experimental filmmakers, documentarians, and journalists – come together with purposeful
intensity to create, collaborate, and then leave to recharge.
For many creative individuals, the top down corporate management hierarchy has never
been particularly inviting and here it was easy to be marginalized or typecast in that kind of
environment. In the last decade, Appreciative Inquiry has gained momentum and has been
instrumental in challenging the way we view organizational change management,
innovation, and sustainability. The appreciative approach, attempts to involve all
organizational stakeholders, and facilitate improvement by giving voice to “what’s working”
rather than participating in a deficit discourse that fuels toxicity. The goal is to create an
environment where the whole self is invited to work allowing for creativity, learning, civility,
diversity, cooperation, and advancement.
The enterprises frequently making the top of the list in magazines such as Fast Company
for innovation include Facebook, Twitter, Patagonia, Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Chipotle
and even the Occupy Movement provide an employee focused environment. Click to read
the 2012 list from Fast Company on The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies
(http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2012/full-list). What is the
essential attribute of great place to work?
The answer is that great employers must shift the focus on trying to get more out of
people, to investing more in them by addressing their four core needs – physical,
emotional, mental and spiritual – so they’re freed, fueled and inspired to bring the
best of themselves to work every day. (Shwartz, 2011)
The word burn out is becoming more commonplace as individuals describe working longer
and harder in many work style configurations just to stay afloat. As Steven Tatar, a very
creative entrepreneur who is trying to jump-start the production for Ohio Knitting Mills,
quietly says, “I’m burnt out (LOWERS VOICE) – I’m burnt out.” He has been actively
working at working and laments:
I’ve gone from year-to-year, month-to-month, and now we’re going week-to-week
practically. Yesterday, I found out that I’m getting paid for work I thought was pro
bono. Plus I picked up new work. I said ‘thank God.’ I think I may make it through
August. . . I’ve gotten calls from Fossil, Levis, WP Lavori, Pendleton, and all these
companies are interested and somebody needs to take a step. It would be nothing
for Levis – I know they’ve shrunk and had a tough time – but they’re doing well again.