December 6, 2009

Like It ... Isn't It

Tastes just like butter.

Feels just like cashmere.

Looks just like the original.

But it's not butter, cashmere, or the original. It's a substitution.

While that might be acceptable for some consumer purchases, it's less acceptable when trying to engage others' talents and motivations.

I don't want my boss to make me feel like I am empowered, I want wholesale organizational change that actually empowers me.

I don't want a committee chair to let me feel like I am making a contribution, I want systems and processes that allow me to contribute regardless of what committee I join.

Too many associations and corporations substitute hard to argue with platitudes for harder to implement substantive culture shifts. And so they get what the deserve: customer, member, and volunteer commitment that looks like loyalty, but only exists until an opportunity for real engagement comes along.

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