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ICEE-EEA Meeting Plots Course for ISO 10018 Certification and Academic Education

The why and how of ISO 10018 Quality People Management certification, along with academic education outreach strategies, were the focus of 'ISO 10018: Enterprise Engagement in Action,' the first meeting held by the joint education committee of the International Center for Enterprise Engagement and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, in Galveston, Dec. 7-8. 
Over three dozen professionals representing corporations, hospitals and engagement solution providers, along with representatives from the EEA-ICEE Advisory Board, previewed the ISO 10018 Quality People Management audit and certification process, and developed a formal plan to make Enterprise Engagement a formal academic and business profession. At the end of the meeting, every attendee in the room said that they or their organization would seek an ISO 10018 certification. 
The International Center for Enterprise Engagement (ICEE), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited body within the Healthcare Management Institute of the University of Texas, has created the first certification for ISO 10018 Quality People Management, supported by the learning platform developed by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. ICEE’s other main activity is the creation of standards for other fields in engagement, and assistance with promotion of the EEA’s education program to the academic world. 
The conference was held to unveil the certification process, audit tool, learning program and strategy for creating a community of trained auditors, certifiers and developers for ISO 10018. Said Lee S. Webster, Director of Standards Development for the Healthcare Management Institute and a co-founder of ICEE, “Without the education program of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, it could have taken us years to launch this certification.” 
Gary Rhoads kicked off the meeting by outlining the economic justification for an enterprise approach to engagement and why it would eventually eat into dollars invested in media and other marketing activities. Rhoads is founder of the sales engagement firm Xvoyant in Salt Lake City, a Stephen Mack Covey Professor of Marketing at the Marriott Graduate School of Business at Brigham Young University, and the first member of the EEA’s Academic Advisory Board. He said he continues to believe Enterprise Engagement is a field with tremendous potential. Later in the program, he showed concrete analytics linking increased sales force engagement to financial results indicating that well-managed sales organizations require fewer salespeople. “That certainly gets the attention of the C-suite,” he said. “The key to promoting Enterprise Engagement is to demonstrate the bottom-line benefits on performance.” 
Speaking about the imperative to address engagement, Gerard Comacho, Director of Career Development, Parkland Health & Hospital System, said that because Parkland focuses on the Dallas areas’ indigent population and literally loses money on every patient, it had almost no choice but to seek out systems to attract and improve talent retention. He said the issue is so compelling that the organization’s donors were helping to finance analytics and other efforts to develop better strategies. 
Other key take-aways from the inaugural event:
  • ISO 10018 applies a systematic approach to Quality People Management and engagement in the same way ISO 9001 applies a systematic approach to Quality Process Management. Given that ISO 9001 helped foster a revolution in performance improvement, the potential for a sister standard on Quality People Management is significant. 
  • ISO 10018 fleshes out the ISO 9001 quality standard people clause 7.1.2 by providing a systematic approach to external and internal marketing and management using tactics that already exist. Practitioners do not need to learn new trades but rather how to better align audiences and traditional engagement strategies, such as branding and culture development; leadership recruiting and coaching; assessment; communications; learning; innovation and collaboration; job design; rewards and recognition; analytics; and more.
  • While having IS0 10018 certification can help organizations improve sales, retention, quality and productivity in the same way ISO 9001 has accomplished for over 1.3 million organizations worldwide, any organization can benefit from the principles and framework of ISO 10018 to improve financial results, productivity, quality, general well-being and more, noted Bruce Bolger, Founder of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance at “Organizations can start small by testing the framework to address specific issues, such as sales, loyalty, or employee engagement, before rolling out to the entire enterprise.”
  • To profit from the standards or to gain certification, employers or solution providers will need to employ someone with the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s Advanced Engagement Practitioner (AEP) certification, explained Allan Schweyer, EEA Curriculum Chair. “This process requires people to not only demonstrate a proficiency in Enterprise Engagement principles and ISO 10018 in particular, but the ability to develop a formal ISO 10018-compliant engagement strategy. They can use either an actual organization or client, or an invented organization,” he said “The basic Certified Engagement Practitioner designation is achieved online to demonstrate basic proficiency on the topic. The AEP requires individuals to demonstrate practical proficiency.” The training for both is free to EEA members, and up to three people for corporate members.
  • Dr. Ron McKinley, founder of the UTMB’s Healthcare Management Institute and co-founder of ICEE, explained the process for obtaining an ISO 10018 certification for employers or solution providers. “Employers seeking ISO 10018 certification should conduct a preliminary audit from a qualified individual to make sure they can pass, and then call in an ICEE auditor or an auditor certified by ICEE to conduct the audit for certification,” he noted. For solution providers seeking to become auditors/certifiers or developers (they cannot provide the same function for both): “Once an organization employs someone with the AEP, it can gain a provisional ISO 10018 certification based on an interview with an ICEE auditor. Full certification is awarded once an ICEE or an ICEE certified auditor has accompanied a candidate’s audit or developer team on an actual project. If an organization fails the audit, it is given time to make corrections.” Organizations seeking to retain ISO 10018 certification have to be audited every three years.
  • ICEE and EEA have developed a joint Advisory Board comprised of organizational management, professors and other educators, and engagement solution providers that will help oversee the release of the new EEA book: “ISO 10018: Quality People Management—Enterprise Engagement in Action,” to be published in early spring 2018. See for a list of Advisors. The book is being updated to provide complete training for those seeking ISO 10018 certification.
  • The Academic Advisors believe the time has come for a formal discipline on Enterprise Engagement in the academic world. The professors present--Dr. Sharon R. Floyd, EdD, SHRM-SCP, Associate Dean, School of Business and Professional Studies, Brandman University, Chapman University System, California; Dr. Mark Loon, PhD, Faculty Member, Bath Business School, Bath Spa University, the United Kingdom; and Dr. Randy McCamey, PhD, Professor of Human Resource Management, College of Business Administration, Tarleton State University, agreed that the discipline belongs in the field of management.
  • The Academic Advisors decided to submit a proposal for Dr. Ron McKinley, ICEE co-founder, who is also a professor at UTMB, and Bruce Bolger, EEA founder, to present a symposium on Enterprise Engagement at the Academy of Management’s annual conference in August 2018. The event attracts up to 10,000 academics from around the world, and which this year is themed “Improving Lives.”  Dr. McCamey suggested that professors would make good qualified ISO 10018 auditors/certifiers, because many seek part-time outside professional assignments related to their work, and because these types of projects can create interesting research activities. Since most developers will not wish to be certifiers, this could be a productive partnership between the business and academic worlds at the front lines of business, the panel agreed.
  • Based on recommendations from the academic committee, the EEA is developing a course description and handbook that professors and other educators can use to present either a section or a full course on Enterprise Engagement. It will also develop an outreach effort to connect organizations and solution providers seeking to have data analyzed by professors in turn seeking data for research. 

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