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Stand Apart & Stand for All: Courage at Work

February 11, 2015

By: Madison Romney

“During the fall semester of this year, I was President of a student organization on campus. Many members, including those on the executive board, had been excited to plan an event that I knew would not be appropriate or allowed. While I agreed that this event would be fun, I also knew that the cost of participating would be much greater as it would threaten the reputation of the group. What I needed in this situation was courage.”


Speaking While Female

February 10, 2015

By: Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant

Years ago, while producing the hit TV series “The Shield,” Glen Mazzara noticed that two young female writers were quiet during story meetings. He pulled them aside and encouraged them to speak up more.

Watch what happens when we do, they replied.

Almost every time they started to speak, they were interrupted or shot down before finishing their pitch. When one had a good idea, a male writer would jump in and run with it before she could complete her thought.

Sadly, their experience is not unusual.


Resourceful Change

February 10, 2015

By: Max Branson

Recall a time when you participated in an organizational change. Was it a success or failure? What contributed to this outcome?


Why Working In a Cubicle Is So Demoralizing and Workers Are Demanding More

February 9, 2015

Gretchen Spreitzer quoted in Main Street:

“Many employees are not engaged at work, because they feel a lack of a connection while their bosses continue to ask them to spend more time and energy at the office, said Gretchen Spreitzer, a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

” ‘It’s not about pay and benefits, but to thrive, a connection is critical,’ she said.”


CPO is seeking a videographer!

February 5, 2015

The Center for Positive Organizations is seeking a videographer who can film, produce, and edit 5 videos submissions for the Detroit Positive Business Project. This project aims to identify, profile, and showcase exceptional change agents and practices that positively impact organizations in Detroit. These videos will help tell the story of how positive business practices have transformative results on the well-being of individuals and the success of organizations!


Keep In Touch

January 28, 2015

By: Madison Romney

We all use this phrase: whether it be a cheerful reminder after catching up with past neighbors or a hopeful farewell to soon to be “old” friends when embarking on our journey to college. While saying “keep in touch” in these instances makes perfect sense within our social norms, we don’t actually mean what we say. The “touch” we’re referring to is a form of communication, not physical contact. What we really mean is “Keep the connection” or “Don’t forget to call!” We’re seeking out verbal re-connection. Because of this, we can assume that this phrase cannot be taken literally.

But it can, and it should.


Sparks of Kindness: How far will the wildfire spread?

January 23, 2015

By: Wayne Baker

Sparks of Kindness are deliberate acts of generosity that makes life better for someone else. As we’ve discussed this week, Sparks of Kindness is also a social movement and Facebook group with lots of practical resources. We’ve talked about the wisdom of small experiments and big experiments, along with the paradox of generosity.

Are you a Spark of Kindness?


Sparks of Kindness: How about BIG experiments?

January 21, 2015

By: Wayne Baker

First I recommended the idea of starting small—trying a Spark of Kindness as a small experiment in a safe place. This is a good piece of practical wisdom.

But, you can also go big! Sparks can be small or large—any Spark can start a wildfire! Is a big experiment for you?


Sparks of Kindness: Try a small experiment?

January 20, 2015

By: Wayne Baker

Trying something new can cause anxiety. I teach courses about Positive Organizational Scholarship, and there’s always something new to try at work or home. Many people, I’ve observed, can be hesitant.

What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m embarrassed?

When this occurs, here’s the advice I always give, which I learned from a colleague: Try a small experiment in a safe place. Would this help you Spark kindness?


7 Things Resilient Employees Do Differently

January 8, 2015

Jane Dutton’s research mentioned in the Huffington Post:

“One big building block of resilience is connection, but not just any old connection. High-quality relationships are critical to resilience. According to business and psychology professor Dr. Jane Dutton, there are four distinct pathways for building high-quality connections at work. The first is respectfully engaging others by communicating supportively and being an effective listener. Second, facilitate another person’s success with guidance, recognition and support. Third, build trust, which can be done by relying on another person to follow through on projects and other commitments. Finally, have moments of play. Play evokes positive emotions and is often associated with creativity and innovation (Dutton & Spreitzer, 2014). Work can be a serious place, but so many workplaces take the world far too seriously.”