Passion in need of a champion

Posted on by Brandon Klein

The best workers will find their own way, but if you want your organization to thrive, supporting them has to be a priority


Posted by John Hagel III on November 13, 2014

“I never ask for permission. I just do it.”

“I get restless often.”

“I want my work to make an impact on something important to society.”

“I have a series of mini-failures every day.”

“I like to know that what I’m doing matters to the company.”

“I don’t want to do anything that I can’t learn from.”

For an HR executive, these statements pose a challenge. How does your organization treat people who might make these statements or operate with these beliefs? Does your performance management system recognize or penalize them? Does management encourage this type of employee or view them with suspicion or perhaps, unwittingly—as is often the case—do the daily processes and policies of the organization subtly discourage these behaviors, wearing the employee down bit by bit or sending a message that they belong elsewhere?

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These words, and the sentiments behind them, came directly from high-performing individuals—people that I and my colleagues at the Center for the Edge identified from our personal networks as being passionate workers. We interviewed them for our recent report, Passion at Work: Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development.