The Game Has Changed: A New Paradigm for Stakeholder Engagement


By: Mary Beth McEuen

I just wrapped up the research and writing of my latest white paper entitled, “The Game Has Changed: A New Paradigm for Stakeholder Engagement.” And, last week had the opportunity to present the ideas in this white paper at the HR Summit in Phoenix, AZ.

What really stands out to me about the experience of researching, writing, and presenting the ideas in this white paper is three-fold:

The four-drive theory of human nature. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria, with HarvardBusiness School,co-authored an amazing book — Driven. More recently, Paul Lawrence published Driven to Lead. I have had the great pleasure to work directly with Paul Lawrence as westrive to translate this powerful theory into business application. The theoryis having asignificant impact on howMaritzviews effective business practice. But the impact goes beyond business. From a personal perspective, this theory has shifted how I see myself and my relationships. It is making me a better leader, a better mother, and a better friend. I am grateful, to say the least, to Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria.

The stories of Barry-Wehmiller and Embassy Suites. The paper tells the story of two amazing leaders and organizations that are genuinely people-centered and focused on creating meaningful and motivating experiences for their key stakeholders with a particular focus on their employees. What a pleasure spending time with Bob Chapman, the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Group. Barry-Wehmiller measures success by the way they touch the lives of people. Charles Gremillion, the director of brand culture and internal communications, at Embassy Suites, is another genuinely people-centered leader. At Embassy Suites, their service statement is “Gracious, engaging and caring — in ways both big and small.” For both Bob and Charles, touching people’s lives in a positive way is more than a company goal, it is a personal passion.

Seeing people as people. This sounds so simple, but the reality is that way too often we reduce people to consumers, human resources, suppliers, vendors, etc. From my very early days with Maritz, I was taught to see people as people. Bill Maritz, our past chairman, insisted on calling Maritz employees — people. He wouldn’t allow us to call ourselves “employees.” I think this was because he wanted to keep the focus on seeing people as special and worthy and important. This idea seems to strike a chord. After my presentation at the HR Summit, one of the executives shared that what stood out the mostfor her was … seeing people as people. So much meaning is wrapped up in this small but powerful phrase.

The followingmicro-site has some slide shows, videos, and links that I hope you enjoy:

I invite your thoughts and feedback on these perspectives!

2 Comments on “The Game Has Changed: A New Paradigm for Stakeholder Engagement”

  • Drew Hawkins March 16th, 2011 9:36 am

    Good practical approach here. Social doesn’t work for every scenario. Good to see others who know this as well

  • jaybaer March 21st, 2011 10:11 am

    No question about it. The fact that there are roughly 100X more players of Farmville than actual farmers shows the power of gamification. Look at Groupon and Living Social, too. Good thinking here.

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