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CONTENTS NOTE FROM THE EDITOR In this edition of the SCOD Emag we explore leadership from a number of different angles. Kristen Hansen introduces us to the coaching and training program she has developed around the neuroscience of leadership called TREAD. Dr Dick McCann, co-creator of the Margerison-McCann Team Management Wheel shares with us the skills of the ‘Linking Leader’ that are critical for organisational success. Rebekah O’Rourke is this editions ‘SCOD Profile’, she shares with us her leadership journey as well as her passion for developing others. This month we also provide you with some insights into the SCOD events that have brought HR, OD and business professionals together to Connect, Discover, Explore and Inspire. Leigh Whittaker and Elwin Hall share their reflections on the Organisational Dreaming session that was the launch of SCOD Methods and Madness. Graphic Recorder, Rebecca Lazenby did an amazing job of capturing the key themes of the SCOD Exchange Forum on ‘Learning’ and Tiffany Gray shares with us her reflections on the first Neuroleadership Interest Group hosted by SCOD. Thank-you to all in the SCOD community, members, speakers and guests, who have contributed, supported and created an amazing energy around SCOD that enables all involved to Connect, Discover, Explore and Inspire… that’s what SCOD is all about. Enjoy!

Tiffany Gray









Blueprint for Building a High Performace Organisation Lessons from the AFL

by Michael Sleap

Michael Sleap is an Organisational Development specialist with construction and contracting firm John Holland. His interest in facilitating high performance with people and organisations began as a line manager prior to commencing his OD career as an external consultant. Michael is also an eternally optimistic Fremantle Dockers supporter.

Successful AFL clubs in recent years have developed and executed their own blueprints for achieving premiership success. The good news for senior leaders of organisations is that the steps required to win an AFL Premiership are the same as those required to build a high performance organisation – so there is much that can be learned by taking a closer look at how AFL clubs achieve success in a highly competitive league.

How to win an AFL Premiership
 1. Establish a competent and stable Board supported by an excellent management team It is no coincidence that the most successful AFL clubs in recent years such as Collingwood

and Geelong have built and sustained highly credentialed and united Boards and professional senior management teams. Conversely, those clubs with turmoil at Board level such as Richmond, North Melbourne, Essendon and Carlton have under-performed.

2. Create an attractive vision of the future for the club and rally support
 Perennial underachievers both off and on the field, Richmond and Melbourne are but two examples of clubs which have recently identified just how critical a vision is to creating a successful and sustainable future for their club. A key to this has been the creation of a highly attractive and shared vision of where the club will be in

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the future and the rallying of all staff, players, sponsors, members and supporters behind the vision.

3. Set specific goals which make the vision tangible and against which progress is measured
 The Richmond Football Club has recently articulated its vision by developing very specific goals including by 2014 they will have played in 3 more finals series, will have zero club debt and 75,000 members, and will have won their next premiership by 2020. Everyone at the club focuses their efforts relentlessly on contributing to the achievement of these goals. Progress is measured, reported and communicated regularly.

4. Identify, articulate and drive the club’s values – never compromise them
 Ten years ago if you heard an AFL player talking about values it was most likely a reference to their burgeoning property portfolio. Now, most AFL clubs have a set of core values which all players (and back office staff ) are held accountable for upholding. The values drive the disciplines and behaviours which produce high

team’s values. Each of these sides had little success in the periods where the club’s culture was exposed as fractured (NB: West Coast won a premiership with Cousins in the side however they suffered an unexpected and rapid decline around the time that his off field troubles came to a head for the club).

5. Develop a winning game plan
 While traditionalists bemoan the death of oneon-one contests and burly full forwards kicking regular bagful’s of goals, recent premiership sides have turned football wisdom on its head with new and innovative game plans (many of which are borrowed from other sports such as soccer and ice hockey). Sydney’s high stoppage style of football took it to the flag in 2005, West Coast used a high handball to kick ratio on its way to the 2006 premiership, Hawthorn’s rolling zone helped it win a premiership well before the club itself thought possible, while Collingwood’s relentless focus on keeping the ball locked in their forward line using a ‘forward press’ saw them hold the cup aloft in 2010 after a 20 year drought. Developing and executing a winning game plan is an essential component of the premiership blueprint.

