We have all seen Einstein’s quote about change.  He said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  This tells me we can’t dissolve a problem until we find a new way of thinking about it.  We must change our thinking first otherwise will resurface again later. 

What problem should we address that will make the most difference for American businesses today?  I want to help organizations dissolve the employee engagement problem.  Engaged employees have an emotional connection to work.  They voluntarily exert extra effort into their work.  They do this without being threatened, bribed or even asked.  To make us more competitive on the global stage we must improve our employee engagement.  Improvement in technology can help but it is not the full answer.  We must tap into every heart and mind of every employee in order to catch up to the Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans etc.  Our average engagement in the USA is around 26%.  That is a problem.

      If we are to follow Einstein’s advice, we must begin to think differently?  The fastest way to change your thinking is to change your language.  I have a suggestion for my Human Resources Management friends.  Change your name from Human Resource Management Department to Human Potential Leadership Department.

            When we look up the word resources in the dictionary we find a source of supply or a means of spending.  This definition suggests a limit or a finite amount.  Human Potential Leadership suggests unlimited supply.  The dictionary clarifies this with the words “possibility and development”.  The greatest sin a leader can commit is not allowing people to achieve their full potential.

            There can be three elements within the Human Potential Leadership paradigm:

Leadership of the Context
Management of Processes
Self-management by all the people

Leadership of the context means an environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential.  This environment has freedom and choice and encourages to self-management of employees’ own behavior.  This type of environment naturally rewards (not with money but with learning and intrinsic rewards) self-reliance, problem solving, and learning.  It demands a clear vision, aim and strategy for optimum action and faster decision making.  It avoids dependence on management for everyday decisions that are required to solve everyday type problems.

Management of processes means just that.  Notice I did not mention management of people.  Instead everyone is already naturally involved with managing their own processes and their own interactions within those processes.  This means everyone is clear about their hand offs to internal and external customers.  They know how to use quality improvement tools and they apply the tools every day to improve those hand offs.

Self-management refers to the creation of trust through consistent behavior.  This behavior is in alignment with natural principles and values.  It refers to emotional intelligence.  It means treating everyone with respect in every situation.  It means social responsibility and full transparency without negative consequences.  It means full integrity with everything.

This new language opens up all new possibilities.  It naturally sloughs off unnecessary ineffective policies such as the current dysfunctional performance appraisal process.  With self-management, leadership of the context, and management of process the current appraisal process is obsolete.  This new paradigm demands more sophisticated methods of interaction. 

Surely the Human Potential Leadership Department will be in a much better position than the Human Resource Department to improve employee engagement and to solve that lingering problem.

Wally Hauck is an EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT GEEK and a PREDICTABLE PERFORMANCE PUNDIT.  Wally is passionately obsessed with eliminating the current performance appraisal process because it creates long lasting dysfunctions and damage to trust, performance, motivation, engagement, and relationships.In 1983, while reading the book the Turning Point by Frijof Capra, Wally realized he had been taught flawed thinking his entire life.  The world of systems thinking and chaos theory resonated and he made a decision to never go back. From that day forward he vowed to share the insights with anyone and everyone.Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP. The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, established in 1980, is the speaking industry’s international measure of professional platform skill.  CSP is conferred throughout the International Federation for Professional Speakers only on those who have earned it by meeting strict criteria. Wally has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania; an MBA in Finance from Iona College; and earned his PhD in Organizational Leadership from Warren National University in 2008. Wally’s new book, The Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement, provides three basic principles of leadership that form the foundation of success for predictable performance improvement and employee engagement.
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