What do we tell our children (about dirty politics)?

Did you feel like you needed to take a shower after watching  the recent debates? Or do you feel like you don’t want to mention the word ‘election’ at the dinner table for fear of dredging up unsavory topics?

‘Adults behaving badly’ might sum up what we have been witnessing these past few months.

I’ve tried to explain to young people who ask, that:

  • This is not how most grown-ups behave – you know, hurling around ugly epithets; using vulgarities, slurs…
  • Political campaigns are unfortunate war games people play, hence ‘battleground’ states, attack strategies.
  • In the 4-year gaps between the these ugly wars, try to not do as they do.
  • The phrase ‘anyone can become president’ is something we are no longer proud of.
  • Though Gallup holds that 75% of Americans identify with a Christian religion (Pew Research says 70.6%) there is nothing very Christian about this process

Aren’t you waiting for this spectacle to be over?

Engaging employees plugged into the social web

Thought I’ll feature part of a guest post I wrote for the Employee Factor, a blog about Employee Engagement.

Managers don’t need proof to tell them that someone who’s more engaged is much more productive. There is plenty of experiential and anecdotal evidence to support this. For those who like some empirical data there’s always the long-term tracking study –the Q12 study– by Gallup that serves as “a macro-level indicator’ of a healthy workforce.

I tend to look at this through a communications lens. So when studies make a case for engagement, I see it not simply as good management strategy, but as great communication strategy. When they refer to it as ‘maintaining a line of sight’ I see it as keeping people on the same page. They sound analogous, but they have key differences.

Maintaining employee line of sight (L-O-S) involves bringing clarity  between actions and outcomes. But it also means doing away with too much hierarchy, unlocking the holds on information, and also creating an attitude that welcomes suggestions for how employee goals can match corporate vision. Keeping those employees on the same page has deeper implications in a digitally enhanced workplace. Not just via emails and web conferences, but a willingness to open up two-way conversations. Line of sight in today’s workplace is not limited to being able to see ‘up and down the chain of command’ but sideways and diagonally –much like the connections of a social web.

Continued here