The manufacturing industry allows each citizen of the world an opportunity to meet their needs for just and healthy lives at a minimum, with a full opportunity to achieve their highest potential.

"Humanist manufacturing focuses on the importance of integrated growth, moving toward self-actualization and transcendence for a production operation's internal and external stakeholders.  The objective is to establish an environment focused on strengths that promote upward spirals toward optimal individual and organizational performance.  The work occurs in a positive whole system setting that compels the natural human tendency of innate good to motivate the organization's members to generate positive environmental and social impacts.  Ultimately, it has the additional beneficial outcome of all stakeholders of its ecosystem doing well financially."  

Joe Sprangel
Principal Consultant
Humanist Manufacturing

Humanist Commitments

Calls to inject humanism into business are not new.  Carvaka, Confucius, Gautama, and Socrates are just a few historical figures espousing humanism or humanistic thought.  What is different at this point is that we live in increasingly challenging times rampant with opportunities to make a significant difference in improving the well-being of others.  Integrating humanist commitments into manufacturing operations creates a positive environmental and social impact for all internal and external stakeholders.  Additionally, companies that have done so have realized a more robust bottom line.  The humanist commitments are:

We must be willing to make the
right choices regardless of the outcome
and be ready to be accountable when we have made mistakes.  While what others believe is right and wrong aligns with various codes of conduct, cultural values, expectations, and social mores, it is essential to clarify what is appropriate for the specific organization.  Furthermore, creating an environment of caring and trust allows community members to come forward to work through issues that fall in the fuzzy
area between clear right and wrong.

Empathetic individuals work at imagining what the other person is facing.  In essence, stepping outside of ourselves and try to experience their pain and suffering.

There appears to be an increasing
scarcity of critical thinking in the world.  In addition, society faces a growing onslaught of information and misinformation.  Therefore, a needed approach is to critically evaluate the available information, use reason to develop proper judgment, develop alternative solutions, and ultimately select the one that will most efficiently and effectively solve the issue.

As children, we begin to learn cooperation, fairness, and sharing.  As we mature, there is an opportunity to continue to evolve our ethical development.  We can continually adapt and rebuild our moral frameworks as we constantly learn more about the world and our responsibility to develop into
better human beings.

To maintain a just work environment, we need to eradicate any level of injustice occurring to our internal and external stakeholders.  We need to build a fair and equitable society for all individuals impacted by our business operations.  The work needs to attain peace through effective and efficient conflict resolution, leading to restorative justice when harm occurs to individuals or groups.

The approach to creating a better community should build on the previous nine commitments that add additional social awareness of the neighborhoods in which we operate.  We can then use our unique capabilities to create thriving in the internal and external circles of company influence.

Imagine the world if each person had a selfless concern for others while working to improve their well-being without expecting something in return.  Instead, the welfare of others was a driving force to reinforce healthy connections to create better internal plant operations that supported thriving communities collectively and a better world.

The self-aware recognize their
opportunity to contribute value to a work environment and where others bring different strengths to the group.  Understanding that we are neither better nor worse than our coworkers allows the opportunity to express gratitude for the various roles that each member contributes to the organization.

The manufacturing industry can
play a significant role in creating a healthier global environment.  Companies can use Cradle to Cradle designs to develop processes and products of less or zero environmental harm.  In addition, plant operations that desire to take their operations to the next level can adopt a regenerative production model and would benefit from reading the Lessons for the Future:
The Interface guide to
changing the world.

As a child, I knew little beyond
roughly a twenty-mile radius of the
farm that was my home.  However,
I now know that forty percent of the
world's population lives on $5.50 or
less per day, which requires us to
develop better opportunities for our
global citizens to experience healthy
and dignified lives.

Humanist Manufacturing Framework

Humans naturally desire to do good for others.  Therefore, most of us crave the opportunity to work in an environment that allows all stakeholders to do well financially while simultaneously generating positive environmental and social impacts.  Moreover, "doing well while doing good" resonates with all generations, particularly our younger current and future colleagues.  Therefore, they expect their employer's values to align with their own.  

When employees feel valued, proud, and protected, their productivity and creativity soar – they rise above expectations and become engines of a company's innovation, growth, and profitability.  In addition, an industry facing a significant employment gap needs to change significantly to attract and retain top talent.  Integrating humanist commitments into factory operations creates meaningful work in a career of enhanced purpose.

Using knowledge gleaned from manufacturing exemplars, thought leaders, and industry best practices led to developing a sequence of steps necessary to support owners and leaders of manufacturing plants to maximize their positive impact on their internal operations.  Additionally, to positively impact their local community, region, and the world—an attempt to complete a BHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  Doing so has led to the development of a six-phase framework.  The phases are:
THE Values

Making a difference.

