Friday, February 1, 2008

4 Fundamental Principles For Building Alumni Value Proposition

Taking cue from my previous post, I would like to extend the concept of Alumni Value Proposition (AVP) a little further. There is a framework for building AVP, which is simply based on four fundamental principles:

  • Hire the best into the organization
  • Let them build the organization
  • Proudly Brand what they build
  • Alumni constitute our extended organization

Hire the Best. Since people like to associate with likeminded people, if organization has good people then it will attract other good people. Anybody who gets selected to join such an organization considers it a privilege that he/she is getting the opportunity to work with other good people who would make a huge difference in his/her life.
Correspondingly it becomes organization’s responsibility to follow very high hiring standards to avoid dilution in the quality of its people, and secondly ensure that word gets around loudly that this organization is built with good people thus ensuring that good applicants pool continues to grow exponentially.

Built by the Best. Once organization has hired the best employees, it should let these employees take complete ownership of building the organization, and also have them take pride that their contributions is what makes this organization great.

  • Let employees define the criteria for selecting right people for this organization and how to bring them onboard.
  • Let employees take charge of inducting and mentoring new people into the organization.
    Let employees build a continuously learning organization by defining a culture of complete knowledge capture and sharing across the organization. Requiring everybody to document their learnings from projects and other activities they undertake – developing a strong habit and capabilities in employees to communicate well – extensively using tools like Blogs for external and internal publishing of contents.
  • Let employees recognize what they are best at and then take pride in training others in the organization to be good at that.
  • Let employees be the navigators who understand the tides of industry and the world around the organization, and then counsel others in the organization to mould their careers to be successful in rapidly changing tides.

Branding. As the organization does these great things it is equally important that it gets the word out. It should be proud of what it built and we must let others know how good it is from inside. Employees and Alumni are the true carriers of brand message. They should be encouraged to use blogs, message boards, trade magazines, conferences etc. to spread organization’s brand message.

Treat Alumni as part of extended organization. Alumni are a great asset for any company as they take companies message in their new companies. If that message is strong then it greatly benefits the company in attracting more good people. Organization must strive to stay connected with its Alumni and simultaneously create strong reasons for alumni to stay connected with it. To facilitate this it must use tools like Alumni website and newsletters.

Building Alumni Value Proposition based on this framework is our joint responsibility and our primary mission for 2008.

Posted by Rajiv Jain, CEO, OutworX Corporation