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To the Office, With Love

January 6, 2015

Sue Ashford quoted in New York Magazine:

“Colleagues are a tangible benefit provided by organizations. But perhaps the most profound benefit is intangible: They help forge identity. At first blush, this notion may sound laughable, or at least paradoxical, given the office’s reputation as a wasteland of depersonalization. But Sue Ashford, a management professor at the University of Michigan who’s written thoughtfully about nonstandard work, notes that offices provide a ‘holding environment’—a psychoanalytic term coined by Donald Winnicott—to contain our existential anxiety.”


At Facebook, Boss Is a Dirty Word

December 25, 2014

Gretchen Spreitzer quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

“Gretchen Spreitzer, a management professor at the University of Michigan’s Steven M. Ross School of Business, says Facebook’s approach reflects the changing demographics of the workplace. ‘Employees want more power,’ she says. ‘They want jobs that are more interesting.’ “


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.”


Your Boss Won’t Say Yes If Emotions Are Running High

December 19, 2014

James Detert and Sue Ashford in the Harvard Business Review:

“Pitching an idea to higher-ups inevitably stirs emotions. You feel a sense of investment and urgency — it’s your baby, after all. By making a compelling case to redesign a key process or develop a promising new offering, for instance, you can have a big impact on productivity or revenue. (And if you fail to get buy-in, the organization might suffer — along with your career.) Further complicating matters, decision makers may balk if they think you’re being overly emotional, or they may feel defensive if you’re proposing a change to something they’ve done.”


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.”


What Bosses Gain by Being Vulnerable

December 11, 2014

Emma Seppälä in the Harvard Business Review:

“Forgiveness may be another soft-sounding term but, as University of Michigan researcher Kim Cameron shows points out, it has hard results: a culture of forgiveness in organizations can lead to increased employee productivity as well as less voluntary turnover. Again, the impact of a culture that is forgiving breeds trust. As a consequence, an organization becomes more resilient in times of organizational stress or down-sizing.”


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.”


The Perfect Gift: Does mindfulness matter?

December 2, 2014

By: Wayne Baker

Do you wait until the last minute to decide what to buy for holiday gifts? Or, have you been thinking about it for months, carefully compiling your list of just the right gifts for just the right people?