One day we decided to type all of the poems from a Mākarshop we led at the CUPA-HR Conference. Nearly 200 HR professionals created storytelling poems in teams and the customized subjects we assigned for each poem related to workplace situations (hence the title of the book above). Oh yeah, we also decided not to edit the poems. We read the poems after typing them and noticed something groundbreaking.
The poems collected data. In some poems, the HR professionals revealed what they thought of themselves at work, their perceptions of their co-workers, managers, and their team culture. Because the poems are anonymous, the Mākarshop participants felt comfortable with opening up and sharing raw truth. This is the beauty of poetry. It inspires conversation and dialogue that we sometimes are afraid and ashamed to discuss, or even admit to ourselves. Reading these poems was eye-opening and inspired an idea. Mākarshop Books.
Mākarshop Books are compilations of poems written by Mākarshop participants from the custom prompts we provide according to the company needs or the event’s purpose. By conducting a literary analysis of the Mākarshop books, we find that these candid poetic narratives provide insights to management teams and senior leadership executives on what their employees are thinking about the company’s culture. Our goal is to continue to explore methods on conducting quarterly or 6 month follow up Mākarshops to compare one Mākarshop book with another to see if employees feel the same way about their company culture. Management and senior leadership executives can then explore which changes they should or shouldn’t make based on the storytelling data found in the Mākarshop Books.
Poetry is the art of storytelling at its purest.