I read an HBR article this morning called “Don’t Confuse Passion with Competence.” It was a good read and the author looks at the role passionate dogmatism has in driving innovation. The author warns leaders to separate passion from competence, using an example of VCs staging their funding in order to see whether the initial vision (passion) translates into realistic results (measuring the competence). What really struck me as interesting was this point:
“Passion only matters if it leads to an innovation that delivers an impact, whether that impact is measured in revenues, profits, improved process performance or something entirely [different].”
While the author made a great case by highlighting the confusion between competence (performance) and passion (people), I think part of what also precipitates the confusion between the two is the lack of an apples-to-apples comparison. The common perception is performance can be measured quantitatively (ie revenue numbers, etc) while passion is qualitative (ie dogmatism) and can’t be measured.
The take away from this blog: both passion and competence can and have been measured and combined for even greater insights about the people doing the work. Talent Analytics quantifies passions. Enterprise software measures outcomes. When they meet and are analyzed together, it’s data love at first sight and they are exponentially more powerful than they are apart.
Passion and Performance Can Be Quantified and Combined
Among the 12 numbers about the people doing the work that the Advisor talent analytics platform measures are 7 Ambitions, or personal drivers. These are the “below the waterline” agendas that every employee has – what drives them to perform. The HBR article talks about dogmatic innovators – evangelism is a quantifiable and measurable trait.
Passions are a quantitative dataset that can be analyzed along with performance data to yield high value insights. We’ve done it; Talent Analytics CEO Greta Roberts provided a use case in a recent webinar if you’re interested.
Passion Alone: The passionate executive pounding his fist on the table. Without performance numbers, we don’t have context to know if he’s overachieving, underachieving or an average performer. Is it interesting to see how his passions compare to the rest of the executive team or any other group inside the organization, in seconds? Sure! Advisor does this natively better than anyone on the planet.
Competence Alone: High performing sales reps. Is it interesting to look at their performance numbers in abstraction without knowing anything about the reps themselves, how they sell, what they have in common? Sure! Enterprise software like ERP systems track business outcomes yielding a wealth of valuable performance data.
However, together it’s much more fun! The “passion” numbers can be rapidly collected in minutes, instantly analyzed and exported in seconds via our API into an enterprise system that collects business outcomes. Passion, meet competence.
How can your passion and outcomes data find love if they’ve never been introduced?