Is TV show Undercover Boss a tipping point for engagement? (Guest Commentary)

One executive can't change culture but show raises public awareness of importance of engagement
By Dave Crisp
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/08/2010

Years of reading about the importance of engagement and the heap of studies proving its impact on financial results must have finally brought my thinking to a “tipping point” — to borrow a phrase popularized by Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name.

We’ve pretty much reached a point where companies and executives that don’t believe in the value of engagement are just plain dumb. Now, it’s a question of the best way to increase engagement.

This was reinforced by the new reality TV series Undercover Boss, which made its North America debut right after the Super Bowl. The opening show covered the personal learnings of Larry O’Donnell, president and chief operating officer of Waste Management, who spent time on the front line undercover.