the blog Synergy

Monday, June 12, 2006

Personal Engagement Trumps Technology

Where technology is an enabler, personal engagement is the killer app! People want to feel connected to their employer. People want to feel like they are contributing. People want to feel valued. This can't be acheived with an email message. This requires personal engagement.

What happened to Management By Walking Around? Wasn't this like super hot a while back? THE THING TO DO? Did it stop working? Or has the flattening of our organizations and our obsession with doing MORE WITH LESS squeezed all the walking around time out of the workweek?

Remember when PCs were first introduced into the workplace. Didn't someone say with the implementation of this technology we would have more free time than we would know what to do with? That didn't happen. The PC didn't enable our managers to do more walking around, it just enabled them to pare their workforces down.

And now we send emails to people who sit 10 feet away. Once upon a time, one could look around the room and see his co-workers and wave, nod, wink, throw pencils at the back of their heads, whatever. Not now. Cubetronics killed that. The blue-gray fabrications were erected and the emailing commenced.

When was the last time you even saw a No. 2 pencil?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-technology, computers, email, etc... That's how I make my living. And processes and programs (however you spell the word) are good things. I happen to be a process improvement guy myself. But neither technology nor process can take the place of personal engagement.

Sure, the Web 2.0 thing is super cool. I love it! I talk about it almost everyday at work. But when it comes to people management, no platform, no matter how cool and efficient, is going to make people feel warm and fuzzy about coming to work. It won't make them work harder and it won't make them work longer. And when the company across the street offers them seventy-five cents more an hour, they will take the money and run.


  • At 1:53 AM, Blogger Trevor Gay said…

    Great post Troy. I call it 'emotional connection.'

    When there is no 'emotional connection' you get very clinical, cold relationships. I love modern technology and see it as the the vehicle to create the relationship in the first place but there has to be an emotional connection to enusre it carries on and flourishes.


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