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Seeking meaning in an overwhelming professional world

(EDITORIAL) For an upcoming documentary series, taking a page from a 125 year old brand, filmmakers are investigating how we seek meaning in this chaotic world.

search for meaning

One of the few concepts I truly retained during my years as a Redbird at Illinois State University came from my Intro to Communication Theories course. Midway through the semester, my professor introduced us to the idea of Theory structures in organizations. Today, I’d like to explore how this theory overlaps with a budding documentary about seeking meaning in a chaotic world and finding aliveness.

These come in the forms of Theory X, Theory Y, and Theory Z. 

Theory X is of the mindset that employees are nothing but cogs in machines and can easily be replaced.

Theory Y is your typical organization – an employee does their work, gets paid, some benefits, and is cared about to an extent.

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Theory Z is an organizational structure that puts people first. A famous organization known for the Theory Z style of operation is Southwest Airlines. 

The Theory Z is also implemented in the 126-year old global manufacturing company, Tuthill Corporation. They constantly check in with their employees and offer company outings and seminars where employees are encouraged to live a life they’re passionate about. 

They have developed a concept called Wake the World where they hope to spread the significance of living a passionate life to people all over the globe. Now, they’re taking this a step further by examining the importance of “aliveness.” 

Outside of explaining to employees the concept of aliveness during seminars and retreats, creative leaders at the company are developing an online documentary series where they travel in the world, interviewing real people about what makes them feel alive. This project is called “The Search For Aliveness.” It’s a search for meaning in an overwhelming professional world.

Their purpose with this documentary is to reach as many human beings as possible, and to show that everyone has the capability to find a passion in life and to live their lives to the fullest. The company will not be making any revenue off of this project, but instead just want to share their valued company culture with the world.

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A casting call is currently open for the documentary, and filmmakers are traveling to selected participants for their interviews. All of the answers that are found in their journey will be used to concoct a “recipe” for aliveness, and will show people how to find a life of passion when they may be unsure of where to start.

Stay tuned for the launch of their documentary to see how others’ concept of “aliveness” matches up with yours as we collectively seek meaning in this chaotic world.

The author of this editorial does know the filmmakers, but has no financial relationship with any aforementioned brands.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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