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Monday, November 26, 2012

What Matters Now: Post #7--Passion

Passion: Managers are more likely to throw a wet blanket over innovation and enthusiasm than not. A Towers Watson survey (Global Workforce Study in 2007-08) showed that companies that scored higher in engagement have much better earnings growth and fatter margins than those that do not; however they found only 21% of employees were engaged! Hamel, restates the Hierarchy of Human Capabilities at Work (from his book, The Future of Management). While obedience, diligence, and expertise are still critical to an organization, the capabilities that have the most value are initiative, creativity, and passion. Managers today need to create a work environment that inspires employees to bring initiative, imagination, and passion to the job. Hamel thinks that rather than an organization-centered business, we should focus first on an individual-centered organization. He suggests decentralization, community focus, transparency, servant leadership, peer review, and self-determination.
•    A fascinating example of passion and leadership offered by Hamel: “Mission-Shaped Communities” (MSCs) were developed to help stem the drain of membership at the Church of England. One church had 500 members but was losing 10% of its membership a year—very common among western churches. The minster formed mission-shaped communities of up to 50 people specifically focused on a mission of passion—the elderly, youth, disabled, etc. With a modicum of rules and leadership training, the groups grew and the church thrived—engagement grew the church from 500 to 1,000 in a period of decline among its peers.
•    The “Facebook Generation” (Gen F) will expect a different place to work. The Industrial Revolution changed people from independent farmers and artisans (nearly 90% of white males in 1890 were self-employed) to rule-following employees. A similar change is afoot with Gen F—the digital natives who expect Web-based knowledge and access, much like a fish expects water. Thus, ideas compete on an equal footing, contributions count more than credentials, hierarchies are bottom up (not the other way around), leaders are servant leaders, groups are self-defining and self-organizing, and so forth. This is an important chapter for managers with new Gen F employees entering the workforce.

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