Robert E. Quinn

Self-regulation can tame fight-or-flight response, CPO researchers write in HBR


Photo: Dastan Khdir on Pexels

Robert E. Quinn

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) co-founder Robert E. Quinn and faculty associate David P. Fessell explain “How to Keep Your Cool in High-Stress Situations” in Harvard Business Review.

Their article breaks down the biology behind our natural fight-or-flight response during stressful situations and lays out a framework for how leaders can hack it.

The CPO researchers, along with co-author Stephen W. Porges, say the key is to listen to your body so you can identify when you’re feeling stressed. A knot in your stomach or a racing heart are signals that you need to self-regulate.

Self-regulation involves tuning in to your higher purpose and remembering past challenges that you transformed into successes, the researchers write.

David Fessel

Once you’ve consciously shifted from fear to hope, your body will release oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy. You will be able to move from defensiveness to connection and, in turn, collaboration.

“Understanding our biological reactions in high-stress situations gives us a path to follow; it is then our choice if we walk this path or fight it,” the researchers write. “And the choice we make is often the difference between our success and failure.”

Quinn is the Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Emeritus Professor in Business Administration and Emeritus Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan.

Fessell is a Professor of Radiology at the University of Michigan. He also co-directs the leadership curriculum for medical students at the University of Michigan.

Finding Purpose in Times of Uncertainty



A conversation with:
Vic Strecher
Professor, University of Michigan Schools of Public Health and Medicine
Founder and CEO, Kumanu, Inc.
Hosted by:
Robert E. Quinn
Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Emeritus Professor in Business Administration
Emeritus Professor of Management and Organizations
University of Michigan

About the talk

Creating a strong purpose is essential to wellbeing in our lives and our organizations during times of uncertainty. With an authentic purpose, individuals and organizations become more resilient, creative, and engaged with their work and the world around them. And employees realize a greater sense of meaning and empowerment.

Join us for a conversation with Vic Strecher hosted by Robert E. Quinn to learn more about the science and practice of building purposeful, thriving organizations. Together, they’ll explore the current scientific research illustrating the positive impact an authentic and well-communicated purpose can have on individuals, teams, and organizations, as well as some keys to help you unlock your own potential.


About Strecher

Victor J. Strecher (pronounced Streker), PhD, MPH is a visionary leader and expert in the fields of behavior change, digital communication, and wellbeing. His pioneering research led to successful ventures, reaching millions of lives. He’s Founder & CEO of Kumanu, a next generation wellbeing company, Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, renowned speaker, and author.

In 1995, Vic founded the U-M Center for Health Communications Research, studying the future of digitally-tailored health communications when fewer than 15% of Americans had Internet access. In 1997, he founded HealthMedia, a digital health coaching company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2010. More recently, Vic created Kumanu (Maori for “nourish” and “cherish”), a digital platform designed to help individuals and organizations live more purposefully.

Vic and the organizations he founded have won numerous national and international awards, including two Smithsonian Awards, the Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award, and the Health Enhancement Research Organization’s (HERO) Mark Dundon Research Award. In 2010, Vic won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award. In late 2017, Dr. Strecher was the Donald A. Dunstan Foundation’s “Thinker in Residence” in Adelaide, Australia to develop a “Purpose Economy” of business, government, and communities. His 2009 TedMed presentation has been cited by MPHonline as one of the “Top 10 Ted Talks on Public Health.”

His latest neuroscience, behavioral, and epidemiologic research; his two books, Life On Purpose and the graphic novel On Purpose; his free massive open online course Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life, which in its first six months has over 75,000 enrollees; and the Purposeful application his business (Kumanu) created are all focused on the importance of developing and maintaining a transcending purpose in life.

About Quinn

Robert E. Quinn’s life mission is to inspire positive change. He does this as a faculty member, author, consultant, and speaker. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and one of the co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations.

