Creating more humanistic workplaces

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 15, 2010
Filed in Culture, Employee Engagement

“If you go into a grey concrete box with one little window, it’s claustrophobic, it’s cold. If you put a skylight in it and you make the window bigger and put a tree outside and put wood on the floor, it gets better. And it can get better and better until it becomes a humanistic space to which our bodies respond, our emotions respond.” Frank Gehry in Wisdom by Andrew Zuckerman.

We can do the same in our workplaces. Not just with the physical space but with how we work, interact, connect and get things done. Frank Gehry adds skylights, wood flooring and trees. We add stories.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. Great post Shawn – thanks for sharing. I especially like how you move the debate beyond just the physical environment we’re in. Stories (and anecdotes!) are so crucial to spreading ideas, opperating ‘procedures’ and people values. So many procedures, whilst perhaps documented well, fail functionally because people have nothing to mimic. Stories help create this behaviour.

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