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BK Blog Post
Posted by David Cooperrider.
David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D. is professor and chair of the Program on Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University. In 1987 Dr. Cooperrider and Dr. Suresh Srivastva published the original, foundation theory of AI in an article that has reverberated and changed the field of organizational development.
North America’s future in manufacturing will be fueled by innovation. Companies that can engage their workforce in sustainable, entrepreneurial endeavors can not only survive but flourish.
I was recently interviewed by Industry Week and they will be covering our Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. Here is an excerpt from the interview…it picks up with the Fairmount Santrol story of how sustainability and the high engagement AI Design Summit–where you bring 600 or more stakeholders in the room to design sustainable value opportunities–is igniting Fairmount’s industry leading success….Here is where the article picks up:
At Fairmount Santrol (formerly Fairmount Minerals), which produces sand and sand products for oil and gas exploration and other markets, Cooperrider in 2005 conducted an Appreciative Inquiry exercise with more than 300 employees as well as external stakeholders such as customers and community leaders. Appreciative inquiry is an approach to organizational change that is based on discovering the strengths and aspirations of the organization through collaborative exercises involving large groups of stakeholders. That led to the development of Fairmount’s sustainable development ideals and guiding principles.
“Our strength as a business is inherently linked to our sustainability strategy,” said Chuck Fowler, a former Fairmount CEO and now a director. “Fairmount Santrol’s ability to proactively manage social and environmental risks and extract value from sustainability opportunities helped to position our organization as an attractive investment.”
In fact, Fairmount on August 20 announced it was considering an IPO, which Reuters reported could value the company at more than $6 billion.
“Every social and global issue of our day is an opportunity to ignite industry-leading innovation, eco-entrepreneurship and new sources of value,” says Cooperrider. And he emphasizes that a key element in taking on these challenges of innovation and more profitable production is an engaged workforce. Companies that embrace sustainability will flourish, says Cooperrider, because their business goals and activities produce “a sense of pride and purpose and inspiration in the workforce. They are on fire. They love their company.”
Look for IndustryWeek’s reports from “Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit,” which will be held Oct. 15-17 at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.