“Would an AFL footballer receive performance feedback just once per year at an annual review like employees in most organisations?

Not a chance.”

performing teams. There is no better illustration of this than the ‘Bloods’ culture entrenched at the Sydney Swans which helped drive a modestly talented side to premiership glory in 2005. The Bloods culture applies to all players equally – despite being one of the Swans’ most talented players Nick Davis was dropped from the side and then delisted from the club after failing to uphold the team’s values. By way of contrast, clubs such as Carlton, Brisbane and West Coast enforced team rules selectively, with elite players like Ben Cousins and Brendan Fevola keeping their place in the side despite reported frequent instances of behaviour counter to the


6. Recruit the best available talent 
 While the annual AFL Draft takes place in November, recruitment and selection is a year round highly resource intensive process for clubs. Clubs have talent scouts scouring football games across the breadth and depth of the country (and increasingly overseas including Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States) to identify and assess the draft talent pool. Hours of footage of potential draftees’ games are pored over, their season statistics are analysed in detail and extensive

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data is collected from the AFL Draft Camp and heavily scrutinised. Prospective draftees are interviewed by each club to assess how well they are likely to fit in with the club culture and many clubs utilise psychometric and abilities testing to further inform their player assessments. Making the right recruitment decision at each draft impacts the success of a club for years to come – just ask Fremantle supporters what might have been in their formative years if they hadn’t traded Andrew McLeod, before he had played a game, for Chris Groom. McLeod went on to become a legend of the game for Adelaide while Groom faded into obscurity after playing just a handful of games for the Dockers. Successful clubs expend substantial time and resources to understand their current and future talent needs and identify, assess and select the best talent in the draft pool.

7. Ensure that every player clearly understands their role in the team and their performance measures
 Having the appropriate team structure to win a game is critical and this requires each player to clearly understand the purpose of their role and their main accountabilities. For example, a midfielder’s primary accountability may be to win the contested ball at stoppages, or to break the lines with bursts of speed through the centre or to shut down the opposition’s most dangerous midfielder by playing a tagging role. Each role is important but distinctly different and must be clearly understood and then effectively executed by the player. Both the team as a whole and each player has a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which provide specific targets which the player is accountable for achieving during the game – these drive behaviours which maximise the team’s chance of winning the game. KPIs may include kicking efficiency (percentage of kicks which hit the target), number of tackles laid, number of contested possessions won, percentage of hit outs to advantage and the number of ‘one percenters’ such as shepherds and smothers.

many goals they kick but rather how many tackles they lay in the forward 50.

8. Develop a strong leadership group
 The days of a team only having a captain (usually the best player in the side) and a vice captain are long gone. Recognising the importance of leadership from within the playing group as a critical success factor, most clubs now have a captain (usually the best leader at the club, not necessarily the best player, e.g. Collingwood’s Nick Maxwell) supported by a leadership group of between 5 and 8 players. Leadership groups play a vital role in driving and role modelling the team’s culture, motivating the team, promoting honest communication both within the team and between players and coaches, leading and directing players during a game and mentoring and developing younger team mates. AFL clubs invest heavily in developing the leadership skills of all their players, identifying future leaders and supporting the work of the leadership group.

9. Provide constant feedback and coaching to each player 
 Would an AFL footballer receive performance feedback just once per year at an annual review like employees in most organisations? Not a chance. AFL footballers receive continuous, constructive and very specific feedback both during and after games highlighting what they are doing well and where and how they can improve. During games runners take messages of feedback out to players, they receive feedback at each major break during the game, feedback is provided directly after the game and early the following week each player is taken through an individual review of a highlights reel of their critical incidents from the game. There is also an increasing incidence of head coaches coaching

In a sign of the times most small forwards’ performance is not judged primarily by how


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from the boundary line at ground level during a game rather than high up in the coaches’ box, which is largely attributable to their desire to provide players with immediate and direct feedback during the game. Clubs such as the Western Bulldogs place a heavy emphasis on the use of peer feedback – where players provide each other with feedback. This is an important tool both for improving performance and also for driving the team’s culture.

culture and game plan and their own role and accountabilities within the team. Younger players and/or those who relocate are supported to settle in to their new city and environment. The more effective the onboarding process the more quickly a player will start performing and contribute to the team’s success.

