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Story 07: Managing the Organization

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Recognition

Written by Elaine Heumann Gurian

Despite the enormously supportive and egalitarian work environment, we were not good enough in giving credit. Since we didn't pay well and worked as a collective, managers were inconsistent about publicly shining lights on individual achievement. We learned to do this slowly and needed to be reminded often.

We began to create amusing recognition ceremonies (though not often enough). We publicly awarded roses at every opening to every participant in the exhibition process. We gave a surprise tee shirt annually to all who had survived the year in a formal ceremony with a receiving line complete with hugs and kisses. I wrote a Valentine that included a trinket to every staff member in my division, and came to find them accumulating on peoples' desks as a reminder of their longevity.

We learned to share royalties fifty-fifty with our authors, and we acknowledged the authorship of each exhibition by listing all who had worked on it. Yet there was never enough appreciation consistently expressed; people who worked so hard got cross when they felt unrecognized and under-appreciated. We never got this exactly right.

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