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Artful Work: Awakening Joy, Meaning, and Commitment in the Workplace Hardcover – March 7, 1995
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Work and art are typically seen as mutually exclusive pursuits: Richards provides a new concept in viewing work and art, revealing how to honor creativity and artistic endeavors in organizations and workplaces. What is artful work, and how does it relate to the work process itself? This is anything but a dry discussion: chapters are lively reflections on how to derive joy and meaning from the workplace. -- Midwest Book Review
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The premise is that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Being completely present benefits us in many ways, and adds more to our lives than the tedium of just performing tasks would.
Artful work, seen as a contribution to the individual, is an exceptional thing to integrate into your life. Working without meaning definitely detracts from the individual. Dick Richards clearly argues the distinction between the two poles.
A great quote from the book is "It takes courage to grow up and be who we are." Being artful, and expressing ourselves in the world, is being respectful to us - to who we are, and what we can contribute. No matter what you do, doing it with your whole self could be greater therapy than anything else you might be able to buy.
Although the topic is serious (heavy to many), it is well written and easy to consume. The author does a great job of interpreting deep serious topics to manageable ideas that won't scare readers away.
He also discusses not just an artful individual, but what an artful organization might look like. How can you be artful, how can your organization encourage artfulness, how can leadership foster it. Very much worth the read.
One of the more powerful concepts presented in Artful Work is sculptor Henry Moore's answer to, "What's the secret of life?" "The secret of life is to have a task, something you do your entire life, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is--it must be something you cannot possibly do!"
Part of what holds us back from creating great workplaces is that we may change a great deal, but rarely the bedrock of the workplace--our beliefs about what work is. Without awareness and an examination of our constricting beliefs, we will continue to experience frustration in creating better workplaces. One fundamental failure of ours is the unwillingness to match employees with the work that gives them joy.
Many leaders are so concerned with controlling workers, that they elaborately encourage the need for approval. The thinly veiled belief that management hides or denies (and workers fail to notice) is the gross lack of trust in the human spirit--without strong direction, people will be destructive.
"The artist's perspective on work is:
· All work can be artful
· The reward for artful work is in the doing
· The ambition of artful work is joy
· All work is spiritual work
· Artful work demands that the artist owns the work process
· Artful work requires consistent and conscious use of the self
· As the artist creates the work, the work creates the artist."
"Management involves allocating organizational energy: managers historically have decided who works on what tasks. Leadership, on the other hand, involves raising the level of available energy."
The above only exposes the tip of the iceberg. Any reader of Artful Work will be rewarded.
--Jack Bender, author of Disregarded: Transforming the School and Workplace through Deep Respect and Courage
I was drawn to this book because I am an artist. It spoke my language and it's approach spoke to my heart. Thank you for this gift! I sure hope my own book inspires others as yours has inspired me.Reclaiming the Soul of Human Resources: How to Recover the Purpose of HR to Nurture and Protect the Human Spirit