Passion for Mission: The Organizational Heartbeat
by Regan MacBain Traub
Creating passion throughout an organization has never been so vital for resilience and retention, yet more challenging to achieve…whether you’re working onsite, hybrid, or remote. Connecting people to a meaningful organizational and personal mission has become an organization’s vital heartbeat for performance, innovation, success, and sense of fulfillment.
While visiting Sicily this summer to fulfill my mother’s near end of life wish to return to the village in which she was born, I was on a parallel mission to find a cherished ‘ancient’ herb bread my grandmother made 50 years ago. It required a plant my grandfather had carefully nurtured and smuggled back to the US aboard a ship but, had subsequently been lost. My mission was clear. My fate was dubious.
Ultimately, strangers of a foreign country, speaking a ‘lost’ dialect helped me to realize my dream of recouping a meaningful, cultural tradition. People I had never met mobilized their discretionary energy, becoming part of a team of strangers to fulfill another’s personal passion. One who drove into the mountains to find the wild herb, an elderly woman who re-engaged her bread making expertise once again, a baker who coordinated with the first two to ensure the desired outcome, and a fourth who was determined to discover the botanical name of the plant so the seeds would perpetuate a tradition and family memories. They were gifts for which I will forever be grateful. Why did they do it?
The story your organization tells about its mission and values is crucial. It needs to be shared with purpose, passion, and essential roles people can choose to play in bringing a goal to life. Understanding of, and resonating with, the organizational mission, vision, and values is the seed planted. The passion of leaders and employees throughout the organization sows tremendous discretionary energy and reaps high engagement. And in my case last month, a cherished ‘lost’ bread, a story that will be retold for decades to come, and my memory about people who made one of my dreams come true to nurture resilience through storms ahead.
Today, achieving success in increasingly rapid change and organizational complexity requires high levels of employee engagement, resilience, and communication. Internal organizational communications expertise matters now, more than ever. Yet most internal communications roles were shed during the recession of the late 1980s. In the Great Resignation’s epilogue, leaders and HR are focusing on compelling communications strategies and plans to develop organizational ‘super glue’ to attract and retain exceptional talent. Without the right talent, our organizations will fail. Our internal communications strategies and plans must now be delivered in tune, tempo, and vibrato with leadership performance that consistently orchestrates the promised symphony.