As an author he has published 18 books. His best-selling volume, Deep Change, has been used across the world. His book, The Best Teacher in You, won the Ben Franklin Award designating it the best book in education for 2015. The Harvard Business Review has selected his paper, “Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership,” as one of their 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself.

As a consultant he has 35 years of experience and is best known for the competing values framework, a tool that has been used by tens of thousands of managers. As a speaker he is recognized for drawing on research, opening minds to possibility, and arousing the desire to grow. He is a fellow of the Academy of Management and the World Business Academy.


Positive Links Speaker Series Sponsors

The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2020-21 Positive Links Speaker Series.


Session Sponsor

This Positive Links is presented by the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Managerial and Organizational Cognition (MOC) Division of the Academy of Management.



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Leadership for a Changing World Summit


Leadership for a Changing World Summit

Join 20 leadership innovators to discover…

  • Why leadership approaches rooted in service, inclusion, and authenticity will replace command-and-control models
  • Strategies to dismantle, disrupt, decolonize (and rebuild!) obsolete organizations and structures
  • How to build better relationships and create stronger teams
  • How to care for yourself and your team to build resilience and encourage innovation
  • What it means to be a leader who serves, unifies, and empowers others

Each session includes a leadership exercise, practice or technique, and practical tools you can start using immediately

  • Learn groundbreaking new leadership models that will lead to unparalleled results
  • Get practical tools and exercises to shift perceptions and build support in your organization
  • Develop skills to build resilience, adapt to change, and cultivate innovation and growth
  • Maximize your impact with approaches that create alignment and awaken purpose in your team
  • Discover actionable, proven strategies to build inclusive, just, and equitable organizations

Learn from Kim Cameron, Robert Quinn, Ken and Margie Blanchard, Sonya Renee Taylor, Tami Simon, Mary-Frances Winters, Otto Scharmer, Edgar Villanueva, and more…

Learn more and register here

 

 

A Closing Story and Well Wishes


Thrive in Trying Times Teach-Out Videos

A Closing Story and Well Wishes

Monica Worline invites Bob Quinn, Professor Emeritus of Management and Organizations and the University of Michigan, and the third of the three co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations, to share a story that illuminates why dark times can call us into becoming beacons of light. As you listen, remember that we all are artists of light and shadow. How are you working with your palette of light and shadow right now?

This video is part of a series produced for the Thrive in Trying Times Teach-Out. Learn more about the teach-out and watch other videos here.

Robert E. Quinn discusses higher purpose on Everybody Matters Podcast


Center for Positive Organization (CPO) co-founder and core faculty member Robert E. Quinn discusses higher purpose on the Everybody Matters Podcast.

Quinn examines how setting and communicating a clear higher purpose to employees at all levels can create positive corporations. “When purpose is the arbiter of every decision, every single person’s empowered,” he says.

The Everybody Matters Podcast episode also features insights from Quinn’s talk on higher purpose in a socioeconomic context during the Organizational Higher Purpose conference.

“When we understand purpose, we move into a new realm that other people don’t live in. And then you and I engage in exponential learning,” Quinn says. “… It’s logical, emotional and conscience-driven, not culturally driven. When I’m purpose-driven, I bring conscience to culture. That’s a key phrase, you won’t hear it anywhere else. I bring conscience to culture. Inspiration breathes life into a system. Conscience brings inspiration, which breathes life into a system, and everything changes.”

Quinn is Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Emeritus Professor in Business Administration; Emeritus Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan. He also is co-author of the new book The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.

Top 10: The most popular Ross Thought in Action posts from the academic year


Guidance from Michigan Ross faculty on dealing with coronavirus dominates most-read content.

A review of the most popular Ross Thought in Action posts of the just-concluded academic year reveals that half of the top 10 were about the COVID-19 pandemic. The other most popular topics included women in leadership roles, the impact of online grocery shopping, and the importance of learning to ask for help.

RTIA is a platform to showcase the ideas and research of Michigan Ross faculty for the business community.

