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  1. Why is Executive Engagement important?

Executive engagement has been called the “DNA” of businesses and organizations. Without leadership development and engagement, the organization can be plagued with little energy or drive. Executive engagement is vital for mentoring and developing good leaders. Executive engagement meetings open the door for improvements and growth to occur. Successful executive meetings can improve profits and business results. There is a lot of research and focus regarding employee engagement but executive engagement is just as important. This article highlights tips to ensure positive executive engagement.

  1. The Roots aka “nemawashi”

The Japanese word “nemawashi” sheds light on how important it is to conduct some business prior to the executive engagement meeting. Nemawashi has no direct English translation and is derived from a special Japanese gardening technique involving transplanting trees. Nemawashi  is a unique process of individually and carefully uncovering the roots of trees. In the business world, we can interpret this as trying to understand each individual (each root). Applying this individual attention to each executive, prior to the meeting, can foster an exchange of input, ideas, and trust.

Having one-on-one conversations with partners before the meeting may also help the meeting “owner” test reactions to new proposals.  Gauging reactions of co-workers prior to the executive meeting often proves to be beneficial. In Japan, this practice is taken very seriously and may include many “behind the scenes” conversations. While a few may see this method as “less democratic”, a great advantage of “nemawashi” is that everyone is on board with the new “proposal” from the very start of your meeting.

One company that has attributed some of its success to “nemawashi” is Toyota.  In fact, the 13th principle from “ The Toyota Way” reads:   “Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.” Incorporating this attentive practice to individuals prior to the executive meeting, may prevent future conflict and save time. Even better, attentiveness to each “root” will foster long-lasting growth and profit. It is vital to get input from all across the board. Gathering this input before a proposal or big change ensures not missing out on any unforeseen problems. This general consensus can also provide solutions and new innovative thinking.

Working from within the roots of your executives and applying the nemawashi technique before your next executive meeting just may prove the saying money doesn’t grow on trees false.

  1. A Resurrection

 Executive Engagement can look different at all levels. Although there is no single ideology to follow within your executive engagement meetings, an adaptive culture must be constantly be present. Exiting the executive engagement meeting should sometimes feel like a “resurrection” in a sense. You should feel energized and have new gears in your executive’s heads turning. Some tips to ensure this type of “resurrection” for your executives upon exiting the meeting are:

  1. Executives need to keep the creativity flowing-new ideas must be embraced!
  2. Teach courses on presenting key business isues
  3. Require all leaders to have development plans in place
  4. Talent development and courses on mentoring other leaders
  5. Holding all executives accountable.
  6. Holding educational sessions related to areas of expertise for each executive
  7. Attend senior-level development courses
  8. Embrace talent development
  9. Feedback from the executives on the leadership courses taken so improvements can be made.

Lastly, it is important to remember that this audience is focused on outcomes. Time and money are valuable in the executive’s eyes. An executive engagement meeting should bring forth new life to the company. Big decisions require big thinking and sometimes a re-birth is required.  Executives aren’t looking to repeat the same old. They want to become trailblazers in their industry and continuously grow! By following some of these tips, your executive engagement meetings could become a catalyst for major profit.







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