61 Finding Champions to Help

Brad C. Anderson

As you read the above sections, you may have recognized that taking action to pursue values in an organization can be difficult. You may have also noticed personal risks if your actions threaten the terminal values of dominant groups.

Those observations are valid. Taking action is hard and does involve risk.[1] Why, then, would anyone ever take action?

We often see that meaningful change is driven by what we call, for lack of a better word, . That is, people who ‘champion the cause.’ These champions possess specific characteristics.[2]

  • They are passionate about the cause they champion. They exhibit enthusiasm, optimism, and resilience.
  • They possess the skills needed to .
  • They possess sufficient to know how to implement activities in their organization’s structure.
  • They are adaptable.
  • They are realistic about what they can accomplish within their organization.

Finding someone who has all these criteria sounds like a tall order. What makes someone choose to develop these attributes?

The answer is values.[3] When a person holds a personal value very firmly, and then they see work in their organization that aligns with that value, a fire is lit within them. They become passionate about that work. That passion then motivates them to take on the effort and risk needed to drive action.

The enthusiasm they have when speaking about their work inspires others, contributing to the production of power relations. Their belief in the importance of their work gives them resilience and adaptability to keep trying to overcome constraining .

As identified in the description of champions, though, this passion is tempered with realism. Champions possess the and to understand what their organization can reasonably accomplish. They also understand which forms of rationality have legitimacy in those organizations and use that form of rationality to their advantage.

For now, the key takeaway is this. It is the alignment between values that leads to the creation of champions. This observation has implications for you personally as well as for those who hire others.

You will find that work that aligns with your values will motivate you to strive toward significant accomplishments. From the perspective of recruitment, the more you can hire individuals whose personal values align with the work you do, the higher your ability to build a team of champions. The next chapter discusses this further.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Often, champions are responsible for driving meaningful change.
  • Champions arise when an individual’s values align with the work they do
  • Finding work that aligns with your values will motivate you to strive for significant accomplishments.
  • Recruiting individuals whose values align with the organization’s will create teams of champions.

  1. Beyer, J. M., & Nino, D. (1998). Facing the Future: Backing Courage with Wisdom. In S. Srivastva & D. L. Cooperrider (Eds.), Organizational Wisdom and Executive Courage (pp. 65–97). San Francisco: The New Lexington Press.
  2. Anderson, B. C. (2019). Values, Rationality, and Power: Developing Organizational Wisdom--A Case Study of a Canadian Healthcare Authority. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  3. Anderson, B. C. (2019). Values, Rationality, and Power: Developing Organizational Wisdom--A Case Study of a Canadian Healthcare Authority. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Finding Champions to Help by Brad C. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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