Does Your Firm Harness Or Stifle Passion?

I pulled from some past posts for my latest MediaPost article contribution, below…

Passion is at once one of the most influential, misunderstood and undervalued factors that determine business success. I believe strongly in passion for a host of reasons, including its connection to purpose and competitive advantage. Passion is not addressed often enough in business, which is why I was delighted to read John Hagel’s recent analysis of the subject.

Hagel describes the corporate passion paradox: Executives eloquently celebrate passion, though the day-to-day practices of the firm seek to contain and mute it. In fact, the presence of passion diminishes among the workforce as the size of the firm increases. Scalable efficiency, which makes big companies competitive, has the result of alienating and prompting passionate people to leave. Hagel argues that because passion is becoming increasingly important for institutional success, institutions must shift from scalable efficiency to scalable peer-to-peer learning.

Harnessing passion and scalable peer-to-peer learning requires organizations to recognize people who crave abstract problems, while seeking clarity and mastery. Organizations must value self-imposed discipline and persistence that overcomes obstacles. Organizations also must value people with self-imposed performance goals, and those who demand constant progression. Companies also must celebrate and empower passionate people to thrive as individuals and connect with other like-minded people — either through outreach or attraction. To embrace passion, companies must embrace risk-taking, serendipity and authentic discovery. Finally, organizations must seek to align passions and professions.

These are the traits of passionate organizations. They are more effective and, increasingly, more advantaged.

What is your company doing to harness passion?

(Photo Credit: hebedesign)

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Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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