We’re back again for another look at internal organizational influencers. Last week we considered how those grumpy Eeyores are actually valuable allies in helping you ferret out pockets of dysfunction and misery. Today, I’d like to look at the other side of the influencer coin: the Tiggers.
In the Winnie-the-Pooh books, Tigger is the indefatigably positive force for all that is new, exciting, shiny, good, fun and right with the universe.
Theirs is the first hand up when you’re looking for people to organize the food drive, find a spot for the holiday party, buddy up with the summer student and deal with whatever has died in the filing cabinet.
They cheerfully find the bright spot in an otherwise fractious meeting; they stay late to get the slides done for the team; they send good vibes, sunny emoticons and adorable gerbil gifs every Friday morning, and somehow find time to bring a crock pot full of butter chicken just because.
Phew, I’m tired just from writing all that down. Tiggers sure are exhausting and, in my experience, can burn out faster than a photocopier on hockey pool day. In fact, one of the key differences between Tiggers and Eeyores is that you need a steady source of new Tiggers, while your Eeyores will have a pretty good shelf life, particularly if there is lots of sad, boggy stuff to roll around in.
Now how do we bottle up all that great Tigger energy and use these influencers to our strategic advantage? First, we need to deal with that pipeline, and a great place to start with that is to do a bit of a census.
Knowing where your Tiggers are (and aren’t) is a good way to understand where you have pockets of engagement. It can be a location, a function or even a small team that’s having a really good time. Just as Eeyores can help us pinpoint dysfunction, so, too, can Tiggers throw up some flares for the places where things are working better than average. Once you know your Tiggers, it’s time to get them doing more strategic things than cleaning up that bit of road your company adopted.
The Dance of the Sugar Plum Tiggers
First thing we want to wring out of those positivity machines is some damn feedback. Employee feedback participation is generally pretty pathetic on a good day, but for Tiggers, everyday is a good day. I like to throw them at those high-level blue sky types of feedback like imagining new products, redesigning your onboarding program or creating anything to do with being an ambassador (Tiggers love to represent).
Another favourite of mine is website makeovers. Nobody likes those, except Tiggers. They can brainstorm all day long, and if the chemistry is right, they’ll keep enabling each other long after the whiteboard markers dry up. Tiggers are also fantastic people to throw at task forces, strike teams or whatever you call the groups who are supposed to solve the big hairy audacious flip charts covered in sticky notes.
Need some help recruiting? Give those Tiggers some social posts and turn them loose! If you use buddies or welcome wagons as part of your onboarding, these are your peeps! Want to make sure there are questions when that important Corporate Overlord comes to town? Give a few ideas to the Tiggers and stick them right up front, they’ll know what to do.
Bouncing Through the Change
I like to work with Eeyores to review messaging ahead of an organizational change (even a good one) because they’ll find the dark bits for me. Tiggers, however, are particularly helpful right after the change starts moving through. I recommend you have some shareable, Tiggertastic key messages you can push out through your internal messaging system. Remember, they love to Like and Clap and Thumbs Up, so make it easy for them to flex that influence.
Another interesting group to keep an eye on is your former Tiggers. It’s pretty much a given these folks will eventually just run out of energy, but sometimes, they run out Tigger, and that could be problematic indeed. If you have a few Tiggers who seem to have lost their bounce or, worse, have suddenly turned up in the Eeyore camp, you will want to sit down for a chat. Just as Eeyores can be good indicators of struggling teams or ineffective managers, a sudden decline in your Tigger population could signal something nasty ahead.
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BizMarketer is written by Elizabeth Williams
I help companies have better conversations
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org