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Jason Dorsey, also know as “The Gen Y Guy,” kicked off day two with his typical animated flair. We caught up with him after his presentation to get a few summary thoughts.

In this morning’s second session, Terilyn Monroe showed us how one company is looking to take its employees beyond engagement, all the way to inspiration.

Terilyn is Director, Global Employee Engagement at Intuit, a supplier of financial software for consumers. Intuit knows that high commitment and high performance by employees are critical to success. But how, they asked themselves, can a company maintain that during difficult times — like the recent recession, times of job eliminations, an so on?

“We started with reviewing how the experts define engagement,” Terilyn said, “and then asked our employees for their views. There were some clear differences.”

The experts defined engagement as being how employees think, feel and act. It manifests itself in high enthusiasm, a willingness to contribute, in being a company advocate, and loyalty. Employees offered more down-to-earth descriptions — things like ownership of your work, having fun on the job, and having an impact on success. There were two big lessons learned from their effort. First, they found they needed to think about the complete, end-to-end employee experience. Second, they need to learn what’s really important to employees, not just what the company thinks is important to them.

With this input, Intuit then developed its four-level Engagement Model. The four levels are: Basic (security and justice); Worth (accomplishment and esteem); Connection (relationships and belonging); and Inspiration (identity and meaning).

To get to the top level — inspiration — Intel has undertaken a program that has focused on encouraging inspiration by getting people to tell stories about what inspires them and allowing them to be themselves. A video contest that asked employees to tell their stories was very successful, involving nearly half the employees in the company. Every video was posted on the company website and 15 videos won prizes. Intuit feels this has taken the company forward in its attempt to build capabilities through story telling.

What’s next? The company is now starting a program for Inspiration Awards. The goal is to recognize inspirational employee role models. Nominations will be made and awards determined by employees. They expect to support the company’s growth goals and improve the employee experience.

By John Gerstner

We were jolted awake this morning by Jason Ryan Dorsey, The Gen Y Guy. He marched us through the generations with great fun and humor.

For first time ever, says Jason, four distinctly different generations are working side by side. And the best business schools in the world weren’t talking about this because it wasn’t supposed to happen.

So Boomer’s are writing hand-written notes to Gen Y’s — in cursive. “And we can’t read cursive.” And we send Boomers a text message. “And they don’t get it.”

1. Gen Y do not attach any value to tenure. “I gave you the best month I had.”

2. Boomers were cut off from their parents at age 18. Gen Y’s went to college for seven years and moved back home.

3. Adult “Olescence.” We want the freedom of being an adult without that responsibility. We define adult as age 30.

4. Gen Y is not instant everything. We are actually output driven. We do not think linear. We do not connect the dots. We need to see the outcome first. We need to see ongoing progress.

5. Gen Y is not tech savvy; we’re tech dependent. It has come at a cost — our communication skills. It is uncomfortable and awkward to have a face to face conversation.

Gen X’ers are the most loyal to organizations. Gen Y’s are the most loyal to individuals.

Of all the generations, Gen X’ers are the ones I feel most sorry for. They’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Boomers to retire.

To engage Gen Y:

Define terms and provide specific examples.

Deliver quick, check-in feedback continuously.

Give us a challenge and let us succeed.

To communicate with us: send text. If you send us email, put the entire message in the subject line. And if you must continue in the text field, put it in bullets.

Gen Y’ers decide the first day whether they will stay with their employer beyond that first day. To make that first day amazing, start them on a Tuesday. And give them a business card.

Ryan Travis, senior manager, web and digital communications at Walmart, was part of a social media panel that wrapped up day one of conference. We caught up with him later to ask him more about how Walmart uses mywalmart.com to build community and inform associates.

This year’s hash tag is #10CCM

If you’ve never heard of a hash tag, let me explain. Hash tags are embedded labels within a “tweet” or messages which lets tweets be easily searched or cross-referenced.

The first time I ever tried to tweet at a conference was just last year. I remember worrying that the presenters might think I wasn’t paying attention; I wondered if it was disrespectful to be typing into my smart phone as someone else spoke.

I admit it. It took some practice. I had to get comfortable with some new technology (I use Twitterific) and I had to overcome several pre-conceptions about what I thought it meant to be an audience member at a conference.  To me the experience was supposed to be about sitting, listening, and then asking people what they thought later. But when you tweet and use hash tags during a conference, all this changes.

For me, tweeting allows the conference experience to become multi-dimensional. Let me explain what I mean: 

  • When I tweet at conferences I know I need to keep myself at greater attention because I’m “looking for gold”—that is I am actively seeking the especially powerful, relevant, insightful gems from the speaker so that I can capture them, tweet them out and be ready for the next one. To do all that, you have to be really listening (at least I have to be!).
  • I’ll also have a heightened awareness that I am listening, filtering, censoring, approving/disapproving information all in the moment, and that this requires greater responsibility. Within CCM we have had many spirited discussions on whether “instant reporting” is a positive or not. I don’t know the answer to this great debate. But I do know is that faster (to some degree) will become part of our evolving role as business communicators. For me, tweeting at some conference is a pretty safe way to get some practice and sharpen this skill. 
  • Hash tags allow people who aren’t in the room to follow the live reports of what’s happening and also gain knowledge from the session. Multiple citizen-journalists capture what they find interesting and together these tweets create a live mosaic of the event as it happens. Organically. Whether this is good or dangerous (on lots of levels) is also debate-able. The speed, equity, and collaborative nature of it all is a very strong draw for me.
  • Lastly—and maybe more than anything, I love that hash tags enable live audience commentary. Before I started tweeting at conferences, I would turn around a lot in my seat– especially when I heard something moving or particularly inspiring. I would watch the body language of other audience members whose opinions I respected because I wanted to know (and I would often guess) about what they were thinking. With hash tags, you get this insight without guessing. In real time, fellow audience members post their reactions, questions, and reflections. For me this creates a whole new dimensional experience for conferences. No longer is there a single viewpoint on stage, but instead there are now the voices of many considering the same topic. That’s very different.   

