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A Case for POS

May 15, 2013


A proposal featuring creative, yet easily-implemented, recommendations for building a positive work culture won the Center for POS’s first case competition, which was open to all University of Michigan students. Christy Vanek (BBA, 2014), Bridget Labe (BBA, 2014), and Zarin Singh (BA, 2014) comprised Team Sunbeam, and took the $1,500 first prize. Their recommendations were all based in POS research, and included a spotlight on the importance of expressing gratitude and its positive impact on mood.

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Compassion: Do We Have Nerves of Compassion?

May 8, 2013

By: Wayne Baker


Charles Darwin called sympathy the strongest of all human instincts. In Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, Keltner describes the new scientific evidence in support of Darwin’s intuition. Keltner is a faculty member at Berkeley’s Greater Good center. As I described Monday, this center partnered with the CompassionLab to produce the free online survey of compassion in organizations.

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Compassion: Does it Make Business Sense?

May 6, 2013

By: Wayne Baker


Does compassion make business sense? I know that seems like a crass question. The case for compassion is a moral and human one. In business, however, many hard-nosed leaders don’t see a place for compassion unless it makes sense in dollars and cents.

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Compassion: Test Your Workplace with this Free Online Quiz

May 5, 2013

By: Wayne Baker


Kindness is the #1 character strength in America, according to a global survey of 24 character strengths.

But, what about the workplace? Often, kindness is reserved for family, friends, and community, while the workplace is cutthroat.

Today, I’m giving you a free online quiz to see: Do you work in a cutthroat or a compassionate organization?

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Pursuit of Hapiness: Is Gratitude More Than Saying Thanks?

May 2, 2013

By: Wayne Baker


Expressing gratitude is the first happiness prescription that psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky gives her book, The How of Happiness. People who are consistently grateful are not only happier, but more energetic, hopeful, helpful, empathetic, forgiving, spiritual, and religious.

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The Joy Factory: A Visit to Menlo Innovations

April 30, 2013


For an “out of the box” experience for our April 2013 Positive Links Speaker Series session, we toured Menlo Innovations, an Ann Arbor-based software development firm nationally know for its innovative work practices. Menlo CEO Rich Sheridan and his team welcomed us for a visit that included these insights:
Honest estimates: Menlo supports a culture of honest estimates of how long it will take to do a given project – there are no penalties for the actual time needed being more or less than originally estimated. They tell clients that 49% of jobs come in under the estimate, 49% come in over, and only 2% at the estimated time.
High Tech Anthropologists: Menlo sends teams to the client site to observe and learn firsthand about their culture and practices, to better inform their work for the client. In one case, this resulted in solving a mystery about why a piece of electronic equipment kept failing – workers in the field were unknowingly damaging it.

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Future of Compassion in Business – Video

April 29, 2013

By: Monica Worline, Jane Dutton


In this video discussing the future of care and compassion in business, Dr. Jane Dutton discusses this as a particularly generative time for thinking about compassion in business, with new possibilities and organizations emerging to generate scientific and social advances in the study and practice of compassion.

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Video Introduction to Care and Compassion in Organizations

April 28, 2013

By: Monica Worline, Jane Dutton


In this short video introduction, Professor Jane Dutton welcomes you to a special issue of the Academy of Management Review focused on understanding and creating compassionate organizations. The special issue features nine highly diverse papers selected from over ninety-six submissions in a rigorous peer review process.

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How to Read a Book Like Adam Grant’s “Give and Take”

April 19, 2013

By: Ryan W. Quinn


Our friend and colleague, Adam Grant (whose work we have featured in this blog before), has a new book that is receiving wonderful media attention from outlets as diverse as the New York Times Magazine and the Diane Rehm Show. The title of his book is Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, and it has its own accompanying web page, blog, assessment tool, and opportunity to nominate and highlight givers you know and admire.

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