Here are the opening paragraphs:
Very broadly stated, business leaders have two categories of responsibilities to attend to: 1) the tangible, measurable-to-n-significant-digits hard stuff; and 2) the intangible, perhaps-measurable-but-only-by-proxy-at-best soft stuff. Most leaders are more comfortable working in category #1 since they also generally have a bias toward logical, rational, data-driven approaches to the issues at hand.
I raise these points in the context of the current infatuation with “employee engagement,”a concept that pretty clearlyfalls into category #2. What makes an intangible like engagement palatable to so many logical, rational, data-driven types is the existence of ample and compelling research demonstrating a strong positive correlation between employee engagement levels and better business results. In other words, there are plenty of facts and data to soothe leaders’ anxieties as they venture out onto such Kumbaya-ish terrain.
There’s another, somewhat less statistically rigorous strategy leaders employ as a way to mitigate their aversion to really digging into the intangibles. They punt.