Populations across the globe, in geographical regions and countries, as well as, at the local, suburb and street level want more influence in government and corporate decision-making, particularly in matters that directly impact upon their financial security and daily lives. They want their voice to be heard!
Hearing, or not hearing, the voice of the community places the organisation in one of two categories:
The engagers or the enragers!
Governments and corporations that ignore this need are being harangued like never before – yet some of these institutions continue with the same old outmoded decision systems that exclude the community from the decision process – but stick them with the consequences.
When challenged, some governments and corporations often circle the wagons and sit out the storm.
Others are more subtle by directly ‘influencing’ the community conversation about the corporation.
Such behaviour camouflages the discontent, it does not engage!
What seems to be continually overlooked is that neither the public nor private sector organisation can survive without the support of the wider population. We see this around the globe today.
If history shows us anything, it is that engagers survive and prosper and enragers fail – sometimes spectacularly.
Who said: have your friends close and your enemies even closer! Better still, have no enemies!
Computer-based decision systems are so sophisticated now that communities from around the corner or from around the globe can be engaged in the very same decision process – and without leaving the comfort of their lounge. Thus, there is no impediment to engaging with one’s community.
How ‘engaged’ or ‘enraged’ is your client community? And, how do we measure it?
Local councils, for example, are required to survey their constituents each year on a range of measures. A rough model of the measures is presented in the figure below.
Our research suggests that a sense of engagement is predicated on the strategic alignment of the elements in the above model. Amongst other things, the community wants to see that fiscal integrity has prevailed and that their voice has been heard toward that end.
Our research also indicates that some research methodologies followed in surveying engagement may well benefit from a higher degree of methodological rigor. What’s more, those same findings suggest that engagement surveys need to be conducted over multiple years to not only identify trends, but to also to address the inbuilt ‘lag effect’.
So: Is your organisation an engager or an enrager? And, if the latter, how do you fix it?
Oh: and how did you measure that?