11. Carefully manage the playing list – not just for today but for the medium and longterm

When was the last time you saw a successful AFL coach use giving players a ‘bake’ as their main tool for trying to improve performance? Successful coaches of the modern era such as Paul Roos and Mick Malthouse know that it is through feedback (both positive and negative) and teaching that players learn and develop their capability to perform at the highest possible level.

10. Invest heavily in developing the capability of players and onboarding of new recruits
 Most clubs now have a head coach and a battery of assistant coaches and other technical specialists who spend significant time one on one with each player to provide the feedback and coaching required to develop and sustain high performance. Core capabilities for the various roles in the team are identified, players’ strengths and weaknesses are assessed against the capabilities, and players work on these in both a whole of team and tailored individual manner to continuously improve their capability and performance. New players to the club are carefully onboarded to ensure they understand the team’s vision,


These days AFL playing lists do not just evolve haphazardly – they are very carefully managed for the now, the near future and the long-term. Most clubs target an optimal spread of experience across their squad grouped by position to ensure a pipeline of young developing players coming through the system.

Photo by Derrick den Hollander

AFL clubs know which of their roles are most critical, which roles are hardest to fill and have plans in place to ensure replacements are ready to take the place of their high performers nearing the end of their career. Difficult decisions are made. The average AFL player’s career lasts just six years. Talent and list management is a key strategic tool as part of the premiership blueprint.

12. Constantly search for a competitive advantage – innovate
 In a highly competitive league, clubs now leave no stone unturned to identify a competitive advantage. Collingwood successfully exploited sports science knowledge to dramatically increase the frequency of player rotations through the interchange bench thereby ensuring players on the ground were fresher than their opponents. In the past several years Fremantle identified players at the next level down from the

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13. Review progress against the strategic goals and plan and refine what isn’t working
 The good AFL clubs constantly review progress against their goals and plans and adjust and refine aspects that aren’t working.

14. Execute the game plan
 AFL teams play for just 3 hours per week for less than half the year. When a supporter sees their side run through the banner each week they are unlikely to appreciate the thousands of hours of preparation, hard work, science and planning that is all channelled towards their team performing at their peak on game day.

Are you doing some great work or know someone who is – please let us know, email

AFL, a talent pool dismissed by most recruiters, who could enter the AFL and make an immediate impact – resulting in rapid improvement to their side’s historically poor performance.

There are no short cuts to premiership success and it certainly doesn’t happen by chance. Clubs which develop their blueprint for high performance, implement each component and then execute it on the day are those which succeed. Success in the business world is no different to the AFL – those organisations which develop, implement and execute their blueprint will be high performers with a significant advantage over their competitors.

Photo: Getty Images

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with coaching client

There are key times in your life when you’re faced with a road block where you either need to change the course of your life, or change yourself in order to continue down the same path. I faced this dilemma around 12 course on work life balance. I months ago when it became think this was due to the very clear that despite being techniloose brief we had from the cally proficient, I was struggling beginning of the coaching that to break into higher level manallowed the coaching to takes its agement positions because of own course but didn’t provide the manner in which I was interclear goals which I’m much more acting with work colleagues. I used to in my life. knew that I was rubbing people up the wrong way, and despite This was a turning point in my my social skills I couldn’t quite coaching and a turning point in work out what my life. I was sur“This was a the root cause prised to find that of the problem when I addressed journey of self was and how I my concerns and could address it. discovery I had no fears about where I was stuck with the coaching was idea I needed.” the fear of begoing and that I ing faced with didn’t think we were a problem I couldn’t solve by heading in a direction I believed myself or my current tools and in, my coach worked with me to the fear that if I didn’t progress flesh out what wasn’t working I would be forever limited in my and what we should do address career. it. I was lucky enough to have a manager who supported me in addressing this and even luckier that to find a great coach. The first few meetings with my coach went well. We got along well and I felt she understood me as a person very well. However when she had me do a few exercises to test different ways of viewing my role and work life as a whole, all of a sudden I felt that we were on completely different tracks. I found my initial fears creeping back in and felt that I was being pushed to change in a way that I didn’t believe in and yet if I didn’t change, I couldn’t progress my career. I was concerned that I was receiving another textbook


