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Books on Business: Build company loyalty by creating passion for work

Sunday, July 01, 2001

By Carnegie Library's Business Librarians

"The Passion Plan at Work: Building a Passion-Driven Organization" by Richard Chang. Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Author Richard Chang argues that passion is the primary requirement for 21st-century business success because it is the strongest "competitive advantage an organization can claim." He defines passion as "personal intensity, the underlying force that fuels our strongest emotions." Just as individuals are fed and motivated by powerful feelings, organizations also can be inspired and defined by their collective intensity.

Passion benefits organizations in many ways, such as providing direction and focus, creating energy, encouraging creativity, improving performance, attracting employees and customers, building loyalty, and leading to increased profits. Chang expands the definition of "profit" to mean the realization of an organization's desired goals -- not just hard cash, but endurance, contributions to society, fulfilling experiences for its workers and genuine benefit to its customers. These are ideals that actually inspire vehement feelings and loyalties.

Everything starts with leaders developing a passion for their company. But it also must follow that they communicate this to the employees. They must make decisions based primarily on what inspires them rather than on what makes sense. And they must resist temptations to expand into areas that don't express that to which they are dedicated.

Passion would seem to be an uncontrollable and spontaneous force, but the author explains how to cultivate and channel it in the workplace. This is especially important in groups in which "passions must be shared to be effective." Chang walks readers through a seven-step "passion plan," including examples from 12 award-winning companies, including Southwest Airlines and Disney, which model his approach.

This book invites you to imagine a corporate world that harnesses its passions, unleashes their intensity and fervor, and channels them into realizing its core beliefs, to the benefit of workers and customers alike.

Contact the business librarians, who also answer questions about business, money and work, at 412-281-7141 or at

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