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Invigorating the Workplace Though Connections

May 28, 2014

Terry Kosdrosky

Ever feel invigorated after an interaction with a co-worker — energized and confident to take on a challenge?

That feeling is real, the benefits are real, and companies need to do more to create these high-quality connections, says Michigan Ross Professor Jane Dutton.

Her research shows that interacting with others in ways that foster high quality connections at work does more than improve morale. It improves creativity, commitment, learning, and engagement. Organizations that figure out how to foster these interactions bring out the best in their teams and achieve better results.

“These short, momentary interactions with people at work are like vitamins — they strengthen and fortify you throughout your day,” says Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology. “The good news is that these connections don’t take a lot of time to build. They happen quickly, and small gestures pay big dividends.”


Positive Practice: Acknowledge, Affirm, and Amplify

May 22, 2014 | C.V. Harquail

In a post on her blog, consultant and scholar C.V. Harquail describes a three-step process–Acknowledge, Affirm, and Amplify–for “contributing ideas to a community while boosting someone else’s business at the same time.” Harquail suggests that this strategy “might create opportunities for the people you’re telling and the businesses you’re talking about.” To illustrate the process, she describes her use of it regarding Shirli Kopelman’s post on HBR Blog regarding her recent book, Negotiating Genuinely.


Vision – What it’s Not and Doing it Michigan-Style

May 22, 2014

Writing for Corp!, Sue Voyles covers the inaugural Positive Business Conference, focusing specifically on the power of Visioning:

“Dressed in jeans and a Camp Bacon t-shirt, Ari Weinzweig somberly reads from a couple of sheets of paper what sounds like a news account of his presentation at the inaugural Positive Business Conference at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business May 16, 2014. His presentation, “Creating a Vision of Greatness,” was part of the Positive Leader Briefings presented on the second day of the event, held May 15-17, 2014 on campus.”


Embracing A Positive Business Model Is Good For More Than Just Your Community

May 16, 2014

In an article for Fast Company, Chris White discusses the importance of a positive business model:

“In both life and work, purpose is the secret ingredient to success.

“Countless studies prove the positive effect of having a sense of meaningful contribution to others in our lives, and it’s no different for work.

“When we feel that our day-to-day work is aligned with our values, our strengths, and our passions, we perform better: We are happier and more engaged in the workplace. We form deeper, more significant relationships with those around us. And when we have purpose, we live longer, healthier lives.”


U-M Study: Positive Co-Worker Connections Bring Good Health

May 16, 2014

Writing for DBusiness, Izzi Bendall takes a close look at some of Jane Dutton’s newest research:

“Even just a short conversation with a colleague can have a positive impact on a person’s cardiovascular, immune, and neuroendocrine systems, providing energy and motivation during the workday, says new research from the University of Michigan.

“‘These short, momentary interactions with people at work are like vitamins — they strengthen and fortify you throughout your day,’ says Jane Dutton, a professor of business administration and psychology at the university. ‘The good news is that these connections don’t take a lot of time to build. They happen quickly, and small gestures pay big dividends.'”


Positive Business Conference at U-M draws 350

May 16, 2014

Frank Witsil, writing for the Detroit Free Press, covers the inaugural Positive Business Conference. In the article, he quotes the Center’s Chris White and Shirli Kopelman.

“About 350 students, academics and business leaders gathered this week at the University of Michigan for the first Positive Business Conference.

“‘Our mission is to develop leaders and make a difference in the world,” Chris White, the managing director for the Center for Positive Organizations, said Friday. ‘Positive businesses create economic value, create great workplaces and are good neighbors.'”


Corporate Ethics Slide Because of Bad Negotiations

May 15, 2014

In a piece for Bloomberg Businessweek, Shirli Kopelman writes about the importance of teaching business students how to negotiate:

“If business schools are to graduate leaders who “do no evil,” to paraphrase one of Google’s principles, then we must teach them how to negotiate.

“This may seem like an unorthodox approach to minting a new generation of ethically minded managers. The fact is negotiating can be a useful vehicle for doing good deeds. All sorts of negotiations happen on a daily basis, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s a negotiation when we want our idea selected in a staff meeting, when we want to move a project deadline, divvy up team responsibilities, and even decide where to go for lunch.”


Cascade Engineering’s Fred Keller leads by example

May 2, 2014

Reporting for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Charlsie Dewey interviews the Center for Positive Organizations’ new executive-in-residence, Fred Keller. Fred is CEO of Cascade Engineering, the second-largest certified benefit corporation in the world.


10 Ways to Set Yourself Up For Success in a New Job

April 28, 2014

In an article for Business Insider, Aaron Hurst outlines 10 ways to set yourself up for success in new job. His ideas are inspired by his own personal experience, as well as the research of Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski. “Starting on your first day,” Hurst writes, “you can begin to do what workplace researchers Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski call job crafting. It is the process of taking control of your own destiny and shaping your job to meet your needs and not just your employer’s.”