EEA Pulse (Sep/Oct 2010)
A new Curriculum and Certification program for the emerging field of Enterprise Engagement was announced at the Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo & Conference at the Doral Arrowwood, Rye Brook, NY in June.
The next step in the program’s development is a series of virtual meetings to be held on Oct. 18 and Dec. 6 in conjunction with the Russ Berrie Institute of Sales at the Cotsakos College of Business at William Paterson University, in Wayne, NJ.
The initiative is being developed by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and directed by an Executive Advisory Board composed of management in all areas and levels of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Members include:
- Don Peppers, Founding Partner, Peppers & Rogers Group
- Claire Howells, Vice President, Engagement, Zions Bancorporation
- Allan Schweyer, EEA Chair and Founding Partner, Center for Human Capital Innovation at TMgov.org
- Melanie Lewis, Director of Sales Engagement, AstraZeneca US
- Beth Frechette, Manager, Employee Engagement Center of Excellence, Pratt & Whitney
- Bruce Bolger, Managing Director, Enterprise Engagement Alliance
Skills and Framework
The goals of the Curriculum and Certification program are to provide individuals and organizations with the skills and framework essential to profiting from engagement over time. “The return-on-investment of Enterprise Engagement is based on understanding the inter-relationship of engagement across all audiences – internally and externally,” says Allan Schweyer, EEA Chairman.
A critical element to the Curriculum development is the contribution of the Advisory Board and a number of “Delphi Panels” that are currently being assembled. The collaboration will be virtual, in that meetings will occur online and will be composed of leading experts in the fields of marketing, management, and finance, representing, practitioners, professional services providers and academic advisors. Both Advisory Board members and Delphi Panelists will participate in the same virtual meetings on Oct. 18 and Dec. 6 at William Paterson University.
These two days of virtual meetings will be produced at the Russ Berrie Institute of Sales for those who choose to attend in person. The collaborative process will be used to identify the outline for the Curriculum and Certification program by building a consensus around the key issues that have to be addressed at the strategic and tactical level. Advisory Board members and Delphi Panelists will be invited to attend as many sessions as they wish over the course of the two days, either attending on-site at the college or virtually via a Webinar. Curriculum topics covered include:
- Audiences – customers, channel partners, employees, vendors, communities
- Strategic Issues – fostering alignment across the organization
- Measures and Economics
- Communications (face-to-face, digital, print, three-dimensional)
- Rewards and Recognition
- Customer Loyalty
The resulting formal Curriculum and Certification will be tested at the 2011 Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo & Conference at the Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook, NY.
A System of Benchmarks
The Certification program is designed to provide organizations with a framework they can use to objectively evaluate their current practices, implement more effective practices and measure the results. “Certification will provide organizations with a system of benchmarks they can use to implement and profit from an engagement strategy in a measurable way,” says Don Peppers, Co-chair of the Executive Advisory Board. “Potentially, requirements for this Certification process can be met in part by successful participation in certification programs in other areas of engagement. We plan to design the Curriculum and Certification process so that engagement and consulting companies can use it to help train and benchmark their clients, and through their work help continually improve it.”
The goal is to create a formal “People First” Certification for corporations that not only are the best places to work, but also the best companies to do business with. This would be of use to companies seeking an “ISO” type system to evaluate their engagement practices and, if they qualify, to use this designation in their marketing to customers and potential employees.
The People First Certification isn’t designed to replace other certifications. Individuals will earn levels of designation based on their participation, not only in the EEA program, but in other approved programs such as those from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Recognition Professionals International (RPI), as well as certification programs offered by PPAI, IMA, AMA, ASAE, ISPI and others.
The long-range goal is for publicly held companies that qualify to be placed into a stock index that will be publicized on the EEA website as well, with the eventual goal of actually working to create an investment fund based on those companies.
“There is extensive research on the link between engagement and financial results,” explains Claire Howells, Executive Advisory Board Co-chair. “Now the goal is to give organizations the tools to make it happen, and that includes both people and processes. This initiative is designed to provide a usable, practical framework that managers and consultants at all levels can apply to help advance their organizations and their own careers.”
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