also loved in that people care about the vision. I have been tremendously influenced by Erich Fromm’s view of love requiring discipline, concentration, and patience. Certainly a 20% increase in employee engagement by 2020 will require all three of these practices outlined in the Art of Loving and hopefully lived within and through the employee engagement community.

D stands for Declared and Dedication. A wild vision needs to be declared and dedication will be involved in sustaining this march towards more engagement over the next 9 years. Perhaps we will need to co-create a declaration of employee engagement and to create a forum and method to express our dedication and gumption to turn employee engagement around.

Are you ready to go WILD for employee engagement?

Future Post: The Benefits of Going WILD for Employee Engagement. The potential global economic benefit from a 20% increase in employee engagement could be well over $100 Billion each year. This does not include all the other social, organizational, personal, and community benefits from higher levels of engagement.

2 Responses to Zinger’s WILD Vision of Employee Engagement

  1. Terrence Seamon September 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    David,
    You are clearly a WILDman when it comes to employee engagement!
    Terry

  2. David Zinger September 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I hope many of us will go wild for an increase in employee engagement.