Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Developing talent - Unlocking passion of employees

I created this graphic a few years ago to illustrate the fact that leaders of non-school tutoring and/or mentoring, learning and youth development programs, as well as educators in traditional schools, are constantly experiementing to find ways to build student aspirations and unleash student motivations to learn.

This second graphic is the front page of one of my PDF essays, where I ask "what are all the things we need to do to assure that every youth born in Chicago today is starting a job/adult career by age 25?" This is a question that is not being asked in enough places, yet is at the heart of every thing we need to be doing to help our own kids, and other people's kids, grow up to lead fully productive lives. It's the question that needs to be asked in any conversation about violence prevention, substance abuse, mental health, education, race, diversity, workforce development, and even our democracy.

In this context I encourage you to take 30 minutes to read this report from the Deloitte University Press, titled "Passion at Work: Cultivating Worker Passion as a Cornerstone for Talent Development" This report describes passionate workers as people who "are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance."

The report describes the concept of worker passion, as the “passion of the Explorer. These are people who focus on a "Domain" or an area of expertise. The report states "The passion of the Explorer is defined by three attributes: commitment to domain, questing, and connecting."

My own Domain, which has developed over the past 40 years, focuses on building and sustaining information bases that support the involvement of others who want to innovate ways to turn on the "light bulb" for every child, and support each child as he/she adopts their own "domain" and moves through school, into the workforce, and through their adult life.

This article is important for two (and many more) primary reasons

a) There are hundreds of youth serving organizations in every big city, and hundreds of schools. Each needs employees and supporters who fit the description of this report.

Since the report says that the US workforce has an acute shortage of workers who fit this description, imagine how much more critical the shortage might be in the different organizations who need to be working collectively, as a village, to help kids move from birth to work.

b) I believe companies can encourage the development of employee passion, or "explorers" by encouraging worker involvement in social causes they care about, and by supporting them with top line company technology, collaboration and learning resources. Such involvement can increase the networking opportunities for employees, support their passion by providing opportunities to innovate solutions to causes they deeply care about, and help build habits that translate back into more traditional profit motivated issues.

This image is related to this PDF, which show roles teams of volunteers might take in helping develop an entire city of youth serving organizations that are constantly improving, and that focus on developing the "passion" within youth. This ROLE OF LEADERS PDF encourages CEOs to engage employees strategically in support of tutor/mentor program growth. Such engagement can unleash the passion and drive within employees and help build skills that return value to the company.

I've been trying to find a way into business talent development and corporate social responsibility conversations for many years. While I host a Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago every six months, I've have limited business participation, especially from people I'd consider "explorers" who were looking for better ways to develop talent within their organizations....or better ways to use limited corporate resources to build and sustain a citywide network of constantly improving, volunteer-based, youth serving organizations.

Yet, as the Deloitte report says, "This is important".

So, if you've read this far, and you think this is important, perhaps you can write an article like Steve Sewall or Mark Carter, and provide your own reasons why companies should make time to connect with the ideas I'm sharing.


The Catalyst said...

Nice informative write-up thanks for sharing, I am totally agree with your point “ I believe companies can encourage the development of employee passion” . Get in touch with The Catalyst a Firm who offer Talent Development Program.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a December 2015 update from Deloitte on this topic: