The Engagement Triangle


I designed this tool together with my colleague (Mervi Pänkäläinen) back in 2012. The purpose of The Engagement Triangle is to provide a planning framework for anyone who wants to design engagement programs and kick-start their culture.

Here is a short guide for how to use it:

Inspire through the WHY.
To influence people to do something, anything, you need to connect with their personal motives. Inspire and motivate people by linking your objectives, purpose and vision with those of your teams (employees etc.) To do this, you might start with group sessions and individual interviews. Let's say you want people to behave in accordance with your new brand strategy. To do this successfully, consider why people should get get on-board with your agenda. Do this by inspiring them through purpose and vision. Make them understand what is in it for them. The higher the purpose, the deeper the meaning, the more engagement you will get.

 Empower through the HOW.
Once you know what inspired and motivates people, and how that links to your objectives, you need to provide the conditions that set people up for success. Gone are the days of command-and-control management, today people thrive when given the right tools and a fair amount of autonomy. To do this successfully, consider what kind of training, what kind of company rules and principles (decision-making tools), resources, processes, tools and support will help people make the right kind of decisions, and hence create the desired capabilities and behaviours you are looking for.

Achieve through the WHAT.
When people have a clear purpose and vision that they can personally relate to, and when they have the means and support necessary to do a good job, you can start focusing on the tangible outcomes of your business or project. The WHAT refers to the outcomes of the work that people do, the desired results. These could be products, services or experiences you provide for customers. With the right WHY, and the right HOW, your people will figure out the WHAT.  

To have success with this model, use it to make a plan for how you will create the desires behaviours and outcomes you are looking for. Remember, it is just a tool, you will have to put in your own creativity, knowledge and energy. But as you will (hopefully) notice, it works really nicely in all its simplicity. 

The framework was inspired by the theories presented in two ground-breaking books: Start with Why (Simon Sinek) and Drive (Daniel Pink). Feel free to contact me for a more thorough explanation and use of the model.