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New Analysis: New United CEO Signals Enterprise Engagement Focus

While the field of Enterprise Engagement appears to be picking up steam, it will achieve its full potential only when CEOs realize it is as integral to organizational success as the brand equity it supports. Here’s a great example of a CEO embracing the concept, probably without even knowing that he is part of a major new trend and that his mission will require a level of expertise in all areas of engagement that most organizations lack. 
 
Here’s what Oscar Munoz, new United President and CEO, wrote in a full-page ad appearing this past week in the New York Times and elsewhere—it embodies the fundamental spirit, principles and framework of Enterprise Engagement:
 
“To our passengers, my fellow employees, and the communities where we live and work.” Sound familiar already?  “Today marks five years since Continental and United Airlines combined. Over that time we have added destinations, invested in our fleet and upgraded our airport experience, but the journey hasn’t always been smooth. Simply put, we haven’t lived up to your expectations or the promise and potential of that day.” (Or, we might add, to the promise of the United brand, which is practically part of this nation’s history.) 
 
“That’s going to change. We are committed to re-earning your trust. We want to be the first choice for every trip you take. We want to be an amazing place to work. And we want to be a great neighbor. That means we have to innovate. We need to do the small things well. We have to deliver meaningful, everyday improvements.” (Note the connection between customers, employees and communities, the foundation of the Enterprise Engagement framework, although Munoz leaves out vendors, who are absolutely essential in the airline industry.)
 
“Accomplishing these things will not be easy, but we will put in the hard work needed to get there. My singular mission is to engage our passengers and employees every step of the way. I want to hear and implement your good ideas, and I promise to show that we’re listening and report on our progress. My goal is for you to look forward to flying United, and to be as proud to work for United as I am to lead United. So please tell me what we can do to make that happen at UnitedAirtime.com.” 
 
Munoz is embarking on the journey that so many have undertaken before him, not realizing that there is indeed a science and process to making this happen that doesn’t have to be reinvented each time. It will be an exciting experiment to watch, especially because of his comment to “report on our progress.” 
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