Not the ones exchanged in meetings, where we gauge the strength of grip, the number of shakes and the dampness of the palm, but rather the ones between experiences. Working this week on the design of a programme for new starters in a global business, i’m struck by the need for ceremony, for gateways, for handshakes: how we we welcome people, how do we help them learn, how do we congratulate and recognise their achievement, how do we hand them over into the business.
It’s at transition points that things break down: the boundary between roles, between experiences, where things fall into silos instead of taking a holistic view. The friction of reality erodes abstract training.
We need to engineer in the handshakes: how will we welcome people onto induction, how will we celebrate their success, how will we recognise their pride.