Get the Boss to Buy In

December 19, 2014

Faculty Associate Sue Ashford and James Detert in the Harvard Business Review:

“Organizations don’t prosper unless managers in the middle ranks… identify and promote the need for change. People at that level gather valuable intelligence from direct contact with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. They’re in a position to see when the market is ripe for a certain offering, for instance, or to detect early signs that a partnership won’t work out.”


5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help

December 18, 2014

Wayne Baker in the Harvard Business Review:

“It seems like leaders are always lamenting the lack of cooperation and collaboration in their organizations. But more often than not, the culprit isn’t their employees’ unwillingness to give others a hand — it’s the fact that most people simply don’t, or won’t, ask for help.”


Center for Positive Organizations Appoints HopeLab’s Murchison As Visiting Leader

December 17, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today announced that Chris Marcell Murchison, Vice President of Staff Development and Culture at HopeLab, will serve as Visiting Leader at the Center for Positive Organizations. In his two-year appointment, Murchison will unify his successful business background with the ongoing research, teaching and organizational partnerships of the Center.


How Small Changes Are Improving Gender Balance at One Business School

December 12, 2014

Gretchen Spreitzer quoted The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“There’s been a support system for female faculty members at Ross for some time, says Gretchen Spreitzer, a professor of management and organizations. She points to ‘the Neighbors Group,’ a gathering of women on the faculty that started up shortly after she earned her Ph.D. at Ross, in the late 1990s, and continues today.

“What has changed, Ms. Spreitzer says, is that those issues are now a formal, high-level priority at the school.”


Fighting the ‘Hermit Crab Syndrome’

December 4, 2014

Faculty Associate Sue Ashford quoted in Human Resource Executive Online:

“Sue Ashford, chair of the management and organization department at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, had spent years as an academic examining subjects such as the propensity of organizations to inadvertently stifle ideas and innovation from within their own ranks.

“Yet, it wasn’t until Ashford herself assumed a leadership role that she realized how difficult it can be to respond to new ideas in a way that satisfies both parties.

” ‘It really shifted my perspective,’ she says.”


Courage, Compassion, and Resilience Make Great Workplaces

November 17, 2014

Michael Pearn in the Huffington Post:

“The Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor is accumulating strong evidence that we perform at our best in positive rather than stressful or threatening environments. We do not have to risk burning out or being physically and psychologically unhealthy in order to succeed.”


The Allure of the ‘Intrapreneur’

November 4, 2014

Chris White in Talent Management Magazine:

“We at the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan teach MBA students the skills to lead change without formally having the title of ‘leader.’ Many of the examples we use in teaching are of initiatives that represent ‘positive change,’ such as building a more humane workplace, developing products that are beneficial for less advantaged populations, advancing practices and processes that are better for the environment or creating a healthy relationship with the communities in which we work.”


Make a Profit or Have a Positive Impact? There’s No Choice to Be Made

October 22, 2014

Shirli Kopelman in Inc.:

“But over the last decade we’ve witnessed a new trend, especially amongst the men and women attending business schools. These people no longer are satisfied with only collecting paychecks and ascending the proverbial corporate ladder; now they want meaningful jobs.

They yearn for what is called a Career with a Heart. They want work to be aligned with their personal values. They want their jobs to positively fuel, sustain and energize their work over the long-haul. And instead of aiming for the often unattainable work-life balance, negotiating a career with a heart allows their personal and professional lives to complement and nourish one another.”


Finding the Positives in Your Failures

October 3, 2014

Chris Myers–the Center’s Doctoral Research Fellow–on the positives of failure:

“We experience failures and setbacks quite regularly at work, and the question of how to make these negative events an opportunity to boost resilience is an important one. The environment that we create at work can have a tremendous influence on our ability to ‘bounce back’ and respond resiliently to a failure.”


Does Testosterone Make People Greedy?

October 2, 2014

Dave Mayer–the Center’s Faculty Co-Director–quoted on the link between testosterone and high levels of greedy behavior:

“From the Lausanne study, it’s not clear whether testosterone levels control corrupt behavior, or whether high levels of it are linked to the presence of some other physiological feature that does. But even if it were definitively the case that testosterone is the root of greed, some are skeptical that anything can be done with that information.

“David Mayer, a management professor at the University of Michigan, points out that this research is similar, in spirit, to fMRI studies indicating which parts of the brain light up when a certain decision is made. But establishing these physiological underpinnings does little to solve the problem of antisocial behavior. ‘I wonder how these findings can be used to help leaders be more ethical,’ he says.”


The Opportunity of Management

September 2, 2014

Managing Director Chris White in the Huffington Post:

“But it is not all doom and gloom. At the Ross School of Business, our mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. We define “positive” in this context as creating economic value, building great workplaces, and being good neighbors. While the three are completely interrelated, the work of the Center for Positive Organizations at Ross emphasizes the catalytic importance of architecting places where people can bring their best selves to work. We look primarily at the organizational architecture: how structures, systems, strategies, processes, practices, and culture can all be re-imagined to help people thrive. Financial success and impact on our communities are two other sides of this virtuous triangle of Positive Business.”


Why workplace diversity efforts struggle

August 19, 2014

Writing for Fortune, Anne Fisher quotes CPO Faculty Co-Director Dave Mayer on the difficulty of achieving true workplace diversity:

“People have all kinds of assumptions about what ‘affirmative action’ or ‘diversity programs’ mean,” notes David Mayer, one of the study’s authors, who teaches management at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Unfortunately, plenty of employees think it’s about hiring people who are less qualified, just because they’re a member of a minority group.”