Derek Irvine is the co-author of Winning with A Culture of Recognition: Recognition Strategies at the World's Most Admired Companies. He is also VP - Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce who delivers truly global strategic employee recognition and reward programs guaranteed to increase employee engagement by double digits.
I asked him what his thoughts would be if President Obama called and asked for his thoughts on what could be done to create a culture of recognition here in the U.S.
I asked him:
We’ve reached the Imagination moment in the show. Let’s imagine President Obama is on line 3 at your office right. He’s calling you in Dublin. He’s holding. He’s holding because he sees if we’re to reclaim our leadership role in innovation, make this the year of small business, we need to create a culture of recognition within our country. He invites you up to the White House. You and Eric. You sit down in the Oval Office. And he asks you:
Guys, what are three things we can do now to create a culture of recognition in this country? Move us so far out in front, no one will ever touch us.
What do you tell him?
And Derek answered:
Well, that’s certainly an imaginative question. President Obama ringing me would be an exciting thing.
You said three things.
First of all I’d ask what does a winning culture look like? Let’s establish those values.
Then once we’ve got that set up, then let’s communicate those values. Let’s ask every American employee to spot those values. Describe when they see those values when they see them being done. Let’s have the employees celebrate those values when they see them being done. Then when they see those values celebrated then they tend to do more of them.
The third thing we have to do to complete the loop is let’s report on how we’re doing. Let’s have a White House Executive Dashboard. That’s something we typically do for a client. Let’s see which part of America are living out those values. And which part might need some more help. Which part can be exemplary centers for us to learn.
Let’s define the values we want to find.
Let’s communicate them and encourage every American to celebrate them.
Let’s report on them. See the metric. The metric signals throughout the country how we’re living those values.
Some may say this is inappropriate.
This is politics! And you never discuss politics at Thanksgiving Dinners, backyard barbecues and on a business radio show.
I disagree. As long as only politicians can discuss solutions for our country then those solutions and their interested audiences will remain off-limits, political, for those who make this brand, our country, run. And only politicians, these days that's only career politicians, can discuss those ideas and spoon-feed solutions to the public.
I see our times as an all hands-on-deck opportunity and not a crisis. That opportunity is for each of us to lend our hands, our conversations, our ideas to find and share solutions. In our absence those challenges are left to ideologues, vested interests and politicians of all stripes and partisan persuasion. We...are the only ones with vested interests. And now we have, with social media and the urgency of today, the opportunity to reclaim our place at this table and discuss our ideas to solve our challenges. At the very least, we can listen to a discussion until we are ready to speak up.
Want More from Derek Irvine?
- Read more transcripts from our conversation here.
- Listen to our conversation here.
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- Buy the book.