Despite the many articles, blog posts, interviews, products, and webinars that InnoFuture has produced to better help businesses understand and achieve Innovation Culture, there is still confusion about the one thing that really drives innovation. Unfortunately, this one thing, no matter how hard we may try, cannot be taught. The one thing that will always drive true business innovation is passion.

Passion is what creates urgency. It creates necessity and it breeds industry-changing ideas in even the lowest-paid workers. When businesses are failing to create an engaged workforce and stop innovating, it is always because somewhere along their growth, the leaders lost their passion.

Now, it is important to note that you don’t necessarily have to have passion for what you do. You don’t even need to have passion for what your business does. These things help, but what is really important is your passion of creating change. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has openly admitted that he does not, and never really did care about shoes. What he cares about is building businesses and delivering great customer service. So the product may be boring, but his company is anything but – and this is how it can be for any organization.

In the article, Goldilocks on Productivity, I explain my recent conversation with a Federal Minister and a corresponding Shadow Minister, and how the state of Australian government is one almost devoid of passion for growth and change. I believe it is up to businesses to show the government organizations how things can be. If not, we will most likely never see things get better.

And, more importantly, it is up to business Leaders to begin the chain reaction. Leaders must re-learn where their true passion lies and how to tie it in with their businesses, as well as how to effectively communicate and literally instill that passion in their workforce. With an entire workforce working happily toward simple, but powerful goals, we’ve all learned that anything is achievable.