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Unlocking the passion of the Explorer: Report 1 of the 2013 shift index series

In a world of uncertainty and mounting performance pressure, organizations face a significant challenge. On the one hand, more powerful and less loyal consumers demand more value; on the other, more powerful and less loyal workers demand higher compensation and a work environment that supports their development. In this environment, organizations need workers with passion to realize extreme sustained performance improvement. While much work has been done to understand and improve employee engagement, employee engagement is no longer enough. Times have changed. Worker passion—defined by three attributes rather than static skills that rapidly diminish over time—will be critical as we shift from a twentieth-century world characterized by scalable efficiency to a twenty-first-century world amplified by scalable learning. We must figure out how to thrive—and not simply survive—in this new uncertainty, and we believe that individuals with worker passion will be the key. Three attributes characterize worker passion: Commitment to Domain and Questing and Connecting dispositions. Commitment to Domain can be understood as a desire to have a lasting and increasing impact on a particular industry or function. Workers with the Questing disposition actively seek out challenges to rapidly improve their performance. Workers with the Connecting disposition seek deep interactions with others and build strong, trust-based relationships to gain new insight. Together these attributes define the “passion of the Explorer”—the worker passion that leads to extreme sustained performance improvement.