The biggest surprise for me was that this wasn’t a course in how to win friends and influence people. This was a journey of self discovery I had no idea I needed. Throughout this self-discovery, my coach guided me towards recognizing the skills I had and more importantly how to use them. She also helped me to find the confidence to realize that instead of listening to all the ways others think I should improve, I am clever enough to know what is right for me and should trust in that. Through this confidence I no longer spend my interactions with people fighting for them to agree with me. I take a much less confrontational approach and

(no surprises for guessing) I no longer make people defensive. I also found that they spend more time hearing what I say and often agree with my good ideas. Possibly even more importantly, I find that when I have disagreements, we have a positive exchange of ideas where one of us ends up wiser and we achieve a better outcome. It was because my coach helped me find what the right solution was to my dilemma, I believe in the outcome and overall this has been an amazing change for me both in my professional life and equally so in my personal life.

Reflection: • • • • •

Have you ever had a coach, either formally or informally? If so, what was it that made you engage in a coaching relationship? What were your initial expectations of your coach? As the coaching relationship progressed what surprised you? How did your coaching experience change, enhance or enlighten you?

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Organisational Storytelling An organisation that is ripe for cultural change through organisational storytelling by Gabrielle Wolski

Approximately two months ago I was requested to draft a Board paper on the importance of undertaking organisational culture analysis and intervention to build a values and ethics based organisation. Being an Organisational Development practitioner, and one who possesses a deep desire to understand concepts through an anthropological lens, the task was approached with great enthusiasm. The result was a paper that made links to the current organisational culture and the level of readiness to embark on a journey of transformational change.

business outcomes, we may be able to better position the organisation for cultural change. I was also able to use this knowledge as a foundation on which to structure my paper in an attempt to weave a story for the Board hoping to ‘connect’ with them. Approximately two weeks after completing the paper I attended the SCOD forum which had an afternoon component on organisational storytelling. This session cemented and provided the ‘ah-hah’

As I began to write the paper and reflect on

“By reflecting on the preferred organisational disposition it emerged that the employees of the organisation engaged a large portion of their time in informal storytelling.” the content it became clear that there was a real need to understand the way in which the organisation ‘connected’ and to find a tool to harness this attribute and build upon our level of ‘readiness’. By reflecting on the preferred organisational disposition it emerged that the employees of the organisation engaged a large portion of their time in informal storytelling. As a consequence my main hypothesis was; if the Organisational Development department could find a way to utilise this trait, to achieve real


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moment which linked structured business storytelling to achieving real and effective results.

2. Spiral Dynamics Indicator

During my analysis of the organisational culture there were four main areas which led me to identify that the organisation was ripe for organisational storytelling.

When assessing the organisational culture against the Spiral Dynamics model it was clear that the organisation displayed strong purple and red characteristics.

1. Inherit culture of the organisation – reactionary culture with long periods of idleness .

Purple/KinSpirits : safety/security, individual subsumed in group, protection from harm, family bonds, tribal needs, adherence to ritual, obeying chief(s)

The nature of the organisation, which is an emergency service provider, has moments of crises which lead to heightened periods of

Red/PowerGods : asserting self for dominance, spontaneous, conquest and power; exploitive; egocentric These findings supported observations of the ‘family culture’ which the organisation fosters. This combined with the hierarchical and bureaucratic nature of the organisation compounds the need for respecting elders or those positioned in a higher rank. There is also an egocentric quality which can be found in employees which links directly from role to the hero archetype.

productivity and yet there are also long periods of idleness – when waiting for the crises. This creates a reactionary culture which grapples with tasks such as deep level analysis and the development of future strategies. To further this observation, areas such as risk management and change management have also been neglected due to a limited capacity for thinking beyond the moment and into the future state. One finding, which sparked my curiosity, was that during periods of idleness employees filled the ‘space’ with informal stories of past events. It is known that humans possess an evolutionary trait for telling stories. Some cultures use stories as a form of; recalling history (especially when there is a lack of paperwork or documented evidence), establishing relationships, defining authoritarian structures and cementing rituals and symbolism. Certain moral underpinnings and aspects are often embellished to place greater emphasis on relevant parts in the story. Stories are told to people to engage, educate and inspire imagination and innovation.