Here are the year’s top 10 RTIA articles, as measured by page views, starting with the most popular:

  1. If Virus Concerns Have You Working From Home, Here’s Some Advice From the Pros, featuring Professor Sue Ashford
  2. Q-and-A: How Smart Managers Can Effectively Lead Newly Remote Teams During COVID-19 Pandemic, featuring Professor Lindy Greer
  3. What Should You Say? Leadership Communication During the Coronavirus Pandemic, featuring Lecturer Amy Young
  4. How HR Professionals Can Respond to Our Current Virus Crisis, featuring Professor Dave Ulrich
  5. Mindfulness at Work Increases Generosity, featuring Professor Gretchen Spreitzer
  6. Michigan Ross Professor Helps Make Sense of Coronavirus Crisis, featuring Professor Paolo Pasquariello
  7. How One Person Can Change an Entire Company, featuring Professor Emeritus Robert Quinn
  8. Online Grocery Shopping Can Reduce Food Waste and Help the Environment, featuring Professor Ekaterina Astashkina
  9. Varied Legal and Cultural Issues Affect the Number of Women in Leadership Roles Around the World, featuring Professor Cindy Schipani
  10. The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Succeed Today: Ask a Simple Question, featuring Professor Wayne Baker

This original article was published as a Ross Thought in Action article.

 

Robert E. Quinn offers advice for making stay-at-home experience meaningful in WEMU interview


The All Things Considered episode “Shift In Focus Is Advice Of U-M Prof Bob Quinn For Dealing With Pandemic & Stay At Home Extension” explores how we can wring meaning out of our negative emotions.

WEMU host Lisa Barry interviews Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) co-founder Robert E. Quinn about how we can use the stay-at-home experience to identify our strengths and use them to support a worthy purpose.

Quinn recommends we take this time to clarify our purpose and values and reconnect with high-quality connections from our past.

“The key is to shift the focus from the sense of loss to where it is I want to go and what is it that’s supporting me in this process,” Quinn says. “It’s a reorientation and when we make that reorientation, we begin to function well.”

Science suggests that when we know our purpose and live it, we’re healthier, our networks are stronger, we make more money, we have better interactions and a richer life experience, Quinn says.

“This can be a golden opportunity, a great moment in our lives in the middle of a major crisis, to make a difference in the world,” Quinn says.

Quinn is a CPO core faculty member and serves as the Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Emeritus Professor in Business Administration; Emeritus Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan. He is hosting an online program called “Becoming Who You Are: How to Grow Yourself and Your Organization.”

Social Excellence: Detect It, Learn from It, Create It



Positive Links Speaker Series

“Social Excellence: Detect It, Learn from It, Create It”

Robert E. Quinn
Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus
Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations
University of Michigan



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How one person can change an entire company


Writing in Harvard Business Review, Michigan Ross Professor Emeritus Robert Quinn highlights the power of individual action.

Anyone doubting the ability of one person to transform an organization might consider the example of Dr. Tadataka Yamada.

The Glaxo SmithKline executive led an effort that completely changed the culture at his company. Initially focused on protecting its financial interests at all costs, GSK became a leader in the drive to improve access to medications and fight disease in the developing world.

His story is recounted in a new article in Harvard Business Review by Michigan Ross Professor Emeritus Robert Quinn and coauthors Nicholas W. Eyrich and David P. Fessell of the University of Michigan Medical School. Focusing on Yamada’s story, the authors describe how one person can change an organization by bringing conscience to culture.

“A single person with a clarity of conscience and a willingness to speak up can make a difference,” the authors write. “Contributing to the greater good is a deep and fundamental human need. When a leader, even a mid-level or lower level leader, skillfully brings a voice and a vision, others will follow and surprising things can happen — even culture change on a large scale.”

Robert Quinn is a professor emeritus of management and organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a cofounder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

David Fessell is a Center for Positive Organizations faculty associate and a clinical professor of radiology with at the University of Michigan.


This story was originally published by Michigan Ross.

