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Visiting Panera Bread recently, I noticed employees’ name tags now include the question, “What’s Your Passion?” and the employee’s personal answer.

Love the question, but I’m not sure about this strategic application. It forces an employee to disclose what might be very personal information or fudge, sharing something more generic and not really a passion at all. For instance, the person taking my order, listed “food” as her passion. From the looks of her, that was no surprise. Yet the answer had to be so short and potentially bland to fit on her name tag it really wasn’t the conversation starter I am sure the person who came up with the idea expected it to be.

Here’s a great application of the question though: Answer it for yourself, identifying your own passions. Then make sure you’re:

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4 Responses to “What’s Your Passion?”

  1. Joan Koerber Walker says:

    One of my passions is doodling out solutions to challenges. Taking a white sheet of paper and doodling out pictures of how to solve it helps me see the bigger picture. But this is a solitary path to a solution. I wondered how to get my team to doodle with me.

    One day at Lowe’s I found White Board Paint on the shelf. I bought some and painted the wall outside my office door over the weekend. Then I started a doodle and left white board markers and a note for the team to add their ideas. Soon we were doodling together.

  2. Mike Brown says:

    I've got to get around to trying this idea Joan.

    We have a couple of walls in our house with metal paint underneath we've outfitted at various times with magnetic words & phrases. It's great fun at parties, particularly with friends who know really classy-sounding dirty words.

    Mike

  3. Mike Brown says:

    We were at a Panera this week, and the person waiting on us had a badge that said her passion was “Taking naps.” In all these years, it was the most honest of any passion statement I’ve seen at Panera!

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