As a thought leader, author, educator, and change leadership practitioner, I write a weekly article that benefits leaders who want to improve their organizations significantly.
Last week, I wrote about arriving at humanist manufacturing as the focus of my thought leadership, authorship, and consulting work. The objective was to find my narrow niche that resulted in how to combine best my nearly 30 years of manufacturing industry work and 18 years of sustainability experience. If you put "humanist manufacturing" into a Google search, it comes up many times at the top of the first page of the search engine. However, those with familiarity might question what happened to God.
The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. ― Socrates
Calls to inject humanism into business are not new, as found in the article Business Does Not Need the Humanities — But Humans Do. Carvaka, Confucius, Gautama, and Socrates are just a few historical figures espousing humanism or humanistic thought. If we agree with Socrates, we should define what it means to be a humanist. The American Humanist Association defines it as "A progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good." If you believe in theism or other supernatural beliefs like me, that part of the definition could be alarming. However, I am comfortable with the balance of the description that fits the intention of the humanist manufacturing framework.
As the manufacturing industry faces many challenges, we must revise how we manage plant operations to draw our younger generations to this employment opportunity. As I worked on how to integrate humanism into a manufacturing framework, I developed the following definition:
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 establishing 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.
While a work in progress, it was a starting point to improve the humanist manufacturing framework further. As seen in the image below, the ten humanist commitments of the Ten Commitments of Living Humanist Values resonated with me. I am confident they will resonate with others interested in developing manufacturing operations that positively impact their internal and external stakeholders. I am also hopeful they resonate with God as well.
Those who know humanism might raise concerns regarding the absence of theism or other supernatural beliefs in humanist manufacturing. However, the humanist manufacturing framework aligns with the balance of the definition of "our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good." The objective is to develop manufacturing operations that positively impact their internal and external stakeholders.
Individuals interested in further understanding humanist manufacturing should follow up with the content I will share next week. The focus will be on ten humanist commitments that align well with the work of those interested in using manufacturing as a force for good.
I am grateful to those who can explore ways to focus on what is similar to one another and less on what is different. While humanism does conflict with my belief that God exists, there is so much on which humanists and Christians can agree.
Next week's blog will introduce the humanist commitments that comprise the humanist manufacturing framework.
To learn more about our work or read more blog posts, visit emmanuelstratgicsustainability.com.
I encourage you to read my book Humanist Manufacturing: A Humanitarian Approach to Excellence in High-Impact Plant Operations. The paperback and eBook versions are now available at Amazon and many other booksellers. You can also view the Humanist Manufacturing Book Launch to gain additional insight into the humanist manufacturing framework.
If you like what you have read, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Contact me if you need help with the manufacturing support services of consulting, coaching, or training/reskilling in change leadership, strategy, tactical planning, and change management by calling me at 734-664-9076.
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