By thinking about families and the way in which they

communicate, which is usually done face to face and in an informal setting, this provided another reason for exploring storytelling as an avenue to achieve cultural change.

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More information on Spiral Dynamics can be found at

3. Observed behaviours and successful ways of communicating . Observing behaviours within the organisation and exploring patterns of success deepened the hypothesis for advocating organisational storytelling. Being able to demonstrate a past successful initiative in the organisation, which appealed to the culture, (either consciously or unconsciously) allowed for further support of this technique. The vignette below outlines the success of informal storytelling on behavioural change. The delivery and approach to Workplace Behaviour sessions had been troubling the organisation for some time. There seemed to be a fundamental disconnect between educating employees in the awareness of inappropriate behaviours and those that were acted out in the workplace. The approach was to identify internal employees / facilitators to conduct in-house sessions. This played to the family culture of using ‘insiders’ with knowledge of the organisation to discuss internal disturbances. In one instance, the facilitators were able to utilise the importance of the family and draw relationships from their own families, sharing something of themselves, which allowed employees to make connections to their personal families and then link it back to the ‘family culture’ that employees encounter at work. This proved to be very successful and one example of a story which achieved high impact was a story told about bullying. At one of the work sites visited there had been an issue with bullying. This had been

recognised at both a covert and explicit level. During the Workplace Behaviour session one of the facilitators had cited a story which was getting airplay in the media about bullying and explored this with the group around the mess table. The group was then able to contextualise the issue with one employee making a connection to their own son who was facing the same bullying challenges at school. By reflecting on the impact the bullying was having on a family member this was then able to be translated into an understanding of the bullying of a work colleague. By providing a real story, which was meaningful, the employees were able to empathise with the person being bullied and sought to be more vigilant when bullying issues arose.


Fantasy of the hero sets the scene /

culture for informal storytelling

The organisation is a fire service and there is a strong hero archetype which is upheld by all in the organisation. It has been noted on numerous occasions that reputation is the organisation’s greatest asset. It is therefore of little surprise that the organisation takes a dominant and ego-centric outlook when engaging with others outside of the organisation. (This supports the red colour in Spiral Dynamic model). It is in this light that the fantasy of the hero helps to set the scene for the organisations disposition to tell stories. Storytelling relies on ‘fantasy’ and imagination to make it accessible and appealing to those listening.

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While we can harness the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘space’ for telling stories there is a real need to manage the tool effectively as we can get lost in the fantasy. The tool needs to be harnessed to create real business outcomes for the organisation.

Where to from here In developing my hypothesis, it soon became apparent that storytelling could be used as a tool to assist with organisational ‘readiness’ for cultural transformation. This can be done by: • Honouring the past and generating excitement about the future – one which all employees contribute to and can see their contributions. • Play on our strengths and weave a story, which is accessible to all, to demonstrate the importance of culture and the desired future culture. Good storytelling is the art of crafting a story which is universal, inclusive and relevant. • Use of the metaphor to harness the tool of effective business storytelling.


• Need a well crafted, powerful, compelling and consistent story with a moral underpinning. • Gain senior management support for using the tool. Unfortunately, while I have not heard much about the progress of the culture paper – one claim of success was during an internal meeting, which I recently attended. An employee was telling the group about the need for storytelling within the organisation. The fact that someone was telling a story about the concept of storytelling, which had been passed down from the Executive Director who requested the draft Board paper, validated my own observations. If used correctly this could be a tool of great impact. The next step for the organisation is to embrace business storytelling to aid with composing meaningful and compelling stories to help transition the organisation through cultural change efforts.

