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UTMB Enterprise Engagement Innovation Center Launches at Engagement World, May 7-9, 2018

UTMB announces that its EE Innovation Center will expand the mission of the International Center for Enterprise Engagement from managing the first ISO 10018 Quality People Management certification and helping to create other engagement standards, to formally establishing an academic and professional field and a vibrant marketplace of solution-providers.

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) will kick off the creation of the world’s first academic Enterprise Engagement (EE) Innovation Center at Engagement World, May 7-9 in Galveston, the UTMB’s headquarters city. The Innovation Center is a division of UTMB’s International Center for Enterprise Engagement at, which was founded last year to manage the first ISO 10018 Quality People Management certification and support the creation of standards in all areas of engagement.

The EE Innovation Center, which will be officially launched at an open meeting at Engagement World in Galveston on Tuesday, May 8, will bring together organizational practitioners in government, business and academia to create a marketplace of experts and solution-providers who can work better together to help organizations achieve their goals. Says Dr. Ron McKinley, the Center’s co-founder and President, “Our mission is to create a formal academic and business discipline and a vibrant marketplace that provides expertise and solutions to help organizations engage all key audiences, customers, patients, distribution partners, employees, vendors and communities in a more efficient way based on a better return-on-investment.”
David L. Callender, President of UTMB, says, “We are proud to be the first academic institution to our knowledge that has created a learning center dedicated to this field. It is clear that an enterprise approach to engagement is critical to sustainable organizational success, not only in healthcare, but in all fields…yet it’s a subject that’s not taught in schools. There’s simply too much research and evidence to ignore the fact that organizations of all kinds could do a much better job of applying a more systematic approach to engagement and experiences across the enterprise. We hope that the backing of a university of our size -- committed to excellence in healthcare and the creation of formal human capital standards, of which we are a major supporter -- will accelerate the development of this field and help improve outcomes and experiences for patients, customers and all stakeholders affiliated with any organization.”

Coincidentally, the Innovation Center was officially created and the first course syllabus on Enterprise Engagement was published the same week that the Academy of Management, the world's largest association of management educators, voted to sponsor a symposium on Enterprise Engagement at its annual conference in August attended by about 10,000 academics worldwide. Click here for details.

Creating a Formal Academic/Professional Field and Vibrant Marketplace

According to Dr. McKinley, the Innovation Center will focus specifically on bringing together practitioners, academics, solution-providers and associations representing all the different areas of engagement to help create a vibrant marketplace of experts to support the implementation of Enterprise Engagement across all organizations. “Our focus is to bring together the experts and solution-providers in all key areas of engagement to help organizations achieve better results and greater alignment through a systematic, integrated approach that they have come to expect in quality management and other disciplines.”
Asked what prompted creation of the EE Innovation Center, Dr. McKinley notes that “Recognizing the need to bring ISO 10018 and Enterprise Engagement practices to patient and employee engagement in healthcare, UTMB has created an Enterprise Engagement Advisory focused on healthcare and hospitality. It quickly occurred to us that not only did we need the research and best practices created by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and ISO 10018 Quality People Management standards, our clients and those of other Enterprise Engagement advisories will need practical resources in all areas of engagement, from corporate culture and leadership and assessment to all forms of communications, learning, innovation, community and diversity initiatives, rewards and recognition, analytics and more.We hope that having the name of a major university will help convince organizations and engagement solution-providers that it’s time to get on board with this movement, because it benefits everyone to apply a more systematic approach to human capital process design.”

A Field Based on a Formal Process to Address Why Engagement Remains Low

Says Lee S. Webster, co-founder of ICEE: “Not only do organizations miss an enormous opportunity to improve organizational results and experiences for stakeholders, but they also actually waste enormous sums on leadership coaching, recruitment, assessment, learning, communications, loyalty, rewards and recognition, innovation and other efforts that clearly are not working. The research and best practices indicate that the key isn’t necessarily to replace these tactics but to better align them to support an agreed-up brand, culture, value and goals. We have seen what ISO 9001 has done for Quality Management, and we’re confident a systematic approach based on standards can do the same for Quality People Management."
The Innovation Center’s mission is to create a formal academic and professional field of Enterprise Engagement to support the ISO 10018 standards, as well as the employee engagement standards now under development. The goals, McKinley says, are to create a marketplace of professional expertise and solution-providers to help organizations achieve a better return on the current funds they spend for such engagement tactics as leadership coaching, assessment, communications, learning, innovation, community and diversity, rewards and recognition, analytics, etc.
“Our goal going forward,” he explains, “is to create a community of all the experts and solution-providers in all areas of engagement educated on the standards so that everyone at least understands the same language and the need for a systematic, return-on-investment-based approach. We don’t intend to replace any associations or learning centers, but rather enhance their impact by helping them join forces with others who support similar goals. That’s why we’re supporting the vision of Engagement World, which brings together multiple associations and learning organizations in the field of engagement, with hopefully more to come.”

Goal: To Align the Multiple Tactics of Engagement

The Enterprise Engagement Innovation Center’s activities include:
  • Oversight of the academic and professional curriculum developed by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, including the Enterprise Engagement Academy at and Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap, 4th Edition.
  • Sponsorship Engagement World, May 7-9 in Galveston, TX, to bring together leading certification programs in all areas of engagement, including The Culture Works All in Culture training, Recognition Professionals International’s recognition program, the Incentive Marketing Association’s incentive design certification, the ICEE ISO 10018 Enterprise Engagement in Action program, and the Rewards & Recognition Expo.
  • An annual one-day think tank of leading corporate practitioners, solution-providers and academics to discuss the game plan for bringing this field to the academic, for profit, not-for-profit and government management communities.
  • Sponsorship of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s media and outreach activities at to help support greater dissemination of this information throughout the world.
For overall information on the field of Enterprise Engagement and the resources of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, go to
For more information on the Center, contact Bruce Bolger at 914-591-7600, ext. 230, or Lee Webster at 409-772-0830;
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