Passion - the essential meaning, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”.
In our rapidly changing digital world, all too often we all see projects that lack passion. They simply become outcomes without meaning within procurement vehicles in both the private and public sectors.
When digital solutions like websites, economic recovery grant programs, citizen assistance programs, or tools that offer transparency and accountability to investors and stakeholders are the desired outcomes, the end result truly matters. These digital tools can serve millions of citizens, be the hinge in a corporation’s financial outcome, directly affect the job security of workers and the investments of many good people.
By building reliable private & public-sector technology solutions, we all need to be accountable by actually caring about why this is happening and what the purpose should be. The final outcome delivered by a diverse team of designers, developers, researchers, or scientists must create reliable technology that maximizes citizen and stakeholder impact. Vendors need to approach these environments with care, trying to understand at a deeper level how a solution impacts all and ensure the deliverable achieves the measurable and meaningful goals that were set.
It’s also okay for a vendor to walk away from an opportunity, should their due diligence uncover concerns or barriers to achieving success. It’s alright to say no thank you, when you care.
When we as people, not technology solution providers, approach business with a truly human side and cultivate curiosity about strangers, actively listen, and dare to communicate with vulnerability…we can better understand and relate.
Process, communication, and openness centered around not dismissing beliefs, not being judgmental, and following through with real actions matter. A great example of empathy sits within the topic of the digital divide, a challenge faced globally where a significant gap exists between people who have and do not have access to the internet and technology tools (eg: mobile devices, computers) required to participate in the critical conversations available online.
Sometimes, we all take for granted the quality of life we are privileged to lead. For just a moment, imagine how some Indigenous, low-income, rural communities and others who can’t easily access information are impacted. What if you could not get the support you needed during the pandemic? How would no access to education for your children over the last couple of years impact their emotional development under the challenging times of quarantine?
It is imperative we take an empathetic approach to building ethics into design and implementation, combining code and the public good. That’s what it should be about.
As important as empathy is, if you are not passionate about your WHY, chances are the desired outcome simply will not occur. The magic of passion in the workspace happens when a team comes together to combine many interests, diverse experiences, and curious minds. Both vendors and procurement professionals need to love what they do. They must like to play with data, get excited about climate science, want to support people who need help and so much more that results in creating positive corporate and citizen impact.
Most organizations have a mission statement, that bold position that defines what you and your team are about. Perhaps we all need another statement in the workplace...
What is your passion statement?
Image Credit: Zoey Li / Midjourney
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