exploring possibilities for an engaging and productive workplace

I haven't mentioned that the impetus for this blog is my "Using the Social Web for Social Change" class at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. This week we were tasked with creating a social change video for our blogs. Since I'm writing about work, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to explore the meaning of work.

The video uses words that I gathered from a quick informal survey. Last Friday I sent a message to all of my contacts who were online using either Skype or g-chat.

Could you do me a quick favor: in a brainstorm type of dump, what words come to mind when you think about "work"? Please list as many single words as possible.

Thirty people responded (thank you!). You might think that I received thirty lists with many of the same words. This would make sense since work is such a commonly used word, but that's not what happened. The replies contained 292 unique words, meaning 292 words that were only mentioned by one person.

With such diverse perspectives on work, there's a lot to explore, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's out there and hearing your thoughts-- so please comment.

5 responses to "What is Work?"

  1. Oh yeah. First response here. Bria that was fabulous. I know you really thought about this tons before you did it. HOME RUN. (Are your hands tired from cutting and shufflng letters around?). Lisa


  2. I really appreciate the effort you put into this. It completely gets the point across. I had never thought about work like that until seeing your vid, THANKS!!!!


  3. Bria, your video is totally amazing! But why did you put the words in the order that you did? I'd be really curious to see this as a collage, or to see some sort of ranking/prioritization or other weighting system in place. What words stood out the most to you?


  4. JP- I thought about attaching a document to this blog post with a listing of words. Do you know how to do that? There are way too many words to just list here. Any ideas how to post? I'd be happy to do it.


  5. Wow! You always remain so humble in the face of such enormous talent. That was really a brilliant video, thank you.
    Work has always been an intimidating (293?) concept for me. I approach it with fear and excitement and always a healthy dose of examination... is it, "right" work. I feel the pressure to choose work that fulfills my, "calling" and this often keeps me on the sidelines, waiting to be sure it is right. I appreciate that you have undertaken this examination into the nature of work, it helps me re-frame my own notion of work.


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