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Caring is a nitty-gritty process. Cultivating Common Ground teaches us how to care at work with real life experiences, rather than through conceptual thinking alone. Caring relationships to our work and each other give meaning to our work and provide a powerful source of energy for our organizations. Therefore, we must release relationships from their hiding place in the informal structure of the organization. The way to do that is to work together, to cultivate common ground, in order to make a conscious commitment to hold a life and a task in common. As old structures crumble, we have the opportunity to build caring communities at work. This book explains what went wrong in the first place, names our fears, and provides real-life examples of how to release the power of relationships in the workplace.
Daniel S. Hanson is President of the Fluid Dairy Division of Land O'Lakes, Inc., an instructor at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and a speaker and author on the subject of organizational change and personal empowerment. Hanson draws on his 30 years experience as a corporate executive for four Fortune 500 companies, his extensive research, and his own life-changing experience to offer practical, hands-on presentations and trainings. He is also the author of A Place To Shine: Emerging From the Shadows at Work, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996.
"This is a compassionate and powerful call for caring in the workplace. Dan Hanson is right on the mark when he suggests that we need to take courageous steps toward a new, caring workplace. He is one of the best teachers of building community at work you'll ever meet."
—Richard J. Leider, founding partner, The Inventure Group, author, "Repacking Your Bags" and "The Power of Purpose"
"Dan Hanson delves broadly and deeply into the nature of relationships in the workplace. He lays before us the common ground that nourishes results as well as meaning and satisfaction for the human heart and soul. Hanson provides the tools and knowledge we need to cultivate this garden. We are called to fertilize the soil with our own courage."
—Margaret A. Lulic, author, "Who We Could Be at Work"
Audience: Practicing managers, mid-level managers, professional business trade.
A Prologue: The People Who Grew Vegetables; PART ONE Driving Relationships Underground, Our Struggle with Relationships at Work, Digging Deeper: How We Got Disconnected, The Hawthorne Revelation, The New Organization: A Renewal of Relationships or the Final Blow?, "The Harvest", "The Closing of a Division"; PART TWO Bringing Relationships Into the Open, Four Reasons to Care, Embracing Our Fear of Each Other, From "I to We Without Losing Me","The Joy is in the Dance"; PART THREE Cultivating Common Ground: A Process for Building Community at Work, What's in a Metaphor?, Clearing Out Old Assumptions, From Swords to Plowshares, Discovering Common Ground, Fertilized with Meaning, Sowing Seeds and Nurturing Relationships, Working the Soil Together, Growing Through Conflict, Living in Harmony, Celebrating the Harvest; PART FOUR Relationships and the New Organization, The People Discover New Gardens, The Changing Workplace, A Time for Leadership and Leaders, The Future is Ours if We Learn to Care for Each Other, An Epilogue: A Weekend With Grandpa.