As you can see, I’ve become quite a fan of tweeting at conferences. If you haven’t tried it, why not give it a try? And if you’re not sure how, find someone with a smart phone in their hand and ask them to show you.

We’re very excited for what you’ll soon be experiencing: stimulating conversation; informative, cultural, and fun evening events; and superb interactive sessions. With only a few days until the conference kicks off, you’ve probably popped onto weather.com to see what to pack. If not, rest assured—the weather’s going to be brilliant.

To get the most from the three days, please make note of these bits and bobs:

  • We posted arrival tips on the conference blog. Go to https://ccm2010.wordpress.com. You’ll find a link to the information right on our home page.
  • We’ll be live-tweeting throughout the conference using the hashtag #10CCM. Follow our commentary and add your own.
  • We’ll also be publishing a daily rundown on the blog and posting information and video to our Facebook group: Council of Communication Management.
  • We have terrific events planned for each night:
    • Wednesday: Expo and cocktail gathering at The Four Seasons Philadelphia
    • Thursday:  Museum tour and dinner at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • Unlike last year, there are no planned dine-arounds. This doesn’t mean you can’t dine around on your own. You’ll find plenty of restaurant recommendations on our blog under “Food & Entertainment.”
  • It’s not too late to sign up for a spectacular pre-workshop deal. For $99, you can attend a three-hour pre-conference workshop on change communication with a senior leader from Deloitte. Register online at http://ccmconnection.com.
  • Dress: business casual
  • Daily start times:
    • Wednesday, May 5: 9 a.m. for pre-conference workshop; keynote at 1 p.m.
    • Thursday, May 6: 8:30 a.m.
    • Friday, May 7: 8:30 a.m.

While you’re with us, we’re at your service. If you have a problem, send a DM to @CCMers. Or find Fred Droz. Fred knows all.

I enjoy the busy excitement and learning of CCM’s Annual Conference, but occasionally, I need an infusion of fresh air, natural beauty and culture.  In my opinion, this year’s location really delivers.  I grew up on the Parkway and spent my childhood exploring the wonderful places to “hang out.” There are even more now.  Here are a few to check out.  (Ask the Four Seasons concierge for detailed directions and museum hours.)

Rodin Museum – Outside of Paris, Philly is home to the largest collection of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s work. A tiny gem among the Parkway museums, the Rodin boasts an enchanting garden and is home to the awesome bronze The Gates of Hell.  To discover, walk west and turn right at The Thinker.

Perelman Building – Compared to the overabundance of the Art Museum at the west end of the Parkway, this annex is easily navigated in an hour or a two. Some exhibits complement the main Museum’s, and there’s a nice gift shop.  My favorite finds are usually in the galleries of Costume and Textiles, Photography, or Modern and Contemporary Design.

Boathouse Row – Follow the Parkway west behind the Art Museum and a woodland world unfolds along Kelly Drive (named for Philly native, actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly). Pick a quiet spot among the clubs’ cottages to watch for sculling teams prepping for the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta held May 7, 8.

Fels Planetarium (The Franklin Institute) – Take in a 1-hour show. Tales of the Maya Skies begins May 1.

Swann Fountain (Logan Square) – Visible from the Four Seasons, this is one of several Alexander Stirling Calder creations in Philly. Another is the Shakespeare Memorial located at 19th St. on the north side of Logan Circle. (You read right, I’m using “circle” and “square” interchangeably. Logan is among the original “squares” William Penn included in his city plans, but frankly, many of us call it Logan Circle, probably due to the fountain’s shape. If you want to see a square, trot north to Rittenhouse.)

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul – The copper-domed basilica is the center of Philly’s Roman Catholic community. Modeled after Rome’s San Carlo al Corso church, its cross-shaped nave is 236-ft long. St. John Neumann, the first American bishop to be canonized, oversaw the middle years of its construction in the 1800s. (Catholic school alumni take note – Neumann was first to organize a U.S. Catholic school system!) Philadelphia architect Napoleon LeBrun also put his hand to the Academy of Music at Broad & Locust and numerous other churches in the city.

Academy of Natural Sciences – We’ll hold several Conference sessions here Wednesday, but it’s worth another glance if your kids (or you) are enthralled with mummies, dinosaurs, insects or gems.

JFK Plaza/”LOVE Park” – This mecca of skateboard enthusiasts earned it’s colloquial name during the Bicentennial celebration in 1976 when it became home to Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture. It sits at the east end of the Parkway at 16th Street. Catch the Trolley at the Welcome Center to tour parts of the massive 9200-acre Fairmount Park and the mansions that lie beyond the Art Museum.

Sticking around for Mother’s Day, May 9? Watch the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure on the Parkway from 6 am – 12 pm.