Kathy Sierra answers the question: How can I get our employees to be passionate about the company? Wrong question, she says.
The company should behave just like a good user interface — support people in doing what they’re trying to do, and stay the hell out of their way. Applying the employer-as-UI model, the best company is one in which the employees are so engaged in their work that the company fades into the background.
Finally, if you really want your employees to be passionate about the company, take lessons from UI and Usability: let people do what they want and need to do, and get the hell out of their way. Unfortunately, too many of our employers are like really bad software–frustrating us at every turn, behaving inconsistently, not giving us a way to learn new things and develop new, cool capabilities, etc.
She offers this 4 question test to see if you have passion for your work:
- When was the last time you read a trade/professional journal or book related to your work? (can substitute “attended an industry conference or took a course”)
- Name at least two of the key people in your field.
- If you had to, would you spend your own money to buy tools or other materials that would improve the quality of your work?
- If you did not do this for work, would you still do it (or something related to it) as a hobby?
A must read.