Batman, Shakespeare, engagement perspective, Toby Elwin, blog

Engagement needs both context and perspective

Toby Elwin Blog Archive, Marketing, Organization Behavior 2 Comments

Shakespeare, Batman, Robin, engagement, Toby Elwin

Pentameter prank, a riddle deemed fair,
What’s this? Dynamic duo!
Heathens! Remove thine foul cur?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet … “, iambic pentameter aside, I appreciate Mr. Shakespeare’s point.

However, when I look at a word that is recently trending in a lot of companies and organizations, a word such as … oh, to engage, it seems to stink of some fetid cesspool.

Not quite the rose implied.

Seems the rose relies on context.

Context without perspective is allusion. Without context what is said rarely meets what is delivered.

The value of context relies on engagement.

Engagement defines how sweet that rose, by any other name, might smell.

Without context, or a target’s value proposition, the term varies dramatically, by audience and need:

  1. Employee Engagement – a heightened level of ownership where each employee wants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the organization as a whole.[1]
  2. Patient Engagement – the passion, pride, integrity, and confidence of a patient’s care experience with an organization.[2]
  3. Social Media Engagement – developing relationships with active involvement and becoming a part of existing communities or fostering a personal community of your own and the value you add to conversations relevant to you or your brand.[3]

Rule #1 in communication:  know your audience.

In each case move the word beyond jargon and into reality.

Level-set awareness before you develop, design, or roll out a strategy based on engagement.

Words create worlds.

The choice of our words are always interpreted from the other’s view.

Choose wisely and level-set the law of identity around engagement.

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Gallup

[3] SocialFresh.com

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Comments 2

  1. I like the word ‘engagement’ as it means so many things, all of which denote (for me) connectivity and collaboration. I work for a consulting company and in our industry ‘engagement’ means an assignment. I suspect the term used is not ‘assignment’ because that seems somewhat cold and reserved while ‘engagement’ implies closeness and joint effort.

    1. Words create powerful images, when we start taking words for granted we begin to assign and own our interpretations.

      Engagement seems a catch all for too many endeavors today.  I guess the endeavors are more half-baked than the word.  I like boiling the term to connectivity and collaboration, as you point out.

      Consulting and engagement, talent and engagement, patient and engagement, and social media and engagement are all around connectivity and collaboration, true, but the devil’s in the detail of each.

      Of course as a project manager you are all-too-familiar with the pesky details needed for a successful effort.

      Where, in your work, has engagement turned into a cliche?

      Thanks for dropping in again Shim, always appreciated. 

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