Words Create Worlds ® – May 2014 Newsletter

Posted: May 29, 2014

Why? A simple question and, so open to multiple ways of understanding. Recently Melissa Robaina asked if ‘Why’ is an Appreciative Question. Here she writes about the responses that she has receives and continues to receive.

This started me thinking of how we use words and how our brain processes those words. In the book, Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders SEE, SAY AND DO. Kathryn Cramer, citing Hebb’s Law (the 1949 work of Donald Hebb) that “Every time you intentionally shine the spotlight on assets – what is positive, valuable, and worthwhile-you change your brain for the better.” This is exactly why Appreciative Inquiry is so powerful. We don’t look for the opposite of negative, we search for the “Positive Core”, that which gives life to human systems. It is the quest, the search, the journey into the positive, valuable, and worthwhile that allows the generative potential for not just organizational change but to transform our relationships.  We have been working with an International Manufacturing Company recently. With them, we experienced how one person can be transformed by high energy words and become motivated to share that experience publically. This particular plant is located in the Southern United States. The 100+ stakeholders attending the Summit (out of the 400 who work at the Plant) included employees who work the factory “floor”, engineers, and management. They operate three shifts and all shifts within the plant were represented.

The Plant Manager had been introduced to AI earlier this year by the Human Resources Manager, and agreed to the summit. In preparation for the Summit, he attended training, read books and participated in virtual discussions. On the morning of the Summit, he talked about the tough times they have had, the economic meltdown; and, how it had impacted the Company, their Division and their Community. Then, he shifted to his personal journey. He told the stakeholders that his early morning schedule has always been to get up at 4:00 a.m., with a quick check-in to see if there had been any crisis’ during the night, and to look over the production statistics for the prior day. He said to the crowd, “I am an Engineer. These numbers set my priorities and my focus. I looked at them for problems, and corrections we need to take. Now, I have been introduced to a different way. New ideas about how we work together. Words like love, compassion, hope, and inspiration do belong in the workplace.”

He went on to describe how their plant productivity is thriving and wondered the costs to individuals this level of activity over the long haul might be. “We are on a rise in terms of production and hiring. We have the opportunity now to join together to build the foundation that combines our past strengths that our people built with the production requirements to be competitive now. I welcome you to our first AI Summit.”

Gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it?


Words Create Worlds ® – May 2014 Newsletter

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