As a part of preparing to train and orient some new folks joining us at Summersault in the coming weeks, I've thought a lot about the different phases of engagement that I expect staff members to experience as a part of their integration into the life of the company. The path looks something like this:
- Understand: learn about what we do and why we do it
- Observe: encounter what we do and how we do it in a hands on way
- Contribute: join in to what we do and become a part of the process
- Facilitate/Lead: take ownership of what we do and help make it happen well
- Change/Improve: challenge the way we do things and try to make them better, or look for entirely new things to do
(It isn't always a linear progression; challenging and improving something often leads to resetting our engagement with it, returning to stages of trying to understand and observe.)
Another way to look at this journey is as one from being a passive participant to an active participant in the life of the company. Businesses and organizations thrive when the people feel they are empowered, active agents of success. Businesses and organizations stagnate or fail when the people are just passively waiting for things to happen, or don't know how to contribute.
I realized that movement from passive to active is not just something we do as a part of learning a new job.