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The Role of PASSION FOR WORK in Driving Successful Change Management in the Vocational Education Sector

Jai Waters, General Manager, TAFE NSW Customer Support


is a relatively new area of focus in the field of human resources and organisational development. It reflects the increasing need to find ways to engage employees in their work and to increase their performance and productivity. Perttula defines passion for work as a “psychological state characterized by intense positive emotional arousal,

internal drive, and full engagement with personally meaningful work activities”. Passion in the workplace is a scarce resource with only 29% of the working population in America reporting passion for their jobs. Yet, if as Chang suggests “passion inspires us to work harder with greater effect” organisations should be concerned about how they can unleash the passion for work in the other 70% of their employees. Understanding the passion for work of individual employees and linking this to a personalised learning program is now being seen as a key to improving workforce productivity as well as facilitating workplace change and innovation. Passion for work has long been associated with entrepreneurship and is said to enhance the success of entrepreneurs through their incresed creativity, persistence and commitment to the success

of their ventures. It has only recently been an area of focus in relation to organisational employees where it has been found to be associated with increased well being, reduced risk of burnout, increased creativity and enhanced work performance and effectiveness. Many of these studies use employer ratings of staff effectiveness, rather than more objective measures of employee effectiveness and few have looked at how employee passion for work might drive productivity and organisational performance. This study explored the role of leader passion for work in driving large scale change management in the vocational education sector as it prepared to introduce a new finance system.

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Three research questions were formulated: (1) Are Change Leaders with high passion for work more effective in driving organisational change readiness? (2) Is Change Leader passion for work contagious?

ever, Change Leader passion for work must be equal to or higher than their Change Network’s passion for work score for high organisational change readiness to be achieved. Where the Change Leader’s level of passion for work was lower than the level of passion for work of their Change Network this resulted in low overall organisational change readiness scores. This indicates that low Change Leader passion for work is a limiting factor. These findings point to the importance of leader passion and conviction providing the emotional energy to drive the work of others and to ultimately achieve superior outcomes.

more automated information systems; were less likely to customise information to particular groups and used existing committees and structures to communicate information in a standard way. They established self service systems for staff which allowed them to use their time more effectively. They created larger and more distributed Change Networks and as a result their ratio of change network members to organisational staff numbers was increased, in turn increasing their influence ratio (less than one Change Network member to every 25 organisational staff ). They had a clear vision and higher order purpose

(3) Do Change Leaders with high passion for work engage in qualitatively different behaviours than their colleagues with less passion for work? Perttula’s standardised Passion for One’s Work survey tool was administered to high and low performing Change Leads (N=10) and their Change Network team members (N=118). “...employees must also learn to take responsibility for An independent measure discovering and maximising their own passion for work if of staff readithey are to realise their full potential.” ness for change was used as the dependent variable (N=1362). for their change project and Finally all Change Leads were The third major finding was were more autonomous and interviewed to discuss their that Change Leads with high influential and as a result approach to the Change Projpassion for work were more were more able to engage ect. productive than their less senior management support. passionate counterparts and Finally, they also extended The first major finding was this enabled them to achieve their change projects by linkthat there was a positive better overall Institute pering and embedded related relationship between Change formance. This supports projects. In contrast Change Leader passion for work scores Schmenner’s Theory of Swift, Leads with lower levels of and organisational readiEven Flow which shows that passion for work established ness for change data. Those productivity is increased when smaller, more concentrated Change Leads with high levels both the variance of inforand centralised Change Netof passion for work were able mation and its throughput works with a much smaller to achieve between three and (time to process) is decreased. influence ratio of 1:35-1:50. five times greater organisaChange Leads with high pasThey also engaged in more tional change readiness than sion for work established customised communications their colleagues with low passystems and processes which and used fewer communicasion for work. enabled them to increase the tion channels. The investment flow of information to staff in of time by the Change Leader No evidence was found to their organisation. For exwas less and their overall apsuggest that passion for ample they used more inforproach was more short term work is contagious. Howmation channels; established


with a single project focus. The net result was this hindered the swift and even flow of information to staff in their organisations, lowering their productivity and ultimately resulted in lower overall levels of change readiness. Implications for organisations The results of this small study

passion for work needed to run the project. • Ensure strong and visible senior leader support for the project. • Ensure that change leads are empowered and have sufficient autonomy to conduct the project in a way that maximises their passion for work, their

need to minimise the development of customised materials and messages to ensure maximum productivity. • Ensure that there are no other significant organisational changes which will impact negatively on the project.

