Awhile back I wrote that in order to foster a work revolution, our organizational “departments” need to die and something new needs to take their place: something I call Value Groups.
The quick version of this idea is that there are five (and only five) categories in which a person can provide value for the organization/company/tribe they are a part of:
- They can build meaningful relationships. [Community Group]
- They can build amazing, remarkable stuff. [Creative Group]
- They can design an engaging place to work. [Culture Group]
- They can design ways to fund the right projects. [Currency Group]
- They can coordinate the efforts of the first four groups. [Conductor]
(If you’d want to learn about this in more detail, just mosey on over here.)
There are many interesting things about designing an organization in this way, but one that we haven’t yet talked about is that it leverages the natural passions of people — something that our organizations now are absolutely dreadful at.
We all have certain things that energize us, and what these things are varies from person to person. But what we’ve found through our work at Strengths Doctors is that by using specific assessments, we can get our finger on the pulse of what gives someone energy; i.e., we can easily identify what each person is passionate about.
Now, most organizations have to essentially stop there because their organizational structure is designed around tasks or functions, not passion. They can encourage their people to try to find ways to do activities they enjoy in their current jobs, but as for actually creating spaces to leverage that energy… not so much.
But if we can redesign the structure (at a team or whole-company level), this is exactly the point where it gets really exciting — because we can use that knowledge about passion to plug people into Value Groups.
When we do this, we get a tremendous win-win-win-win (yes, four wins):
- The company wins because people who are passionate about what they’re doing on the job do MUCH better work.
- The employees win because they get to do things at work that energize them.
- The customers and vendors win because they get to interact with people who actually like their jobs.
- The society at large wins because the organization is more likely to produce something that actually matters.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, what people are most passionate about lines up exactly with how they can create the most value for the organization. We just need to get them into that place — and now we know how.
So the real question is… what are we waiting for?