What Exactly is the Center for Positive Organizations?

April 3, 2014

By: YaLe Lim

The Center for Positive Organizations defines itself as “a community dedicated to positively energizing and transforming organizations and the people who lead them through Positive Organizational Scholarship.” But is that all it is – just a hub for POS? I would tell you that the Center is more than just a classroom. To me, the “Center” takes on a much larger meaning — it is where I’ve met incredible people who believe in the power of positivity in the workplace, and have dedicated their time, energy, and efforts to advocate it. Together, we form a community that helps organizations better understand and respect the culture of the workplace, and take steps to make it a better one for all.

The values we share connect us and our mission leads us toward a common goal, which makes for an easier journey. However, it would be a stretch to say that it has been an entirely smooth-sailing ride. After all, this is a year of many firsts: we are the first +LAB cohort, hosting the inaugural Positive Business Conference (which, by the way, you should sign up for if you haven’t), and it is also the first year of the launch of our proper website. Something as simple as the layout of our bi-weekly meetings (or Huddles, as we like to call them) had to be trialed and tested. In addition, certain obstacles arose in the unlikeliest of events, which led to some periods of confusion.

Throughout it all, though, I’m glad to say that we’ve stuck together and made progress as a team. Looking back, I would say that beginning each meeting by sharing our ‘Celebration for the week’ was the best move in helping us get to know one another better. Sure, sharing our individual celebrations did take time, but it gave us an opportunity to get to know one another on a deeper level. Austin’s family just welcomed a new daughter (congratulations!), Chris ran an amusing 5K Twinkie Run, and both Hannah and Lucy will be going to Teach for America after graduation. This POS activity brought us a deeper understanding of one another’s lives, careers, and dreams — which was invaluable bonding for our group and paved the road for successful collaborations.



Despite the various (normal) struggles, there were many wonderful experiences shared too, and one memory off the top of my head was our Valentines’ Day celebration! Our Huddle fell right on Valentine’s Day, and we celebrated by writing appreciative notes for one another. We received goodie bags as well, prepared painstakingly by Betsy. Everyone was given a turtle with the note “Shell we be Valentines?” tied to it (which I thought was ingenious). I named my turtle ‘Shelly,’ and it has a permanent spot on my pillow right next to my head.

There was also a time when we rallied together for Betsy. It was a tumultuous period for her and her family, and the outpouring of generosity and love was, to say the least, amazing. It was extremely heartwarming to see how we’ve grown to become a community that cares for one another; more than colleagues, we have become friends.

So yes, that is what we are. More than just a group dedicated to learning about the scholarship of positive organizations, we are a family that truly believes in the power of POS and seek to spread the word. As the saying goes, “The journey is half the battle won.” There is a long way to go in the education of POS–really, if you think about it, it’s a never-ending journey. But with every surer step we are closer to our goal. And as far as that goes, the fact that we, the +LABbers, are making this journey together makes the run all the more worthwhile.