• Resource and support the project “Passion for work has long been associated with fully to ensure communicaentrepreneurship and is said to enhance the success tion flows are of entrepreneurs through their incresed creativity, maximised persistence and commitment to the success of their throughout the organisaskills and capabilities and tion. lend themselves to a clear contributes to their sense set of recommendations for More broadly the results point of meaningful work. senior managers wishing to to the importance of manimplement large scale change • Ensure that the ratio of agers understanding their projects. They are as follows: change network members employees and their specific to organisational staff passion for work. They can • Screen change leads to members is at least 1:25 or then ensure that these are determine their passion for less. best matched to the employwork. ee’s current work environment • Ensure that the change and that they are given work • Select only those with high lead has the capacity to and training opportunities levels of reported passion maximise the use of techto deepen and broaden their for work. nology, self service and area of passion for work. By other systems and processdoing this organisations are • Ensure that their passion es which minimise delays investing in leaders of the for work is aligned with in the flow of information future who will be passionate the project and is able to and reduce the variation in about their work and able to be expressed through the the information being coleffectively lead and influence project. lected or disseminated. others to achieve superior • Avoid giving new big organisational performance. • Ensure that the change change management projlead understands that ects to newly appointed Similarly, employees must also they need to maximise managers without first learn to take responsibility for the reuse of information, assessing their capability discovering and maximising materials, and resources and capacity to take on the their own passion for work if to reduce wasted time and new role. they are to realise their full increase the flow of inforpotential. Career planning mation. • Review situations where and managers inherit change • Ensure that the change management projects to lead understands that they ensure that they have the © Copyright SCOD July 2011 edition


time for reflection as well as career coaching and mentoring are all important mechanisms that can help employees to achieve this. Organisations could use Perttula’s Passion for Work survey to screen employees and then use tools such as Passion Mapping to work with their employees to help them to better understand their passion for work and how it could be expressed through their work setting. This would provide a systematic approach to measuring and supporting the positive impacts of employee passion for work in their organisations. The benefits that will flow to both employees and employers are increased innovation, high performance and decreased risk of burnout. Conclusions Passion for work is a growing field of enquiry. It suggests a societal shift away from rationalist thinking to a more balanced understanding of the importance of both the cognitive and emotional dimensions of employees and the impact they have on their behavior and performance. This study found support for high passion for work being positively associated with high performance, as measured by organisational change readiness. Change leaders with high passion for work were able to deliver superior performance through establishing various work practices which minimised variation and maximised the throughput


of information. This enables them to increase their productivity and to achieve superior performance for their organisation. As a result change leaders with high passion for work were more successful and they also improved the performance of those with whom they worked. Where the change leader’s passion for work score was lower than their team’s level of passion for work, organisational change readiness was reduced. This suggests that without the leadership of someone with high passion for work, superior outcomes cannot be realised. Senior managers cannot afford to overlook the importance of these findings and to seriously consider the importance, impact and benefits of having more employees in their organisation who have high passion for work.


