Thursday, April 12, 2018

Continuous Leadership Learning

The New Leadership Pulse  

Ready for the Relaunch 

In 2003 we started an experiment in learning - we called it the Leadership Pulse. The idea hatched at the University of Michigan (when I was on the faculty) to take the innovations we developed at eePulse, Inc. to a larger audience. 

In a partnership with the University of Michigan Executive Education program, we started doing quarterly pulses with the alumni who went through their programs. We blended two new ideas to make this offering unique and useful to people who contributed.

1) Personal diaries and reflective learning 

In most survey work, you participate and then wait a long time to get feedback. The person running the survey closes the survey, reviews the data, analyzes the data, and writes up a report. In 2003 (and still today) our eePulse technology had the unique feature of providing every individual survey taker with a personal report. We did this because we were the first company (that we found) to start using pulse technology with companies as frequently as weekly. What we quickly learned was that if you expect people to answer your questions frequently, then they need something in exchange, and we opted to provide new learning. Back in 1996 we developed personal reports for our survey participants; when surveys closed, rather than waiting around for a report, every respondent could log in and see their own scores vs. benchmark data. We provided information on how to use the data for their own development. 

2) Data on employee energy at work 

Also, in 1996 I started a large research study on employee energy. Thus, in addition to a series of other topics studied, in every pulse we collected data on employee energy. These series of studies helped us improve and continue to validate the work on energy. We found over the years that frequent measures of employee energy PREDICT important individual and organizational outcomes. Energy fluctuates a lot more than other attitudinal metrics, thus, studying variance and the gap between working energy and optimal energy provides key metrics for prediction and performance. 

Combine energy and reflective learning for leaders and you get Leadership Pulse 101. 

We continued the Leadership Pulse, trending energy and adding questions on several different themes. Over the years as my career changed, I moved the project to the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations (CEO). With this team the Leadership Pulse has evolved.

I put the overall body of work on hold for a couple of years while I took on a new job and took some time out to rethink and improve. 

In a few weeks you will get an email about the new Leadership Pulse, and I hope you join us in this new learning opportunity.  We're taking what we learned over the years and giving the Leadership Pulse an upgrade. 

We are building on the self or reflective learning, adding new technology including digital badges and we are focused on making the process more useful for leaders and soon-to-be leaders who want to improve their skills. 

We continue to work with the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations, and with that team of thought leaders we provide insights and contributions to help our members learn. As we continue, you will see other universities and thought leaders joining our team, and this overall team will provide better connections, new insights, and real-time and relevant learning. 

Join Leadership Pulse 201 - remodeled, rethought and moving learning forward. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Employee-Centric Engagement for 2018

If you are looking to upgrade, update or improve your employee engagement program in 2018, consider doing something radically new. 


We've been experimenting the last few years with a new approach to employee engagement that we call employee-centric engagement, and we are discovering that it is a much-needed add on to traditional employee engagement programs, and this approach does not eliminate the traditional work in engagement, but it enhances it in a new way that puts that employee at the center.

The idea came from some work that I did many years ago in the area of productivity gainsharing.  Through a series of studies I found that even though much attention was given to sharing wealth and calculating formulas to share the gains, it seemed like the real benefit from the programs was not coming from the money but from having employees in charge of generating ideas, validating ideas and presenting ideas for productivity improvement.

We took those ideas (which are core to many other programs used over the years) and combined them with the work we had been doing at eePulse on energy pulsing. The result was a unique model for putting employees and a team of ambassadors in charge of the energy pulsing process, and using the individual employee reflection, brainstorming and ideation tools - along with root cause analysis - to help move from learning to idea generation to idea implementation to strong ROI from change.

Managers are in the coaching role instead of struggling with interpretation of bits of data from surveys.

Employees work with ambassadors by reflecting on their own data, in their own energy pulsing reports. The employees and managers find ideas and do the work necessary to present a limited number of ideas to managers. They all work together on implementation.

The whole process engages everyone - managers no longer feel the survey is a secret performance appraisal method.  Employees feel very engaged.  Employees are learning from their own data. And ambassadors, who are people interested in learning more about management, thrive by being a role that helps everyone.

2018 - it's the year to put the employee in the middle of employee engagement.

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