What’s your Why? Here’s mine.

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What’s my Why? Why do I care about contributing to positive organizations? Maybe because I know what it’s like to be “doing time” within a locked building, ruled by the clock. I’ve been there. I also know that we are blessed to live now: we have many more opportunities than our ancestors ever had. It’s vital that we develop our …

Love in the workplace

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Is your workplace positive and loving? Does the question make you flinch? The word love is reserved for the private space. It is a taboo at work. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no love in the workplace! We call it differently, we express it differently than at home, but all positive organizations practice love. Moreover, fresh research shows that …

Change Circles engage the whole

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Now we get to the last part of this positive power series, where we focus on the whole organization. So far, we have seen Interaction Interventions that you can deploy individually or with a few other Positive Agents to influence your group or organization. The motto of Interaction Interventions is: If you want to go fast, travel alone… (and you …

Letting go for leaders

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Letting go is vital for cultures, leaders, employees, and organizations. Without letting go, organizations whither away due to micro-management. Too much control stifles engagement, agility, innovation, collaboration, responsibility, and so on! It’s dangerous. Ricardo Semler One of the most provocative and inspiring initiators of letting go of control is Ricardo Semler. In 1982, he took over his father’s company Semco …

Dare you share failures?

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Learning is crucial for a positive culture, but it hardly ever happens without mistakes, hickups, or failures. Learning fast, and learning from others’ failures as well, helps your organization become more agile and better. In conventional cultures, however, it’s not common to admit failures even though failure is critical to success. In nuclear plant accidents, the NASA Challenger disaster and …

Are you still learning?

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When was the last time you learned something new? Being a newbie again, can be a wonderful experience. People who thrive have a sense of learning and vitality, as Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath found. Flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed, is the state where you are challenged and learn, but though there is a “stretch” you are not challenged beyond …

The power of purpose

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You probably know the story of three masons chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. When a bypasser asked what they were doing, the first Mason said: “I’m cutting stones”. The second man replied: “I am building a wall.” The third, who was humming a tune as he worked, smiled, “I am building a cathedral!” Job, career, or calling? That …

Dialogue in a World Cafe

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Do you need more engagement and positive, constructive ideas? A dialogue to tap into the collective intelligence of a large department or organization can be done in a World Cafe, developed by Juanita Brown and others. The World Cafe engages people around a central theme and helps them connect and learn. Like all great things, it’s simple but can be …

Positive Deviance

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Positive cultures lead to productivity and can even stir high performance or “positive deviance”. How could you make that work? People perform best when they feel good about themselves, plus: when they know what they must do and what the criteria are. Clarity Though rather simple, this is explained in The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. …

Involving and empowering others

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Today, let’s focus on developing a positive, productive culture from a leading position, so you can involve more others than as an individual positive agent. How could you work with your team or organization? Invite By involving – I mean inviting others. A positive, productive culture is built on intrinsic motivation and its energy. People contribute because they are energized …

How to improve your meetings?

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What I’ve learned about improving meetings in my client work aligns with Dan Mezick’s tips to “game your meetings”. Mezick learned this as a Scrum consultant who helped organizations adopt this agile approach to software development. The Scrum methodology aims to create a learning climate that values quick testing and experimenting, inspection and interaction to avoid the expensive, lengthy software …

What happens in meetings?

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Let’s take another look at meetings as they are important indicators of organizational culture. We’ve checked why there are meetings. This week, let’s look at what happens in meetings. Meet how? The How: How often are meetings held, and with whom? Is it a standard circus, like the bi-weekly team meeting, scheduled with an iron format? Or are meetings incidentally …