Berglund, K & Johansson, AW 2007, ’Contructions of entrepreneurship: A discourse analysis of academic publications’, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 1, no.1, pp.77-102. Cardon, M 2008, ‘Is passion contagious? The transference of entrepreneurial passion to employees’, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 18, pp.77-86. Cardon, MS, Wincent, J, Singh, J & Drnovsek, M 2009, ‘The nature and experience of entrepreneurial passion’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 34, no. 3, pp.511-532. Chang, RY 2001, The Passion Plan at Work: Building a Passion-Driven Organization, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. Green, R 2010, Management Matters in Australia, paper presented to the Skills Australia Conference, Sydney, Australia, 6 September 2010. Ho, VT, Wong, SS & Lee, CH 2009, ‘A tale of passion: Linking job passion and cognitive engagement to employee work performance’, Journal of Management Studies, First published online: no. doi: 10.1111/j.14676486.2009.00878.x. Hurst, D, MacDougall, S & Pelham, C 2008, ‘Aligning personal and entrepreneurial vision for success’, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 2, no.4, pp.367-386. Kelloway, EK, Inness, M, Barling, J, Francis L & Turner N 2010, ‘Loving one’s job: Construct development and implications for individual well being’, New Developments in Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Job Stress Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being, vol.8, pp. 109-136. Perttula, KH 2004, The POW Factor: Understanding and Igniting Passion for One’sWwork, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California, United States, California. Retrieved August 27, 2010 from ABI/INFORM Global. (Publication No. AAT 3140536). Schmenner, R 2004, ‘Service businesses and productivity’, Decision Sciences, vol. 35, no.3, pp. 333-347. Sedgwick, S 2010, Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of the Public Service, paper presented to the Skills Australia Conference, Sydney, Australia, 6 September 2010. Thompson, J 2004, ‘The facets of the entrepreneur: Identifying entrepreneurial potential’, Management Decision, vol. 42, pp.243-258. Tucker, KA 2002, ‘A passion for work’, Gallup Management Journal, 1-3. Links. Vallerand, RJ, Blanchard, CM, Mageau, GA, Koestner, R, Ratelle, CF, Leonard, M & Marsolais, J 2003, ‘Les passions de L’ame: On obsessive and harmonious passion’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 85, pp.756-767. Vallerand, RJ, Paquet, Y, Philippe FL & Charest J 2010, ‘On the role of passion for work in burnout: A process model’, Journal of Personality, vol. 78, no. 1, pp.289-312. Vallerand, RJ, Salvy, SJ, Mageau, GA, Elliot, AJ, Denis, PL, Grouzet, FME & Blanchard, C 2007, ‘On the role of passion in performance’, Journal of Personality, vol.75, no. 3, pp. 505–534. Wallman, P 2010, Passion Mapping, accessed 18 October, 2001 from www.passionmapping. com. Young, R 2008, ‘Interview with Michael E Gerber’, Strategic Direction, vol.24, no.10, pp.27-28.

Member Profile Rebekah O'Rourke

Managing Director of the Global Leadership Practice – an organisation focussing on developing leaders.

Rebekahs’ Career has been a combination of holding leadership roles and working with business leaders in different contexts. This combination has made her practice very pragmatic and versatile. What are the key roles you have held that have been pivotal in career progression and development? 1. Head of Organisational Development at World Vision for East Africa 2. Group Manager at Telstra. Both roles were for large organisations that are complex and challenging from a number of perspectives including the vast geography, subsystems, stakeholder factions and political environments making the application of initiatives a much more involved process. What has been your most satisfying role? Being approached by World Vision initially to do Organisational Development projects… they were essentially projects that no one wanted to do. The role allowed Rebekah to be innovative and creative as well as test the boundaries. She had a great leader that created enough space balanced with just enough direction. What has been (and still is) your drive and purpose throughout your career? Rebekah’s drive and purpose has always been to enable leaders to be more effective. “A leaders impact is on their teams, the planet and those around them is profound. Developing effective leaders is not just about this week, it’s also for a future generation.” What’s the single most important thing a leader can do to make a difference? Truly understand the purpose of the organisational system and their role in it and be attuned to the political, psychic and spiritual dimensions of the organisation. Leaders need to have a deep commitment to serving the purpose. This is often a counter cultural approach where we don’t often talk about serving the purpose… however the purpose will always encompass the collective and the intentionality of how it will be delivered. What do you do to remain innovative and current in your practice? Rebekah considers herself a leader working with other leaders, therefore she is continually reflecting and developing herself. With regards to her own professional development she tries to do engage in regular learning activities. This year Rebekah has participated in the 2011 program of the Art and Practice of Leadership at Harvard. She will also spend time at the Grubb Institute in London in November on staff and hosted the Evolving Leadership Conference in Queensland where 40 leaders came together to explore what is being called forth by the world in these complex times in relation to how we are leading.


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