Emmanuel Strategic Sustainability helps business leaders to build organizations that attract and sustain top talent that can delight customers while optimizing organizational success.

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Emmanuel Strategic Sustainability is committed to supporting manufacturing companies wanting to become humanist manufacturing operations.  Those that do so will:

• Attract and retain talented employees seeking jobs that allow them to reach their full potential while working for a company with similar values to their own.
• Engage and empower all stakeholders that see organizations' significant gains with a transformational vision.
• Delight customers who feel good about engaging with a humanist company while being cared for by highly engaged employees.
• Lead to efficient and effective operations as the workforce commits to achieving the compelling "why" for the company's existence.
• Increase profitability where doing the right thing to improve your company's environmental and social impacts will also enhance financial results.
• Expand the positive impact within the walls of your organization, the greater community, and collectively the world.

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What our clients are saying...

ESS performed work on behalf of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to position our organization for a workforce grant. Joe Sprangel’s depth of knowledge and experience in the manufacturing environment assured two-fold results.  First, he spoke the manufacturing language and easily conversed with our manufacturers. Second, his depth of knowledge allowed him to analyze the manufacturing feedback and provide a concise and cogent report of our manufacturing situation and opportunities to address the circumstances.

Jay Langston – Executive Director – Shenandoah Valley Partnership

My limited interaction with Joe has been two conversations and a review of his website and responsible manufacturing framework.  However, my initial impression is that he understands the needs of manufacturers that desire to become a more sustainable operation that can further contribute to their community's vitality and make the world a better place.

Fred Keller - Founder - Cascade Engineering

Joe has that rare combination of experience, practicality,and thought leadership required to drive transformational change.

Jair Drooger - Co-Founder -The WellMent Company

Joe Sprangel helped our organization at a pivotal point in our B Corp certification process.  He provided thoughtful insights and guidance as we navigated the application process and organizational implementation of policies and systems.  Joe is extremely knowledgeable and it is a pleasure working with him.  If you are considering incorporating as a public benefit corporation or becoming B Corp certified, we would highly recommend engaging Joe Sprangel.

Jane Doe – HR Executive – Pharmaceutical Industry

Joe Sprangel has been invaluable to SCCF and the clients we serve. He has given great operational advice to SCCF as an organization and led a key class in our Business Bootcamp series for over 4 years now. He is an engaging instructor that makes operational and financial topics more approachable for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. We love working with Joe and hope to keep him as part of our instructional team for years to come.

Debbie Irwin - Executive Director - Shenandoah Community Capital Fund

Joe is a very rare and valuable combination of a strategic mind, a visionary outlook, and a practical implementer.  His deep understanding of people has been honed by his notable real-world /industry accomplishments and then further inspired by his academic endeavors.  His humble approach often hides the genius beneath, but spend a little time with him, and you'll quickly learn what capacity, perspective, and opportunity he can bring to your organization

Peter Denbigh - Chief Chaos Creator - Skyler Innovations & Chief Instigator - Staunton Innovation Hub

I’ve known Dr. Joe Sprangel as a colleague, supervisor, and friend for more than 10 years. In that time, I have felt privileged to work beside someone who is skilled at balancing productivity and compassion all at once. Joe is efficient, thorough, and thoughtful in his approach to a challenge; he is process-oriented, yet he never forgets the human capital involved in the process. He is realistic about the obstacles but is tenacious about finding ways to problem solve, always seeking the best solution for all stake holders. I have a deep level of trust in Joe and his ability to guide and lead a large organization or a small team of colleagues, and would recommend him without hesitation.

Cat McPherson – Chair of Business & Associate Professor – Mary Baldwin University

So many theorists and consultants become specialists bound to one philosophy or one methodology. Joe Sprangel is a generalist in the best sense of the word. He understands the theory supporting the numerous methods that can be used to improve processes and businesses as well as our daily lives.  Instead of seeing Kaizen or Lean, he understands the solid ideas that make up process improvement. Joe embodies transformation in the way he has encouraged me to see the connections between different methodologies and to explore new ways of solving problems and improving the lives of our students.  His creation of the program that became the original MBA@MBU, as well as directing the structure of the MBA@MBU 2.0 has allowed us to offer some of the best and most cutting-edge classes in the field today. His views on transformation and sustainability go beyond the politically correct and the current buzz to embrace the true meaning of the words so that the power of those concepts can be embodied in today's organizations.  While his roots may be firm in manufacturing, Joe's grasp of business and human nature allows his skill set to be easily applied to help service, government, and non-profit organizations.  His understanding of business transcends the actual output to encompass the idea of systems thinking at its best.

Joanne Tritsch – MBA Director & Assistant Professor –Mary Baldwin University
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