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Korn Ferry CEO Coach: Engage or Die!

In a recent article, the Global Leader of Korn Ferry’s leadership coaching group echoes views of other management experts that today’s CEOs need to be Chief Engagement Officers and lead the effort to creating and implementing a systematic approach to engagement.  
In a recent Forbes article entitled “Pathways to Becoming the CEO—Chief Engagement Officer,” Kevin Cashman cites John Smythe’s 2007 book, The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer to support his conviction that today’s leaders must engage or die. Citing a 2016 Korn Ferry study, organizations with “highly engaged employees achieve 4.5 times greater revenue growth than organization with low engagement. The world belongs to the most engaged. Human energy fuels drive and human engagement harnesses that drive.” 
While there’s nothing new in this article for ESM readers, it’s significant because the author provides coaching services for the C-suite at a time when investor pressures and new ISO Annex SL requirements are forcing boards to recruit executives with a strategic and tactical understanding of how to sustainably engage all stakeholders. 
Cashman suggests that CEOs:
Be the change you wish to inspire. Demonstrate your own engagement to inspire others to join you.
Elevate engagement with purpose. Clarifying the “why” is the soul of engagement. “What” and “how” clarify our roles and focused priorities. 
Have the courage to go long-term. Engagement requires the courage to think and behave for the long term. According to Aspen Institute, long-term investors, which are 75% of the U.S. public markets, are much more concerned if a CEO announces spending cuts on innovation or research than if the CEO stops providing future quarterly earnings guidance. 
Make sure systems and rewards support the strategy. Inconsistency between the strategy and the values, systems, rewards and processes kills engagement. Make sure the systems and rewards support people to do what is most important and enduring.
Identify development and engage top talent. According to a Korn Ferry/Hay Group study, highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave than disengaged employees. Finding, developing and rewarding the highest of the high potentials may be one of the greatest jobs of the CEO.
Balance result, drive and people connection. Leaders under 30 years of age are two to three times as likely to be effective in both results and engagement than their older compatriots. Don’t get “old” in your leadership…Being the chief engagement office” is not merely about measuring engagement. It’s the tangible experience of sharing a more purpose-driven, caring culture where leaders and employees passionately co-create the future together.
About Kevin Cashman: Kevin Cashman is the Global Leader and CEO & Executive Development at Korn Ferry, and is a keynote speaker. 
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Master the Principles of Enterprise Engagement and ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 Quality People Management and 9 New Human Resources Standards
Discover a new internationally sanctioned approach to create new wealthyou’re your organization by achieving greater return-on-investment on your organization’s budgets for culture, leadership, communications, training, rewards & recognition and more. 
In Print: Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap 4th Edition, How to Achieve Organizational Results Through People and Quality for ISO 10018 Certification. 
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. 
Online: The Enterprise Engagement Academy at, providing the only formal training on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Provides preparation for professionals to support organizations seeking ISO 10018 employer or solution provider certification, as well as elective courses on Trade Show Engagement, Rewards and Recognition, Government, and other topics. 
Plus: 10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards on
Services: The International Center for Enterprise Engagement at, offering: ISO 10018 certification for employers, solution providers, and Enterprise Engagement technology platforms; Human Resources and Human Capital audits for organizations seeking to benchmark their practices and related Advisory services for the hospitality field.
The Engagement Agency at, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
• ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
• EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
• Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
• Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.
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