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Twincraft Skincare’s Take on Appreciative Inquiry in a Contract Manufacturing Environment

October 27, 2017
Appreciative Inquiry at Work

Businesses all have their own ways of looking at problems and finding the best possible solutions. At Twincraft Skincare, we’ve adopted the Appreciative Inquiry approach to tackle long-term and short-term challenges to apply at our Vermont bar soap and liquid skincare manufacturing facilities. Appreciative Inquiry, or AI, is a concept that gives business executives, and in turn, their employees, a method to think about problems optimistically. They focus on the positive and affirm their strengths in a way that allows them to make lasting impacts on their companies.

When organizations recognize what is working and why, they allow themselves to continue using these processes to produce end-results to the highest possible standard. This strengths-based approach to thinking enables employees to enrich the business by giving their full potential, stimulating people to work harder and more efficiently, with a better quality outcome than they might otherwise expect.

AI provides decision makers with a different perspective on how the business is functioning. It teaches that if you only focus on the negatives, your business may never get to where you want it to be, and that you must understand and recognize the positive in any situation.

Our main takeaway? Focusing on your strengths will reduce your weaknesses.

Twincraft’s Peter Asch (President & CEO) and Joel Marquardt (COO) were recently interviewed for The Sustainable Business Podcast’s series, Ask Josh Patrick, to explain how they’ve implemented AI at Twincraft.

Asch and Marquardt recognize the following areas as the keys to implementing AI in any business:

·         Differentiating between good and bad mistakes

·         The effect of AI on company culture

·         The correlation between budgeting and AI

·         Impacts of AI on the industry

Differentiating Between Good and Bad Mistakes:

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve definitely been exposed to workplace mistakes, but fear not – some of these mistakes were beneficial. If mistakes aren’t made in the workplace, there would be no indication that something is going wrong, therefore no need to fix it.

Sure, acknowledging your mistakes is important in any setting. By letting these mistakes become learning lessons, and appreciating the positives, you’ll be more prepared to do better work without even realizing it.

The Effect of AI on Company Culture:

Positive reinforcement is a critical component of good company culture. AI influences the Twincraft culture by letting our team know that their efforts are valued. Positive feedback encourages our employees to keep doing what they’re doing well, but holds them to realistic standards if they face hurdles along the way.

This, along with transparency and open communication with our clients, allows us to create an environment that embraces customer satisfaction. Even if we run into a problem, we focus on communicating that with our customers ahead of time, and we find that they almost always understand and are appreciative of the transparency.

The Correlation between Budgeting and AI:

What’s worse than coming up with a strong idea for a product then not being able to produce it because you’ve already maxed out your budget? Short answer: nothing. Luckily, the AI approach to business lends companies flexibility to not necessarily adhere to budgets. We understand that additional unexpected investments need to be made from time to time to produce the best possible skincare product, such as an outstanding hydrating facial bar soap or a luxurious shave cream.

Impacts of AI on the Industry:

The effect of AI on the manufacturing industry is invaluable. Its ability to empower employees to critically think about their successes, not just their obstacles, helps foster positive attitudes and long-term achievements. By instilling positive values into our company culture through this approach, we’ve found that our employees are better prepared to create high-quality products, all while strengthening our customer relationships.

Twincraft has already learned so much by adhering to the AI approach, and we look forward to more positive outcomes in our contract manufacturing business as a result of it. To learn more about Twincraft’s take on AI, listen to the full podcast featuring our President & CEO and COO by visiting The Sustainable Business Podcast series, Ask Josh Patrick.