Social Excellence: Detect It, Learn from It, Create It



Robert E. Quinn
Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus
Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations

About the talk

The field of Positive Organizational Scholarship asks what people, groups, and organizations are like when at their very best. Researchers in the field scientifically examine the best of the human condition. This means researchers use science to learn from excellence. For 18 years, Quinn has been teaching executives how to understand and apply these accumulating scientific findings. In the process, he has become increasingly aware that in the world of practice, like the world of science, most people do not attend to or learn from excellence. They learn from failure while seeking to reproduce order.

In this participative session, Quinn will explore three questions:

  1. What does it mean to learn from excellence?
  2. How does learning from excellence alter leadership and culture?
  3. What can we do to learn from and create social excellence?

About Quinn

Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He is one of the co-founders of the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

In terms of research, he is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks. He has published 18 books. As a teacher, Quinn is the recipient of multiple awards. In a recent global survey, he was named one of the top speakers in the world on the topic of organizational culture and related issues. Last year, his talk on personal purpose went viral on Facebook and has been viewed over 16 million times.


Host

Gretchen Spreitzer, Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration; Professor of Management and Organizations


Sponsors

The Center for Positive Organizations thanks University of Michigan Organizational Learning, Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2019-20 Positive Links Speaker Series.



See all Positive Links events

The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization


Two distinguished scholars offer eight steps to help organizations discover and embrace an authentic higher purpose – something that will dramatically improve every aspect of any enterprise, including the bottom line.

What does a lofty notion like purpose have to do with business basics like the bottom line? Robert E. Quinn and Anjan J. Thakor say pretty much everything. Leaders and managers are taught that employees are self-interested and work resistant, so they create systems of control to combat these expectations. Workers resent these systems, and performance suffers. To address the performance issues, managers double down on the coercion, creating a vicious cycle and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But there is a better way. Quinn and Thakor show that when an authentic higher purpose permeates business strategy and decision-making, the cycle is broken. Employers and employees see themselves as working together toward an inspiring goal, not just trying to hit quarterly targets. They fully engage, become proactive contributors, and, ironically, easily exceed those quarterly targets.

Based on their widely acclaimed Harvard Business Review article, Quinn and Thakor offer eight sometimes surprising steps for shifting from a transaction-oriented mind-set focused on constraints to a purpose-oriented mind-set focused on possibility. This iconoclastic book will help any organization discover its authentic purpose and weave it into the fabric of everything it does, leading to unprecedented levels of personal satisfaction, service and product innovation, and economic growth.

Creating an Organization of Higher Purpose


Update: As of October 9, 2019 this event has reached our venue’s capacity. If you remain interested in learning more about Quinn’s work, watch for our announcement of his Positive Links Speaker Series session in Winter 2020. (The exact date is TBA.) You can sign up to receive event emails here.


A Workshop with Robert E. Quinn
Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus
Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations

About the workshop

When organizations are driven by an authentic, higher purpose, employees become more fully engaged and performance increases. Yet how to create a purpose-driven organization remains a mystery to most executives. This free half-day workshop, based on the newly published book, The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization, is designed to help leaders create such organizations. Participants will leave with clear ideas on how to find purpose and create a more engaged workforce. The workshop will include presentations and related small group exercises.


Required pre-read from The Economics of Higher Purpose

In order to engage fully in the workshop exercises, participants will need to read chapter #7 (Envision the Purpose-Driven Organization) and chapter #8 (Discover the Purpose) prior to the workshop (26 pages in total). Please bring your book to the workshop, as exercises will be tied to additional sections you will need to reference. The book can be purchased here.


About Quinn

Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He is one of the co-founders of the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

In terms of research, he is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks. He has published 18 books. As a teacher, Quinn is the recipient of multiple awards. In a global survey he was recently named one of the top speakers in the world on the topic of organizational culture and related issues. Last year, his talk on personal purpose went viral on Facebook and has been viewed over 16 million times.