Throughout June, we have been exploring the concept of creating and sustaining passion within a corporate culture, using an article by Paul Alofs as a starting point. Previously (here, here and here), we examined Mr. Alofs’ first six elements of a “passion culture.” Now we move on to address his final two points.
Unlike the first posts in our series, on these last two points we see real alignment between what Mr. Alofs is trying to say, and what we believe sets the foundation for a passionate corporate culture.
7. Create the space
Having your employees and executives fully engaged in your mission is certainly the most critical aspect of creating a highly productive corporate culture, but you can certainly accelerate the productivity increases by creating highly interactive work spaces that encourage collaboration and interaction. Mr. Alofs offers a great example.
“In cutting-edge research and academic buildings, architects try to promote as much interaction as possible. They design spaces where people from different disciplines will come together, whether in workspace or in common leisure space. Their reasoning is simple: it is this interaction that helps breed revolutionary ideas…Culture is made in the physical space.”
Does your physical space foster interaction, or does it perpetuate a mindset of corporate silos? Do people bump into each other in shared spaces, or spend their days hunkered down and isolated in work stations?
A fully engaged and energized team of people will work hard to overcome the limitations of their collaborative spaces, but if you can eliminate the physical barriers for them, collaborative productivity can grow more quickly!
8. Take the long view
Challenge short-term thinking! “Passion capitalists take the long view,” writes Mr. Alofs. This dovetails with our own passion for the “pursuit of truth.” Most organizations set ambitious long-term goals, but then ignore them in favor of short-term needs, usually driven by outside forces (economy, customers, financial analysts).
One of our great clients, a biotechnology company called Targacept, models a culture of inclusion and mutual benefit in the way they involve not just their own scientists in projects, but the vendors and fellow biotech companies with whom they will have to work to get their innovations to market. Their mantra is that clear communication, trust and the pursuit of truth among all their collaborative parties create long-term relationships that enable sustained success.
The truth is, if this week’s little victory compromises long-term competitiveness or corporate cohesiveness, it is Pyhrric and not worth pursuing. Only companies committed to the pursuit of truth will have the institutional, employee-level ability to properly assess which day-to-day goals to pursue that support long-term productivity.
We have enjoyed the exercise of exploring how to create a passionate corporate culture, using the ideas outlined by Paul Alofs. What do you think? How does your organization work to infuse passion from top to bottom?
Let us know in the comments section!
Find our previous posts about Mr. Alofs’ article:
Points 1 and 2
Points 3 and 4
Points 5 and 6