Unleashing the full capacity of your people

Exploring 8 Rules for Creating Passionate Corporate Cultures

We are intrigued by a list of “Eight Rules for Creating a Passionate Corporate Culture” recently published by Paul Alofs in Fast Company.

We found a lot to like about the list generally, because we work so hard ourselves to teach companies how to engage the passions of their employees. We had to take exception to how he presented some of his rules, however, so we will take a closer look at each.

Let’s start with the first two, which made a lot of sense, although we would express them differently, as you will see!

1. Hire the right people

Alofs says to “hire for passion and commitment first, experience second, and credentials third.” We would state it differently: Credentials are a critical first filter, experience serves as the next hurdle, then explore “what makes the person tick” as the last step, which most hiring managers neglect to their later regret. Probing during the interview calls for questions like:

  • What do you love about your chosen career?
  • What inspires you?
  • What courses in school did you dread?
  • What two things would you change about the culture of your last employer? Why? What would have happened if those changes were made?

You want to get into the current cultural mindset of the potential employee, and explore his own passions to see how they mesh with those central to your organization’s success. Simply having a passion for “doing well and exceeding expectations” tells you nothing about how this future collaborator might behave on the job.

2. Communicate

Once you have talented, committed people working for you, you must engage with them!

Meet with all electronics off regularly (as often as weekly, far more often than annually) to examine results, lessons learned, areas of success and how to extend those victories, areas of concern and how to improve them.

A fertile culture is one that recognizes when things don’t work and adjusts to rectify the problem,” writes Alofs. “As well, people need to feel safe and trusted, to understand that they can speak freely without fear of repercussion.”

At Bovo-Tighe “communication that counts” and “the pursuit of truth” are core beliefs embedded in our own culture and in the cultures of our clients, so we know they work. Paul Alofs seems to agree:

Great cultures grow around people who listen, not just to each other or to their clients and stakeholders. It’s also important to listen to what’s happening outside your walls. What is the market saying? What is the zeitgeist? What developments, trends, and calamities are going on?”

To read more about the 8 rules for Creating a Passionate Corporate Culture, look for our next blog post later this week.

For our first post this month on this topic, click here.


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