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  • Writer's pictureLata Hamilton

Engagement: The secret formula

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

When you're leading change - it's all about engagement. But like seriously, what does this even mean!?! And even more importantly, how do you get your team (and yourself!) engaged in the change? (yeah, that rhymes #winning).

Engagement is the natural buy in, motivation, and willingness of your folks to stay at your company and go above and beyond. But it's not as easy as just throwing a few bean bags into breakout zones and offering people great pay and benefits. When change comes along, these surface-level, extrinsic things aren't enough to combat the fear, anxiety and often disconnect between what leaders are saying and how teams are feeling.

So if engagement is the secret formula of successful Change Management, how do you create it successfully?

Enter: The Engagement Formula.

Change Vision x Personal Vision

The Change Vision and the Personal Vision with a little x in between that means they multiply. So one without the other, leaves you with 0 (arithmetic's a bitch, ain't it?).

Let us learn more...

The Change Vision is a compelling vision of the future of the team or company. It's meant to be shared by everyone involved, so it needs to be inspiring and motivating, written with collective "we" and "us" and "our" language, and ideally created by a group (usually leaders, but a cross-section of the organisation is even better). Companies and projects are getting better at building Change Visions, but still have a long way to go ("future-focused" is not as inspiring as you think... like, what does that even mean?).

The Personal Vision, however, is the part of the equation that is often completely forgotten. This is the heart-gushing vision of the future for the individual. It's the personal impact, the What's In It For Me?, and it often goes beyond just the change itself to encompass the holistic experience of that person in work and personal life. In short - it's everything. It too needs to be inspiring and motivating. But it's personal, not shared. It's "me" and "my" language, not collective. And it needs to be created by each and every individual from their own perspective and lived experience, not by a project team that then promotes a cookie-cutter "personal vision" to hundreds or thousands of people. Because every person is different, with different needs, values, drivers and dreams. And it's not just for team members - middle managers and senior leaders should all have their own Personal Vision, too, when change comes knocking on their door.

When the Change Vision and the Personal Vision are aligned at least 75-80%, you've got engagement. When they aren't, you've got resistance. But because we rarely provide a channel or platform for our leaders and teams to craft their own Personal Vision, we don't realise how badly we're doing at The Engagement Formula. Remember - Change Vision x 0 = 0 (thank you, Year 5 Maths class).

So think now on a recent change you led or experienced. Did you have a Change Vision? Did you provide the opportunity for a Personal Vision? And what was the result?

I'm Lata Hamilton - the Founder & CEO of Passion Pioneers, a Change Management consultancy specialising in digital transformation, operating model changes, and new ways of working and leadership.

Grab my free Creative Launch Ideas Guide with 53 ways to bring your next Change and Transformation to life - download it here.

And if you'd like my help with your next change or building leadership capability for your team, get in touch with me here.


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