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Want to be a Better Negotiator? Be Yourself

April 16, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Mention the word “negotiation” and a number of metaphors come to mind — arms-length, check your emotions at the door, win the competition.

U-M Ross Professor Shirli Kopelman, who has researched negotiations for more than a decade, thinks that’s the wrong approach. She illustrates an innovative, positive way to think about negotiations and get better outcomes in her new book, Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business (Stanford University Press).

“Negotiations aren’t just a competition. They’re about co-creating value and being cooperative and competitive at the same time,” says Kopelman, professor of management and organizations. “We’re so used to doing business by wearing our work hat and focusing on our role. I’m calling on people to be their full selves and wear all of their hats. This allows you to tap more of your personal resources.”

Her goal is to turn a positive lens on negotiations and transform them from a tug-of-war between opponents to a conversation between people building value. The book shares strategies and techniques, along with exercises to shine a light on how to apply them.


Want To Keep Your Team Happy? Talk To The People Who Just Quit

April 15, 2014

As Jessica Amortegui writes, “Employees contemplate daily whether to re-up with their current employer or entertain the prospect of landing a better gig. Given this, the real question is not how to engage your employees so they don’t leave–there is a good chance they will. The real opportunity is how you treat them they do.”

According to research by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, “people will judge their overall experience by its peak, or most intense point, and by its end. When we file the experience into our memory, we don’t do simple arithmetic to average our moment-to-moment experiences.” With this in mind, Amortegui offers three tips for a better off-boarding strategy.


Center for Positive Organizations Appoints Fred Keller as First Executive-in-Residence

April 14, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today announced that Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering, will serve as the Center for Positive Organizations’ first executive-in-residence. In his two-year appointment, Keller will unify his successful business background with the ongoing research, teaching, and organizational partnerships of the Center.

Keller’s appointment represents a further step by the Center for Positive Organizations in bringing research-based practices to organizational leaders in inspiring and practical ways. In 2010 and 2012, the Center for Positive Organizations was recognized by the Academy of Management for first opening up a new field of scholarly inquiry, and then for its impact on management practices. Keller will mentor students, and serve as a bridge to business leaders aspiring to build positive organizations.


5 Reasons You Need to Instill Values in Your Organization

April 4, 2014 | Jessica Amortegui

Writing for Fast Company, Jessica Amortegui notes the importance of creating a “values-based” culture. However, she also acknowledges “how difficult it is to implement one.”

And yet Zappos “has seemed to crack the cultural code.” Indeed, their positive culture is so effective that people travel from all over the world to come see their practices in action. “Thousands of companies from around the world travel to the Las Vegas headquarters to see how Zapponians ‘live their 10 WOW values,'” writes Amortegui. “Zappos turned their culture into an attraction that warrants a price for admission. In doing so, they send a clear message to all those who seek the proverbial keys to the cultural kingdom: it is not easy to replicate the ‘secret sauce.'”

But how does one at least make an attempt at recreating the recipe?


Happy, happy, joy, joy: Books, apps bubble it up

March 20, 2014

Today is International Day of Happiness! This article from USA Today, focused on the research of happiness, mentions both the Positive Business Conference and the work of Ross Professor Gretchen Spreitzer.


The Cloud Brings a Rise in Coworking

March 19, 2014

Writing for CPA Practice Advisor, Terry Kosdrosky reports on some recent research findings by Gretchen Spreitzer and Lyndon Garrett, who have been looking into the effects of the recent trend of coworking:

“U-M Ross Professor Gretchen Spreitzer and Ross PhD student Lyndon Garrett are researching this emerging trend, and the early evidence shows it helps isolated workers thrive and be more productive. They see a couple of business models emerging, with lessons from coworking spaces that companies can adopt to enliven their offices.”


On Leadership & Forgivenesss

March 14, 2014

In this blog post, Al Gonzalez discusses his recent radio interview of professor Kim Cameron on the show Leading Beyond the Status Quo:

“Professor Cameron explained that to be a strong and mature leader, we need to have the courage to face those who may have done us wrong and present an objective description of the issue. Strong leaders overcome the desire to get even and are able to list the negative consequences because of the action taken against them. Unbeknown to me, Professor Cameron researched the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearings in South Africa and has actually visited the prison cell where Nelson Mandela was held.”


Educators: Teach Millennials How to Be a Force for Good

March 5, 2014

Alison Davis-Blake, Dean of the Ross School of Business, recently wrote an article for Bloomberg Businessweek urging the importance of teaching positive business:

“Leaders in business education must be prepared to give students the tools–academic and emotional–to redefine the workplace as a setting that creates both profit and meaning. At the Ross School of Business, where I am dean, we call this Positive Business, a focus on creating businesses that generate rewards for shareholders, employees, and society.”


Do You Have a Job, Career or Calling?

March 4, 2014

Samantha Boardman, writing for the Huffington Post, discusses the differences between jobs, careers, and callings. In the article, she mentions Jane Dutton, as well as Adam Grant and Amy Wrzesnieswki, members of the CPO Research Advisory Board.


Fewer are behaving badly at work, survey finds. What changed?

March 3, 2014

Elizabeth Barber, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, quotes Dave Mayer on the importance of prioritizing ethics in the workplace:

“Of course, just having an ethics and compliance program is not enough – such programs can be little more than varnish to otherwise seedy operations.

“‘It takes a little bit more work than an ethics and compliance program,” says David Mayer, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a researcher at EthicalSystems.Org, an online hub founded last month to help businesses bolster their ethical performance.

“That additional work includes ensuring that such programs are ’embedded within an ethical culture,’ says Dr. Mayer. To do so, companies must prioritize ethics, hiring and promoting ethical employees, he says.”


U-M Ross School of Business Announces Speaker Lineup for Inaugural Positive Business Conference

February 18, 2014

Convergence of business executives and academics offers first-of-its-kind conference experience

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Feb. 18, 2014 – The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled the roster of high-profile speakers that will address attendees at its inaugural Positive Business Conference, which will take place May 15-17, 2014 at the Ross School of Business. C-level executives from companies including Whole Foods Market, Ford and Procter & Gamble will take the stage to share the most inspiring and practical positive business practices currently in place at their organizations. With a number of academics presenting and conducting workshops alongside world class business leaders, the breadth of business topics that will be addressed will make the conference a unique experience for all attendees.

The three-day Positive Business Conference will bring together the diverse perspectives of business professionals, academics, students and industry luminaries. The conference will host sessions with both practical examples of positive business practices being implemented, as well as workshops based on the cutting-edge research underlying the practices. Select Ross faculty will lead interactive workshops on specific approaches to building positive businesses across a range of disciplines.


Achieving Happiness: It takes positive thinking, hard work to create a good life

February 2, 2014

Tom Muha, writing for, highlights some of Kim Cameron’s work in an article about building positive workplaces:

“In Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance, Dr. Kim Cameron offers four strategies for creating a positive work environment. His research at the University of Michigan has shown that the top performing organizations are characterized by four qualities: positive climates, positive relationships, positive communication and positive meaning. When all four elements are present, employees are able to ‘achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy, and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise.'”