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Newsletter (15)

insium's newsletter on courage: September, 2017

Written by Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00
Published in Newsletter

 

The 5th World Congress of Positive Psychology

Leading with Courage

As several you are aware, I had the opportunity to present my “Leading with Courage” program at the recent 5th World Congress of Positive Psychology.  I received feedback on the program from a panel comprised of world renowned experts in the field of positive psychology and organisations, including Marisa Salanova, Professor of Work & Organisational Psychology, Jaume I University, Spain, and Anne Brafford, co-founder of Aspire Legal and Chairperson of the American Bar Association’s Attorney Wellbeing Committee.

 

insium's newsletter on leadership: June, 2017

Written by Wednesday, 28 June 2017 00:00
Published in Newsletter

 

In preparing for my presentation, "Leading with Courage," for the 5th World Congress of Positive Psychology in Montreal next month, I am reminded of quotes, videos, images, memories and more that have piqued my curiosity in courage.

Firstly, it was the study and subsequent design of the Authentic Leadership Program with colleagues that ignited my curiosity in courage.  I came across "Radical Gratitude and other life lessons learned in Siberia" by Andrew Bienkowski and Mary Akers.  The following quote from this book – “It takes courage to be your most authentic self when others all around you are acting and pretending to be what they think is expected of them” – not only sparked my curiosity but also that of many program participants, leading to robust exploration and debate of authenticity in context of the work environment in which one works – including the impact of organisational design, dynamics and politics to lead with authenticity.

insium's newsletter on leadership: May, 2017

Written by Wednesday, 10 May 2017 00:00
Published in Newsletter

A Reflection

 

I recently had the opportunity to share the work that insium does with Imogen Kroker. I very much enjoyed and learned much from the time we spent together.  This is her reflection ...

insium's newsletter on leadership: March, 2017

Written by Tuesday, 21 March 2017 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Leading with Courage

 

Last month's newsletter introduced the idea of Leading with Courage in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous - the subject of my recent Master of Applied Positive Psychology Capstone paper.  What follows is my recent submission to the International Positive Psychology Association, for consideration for presentation at their upcoming conference in Montreal in July.

insium's newsletter on leadership: January, 2017

Written by Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Leading with Courage in a VUCA World

 

Sustaining organisational performance in an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) (Bennett & Lemoine, 2014) is challenging and falls to the leadership within an organisation.  This environment has contributed to corporate scandals including that of Enron in 2001 and Lehman Brothers in 2008.  Might the collapse of both of these organisations have been averted by a strong expression of courage by senior and executive employees?  Might courage – defined as "an intentional constructive or moral action taken by an individual in the presence of perceived personal risk, fear and uncertainty of outcome (personal or organisational) in order to resolve or avert an organisational dilemma" – avert further global collapses?

insium's newsletter on leadership: November, 2016

Written by Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Raising the bat - 50 insium newsletters!

 

insium was formed in 2005 and in 2006 insium dispatched its first e-newsletter. Now in 2016 we've brought up our 50 - and have no intention of declaring our innings closed yet!

Our first newsletter covered the results of our annual client survey, as well as articles on the following topics:

  • Insights From Some Truly Inspirational People
  • Empower Your Direct Reports by Asking Better Questions
  • Making Business Change Sustainable

Many of our newsletters have focused on the topic of "Leadership", and we've often been asked for copies of previous newsletters on this topic that people would like to refer to.  With this in mind, we've decided to collate some of these and put them into e-book form.  If you'd like to obtain a copy, please get in touch with us.

insium's newsletter on leadership: September, 2016

Written by Wednesday, 21 September 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Organisational Courage

Courage is a pattern of constructive opposition, in which an individual stands against social forces in order to remedy duress in the organisation.

Monica Worline, 2012

The VIA strengths of courage are bravery, perseverance, honesty and zest; practising these strengths have resulted in the following organisational benefits:

  • Improved accountability and responsibility
  • More effective working relationships
  • Increased self-efficacy and self-confidence
  • Broadened perception of what is possible and improved resourcefulness
  • Increased goal achievement
  • Increased ability to learn from mistakes
  • Increased positive energy, positive mood, empathy and conscientiousness
  • Increased prosocial orientation
  • Inspired others to act courageously 

Adapted from the works of Haidt (2002); Herman (1971); Hitz & Driscol (1989), Huhnke (1984); McQuaid& Lawn (2014); Peterson & Seligman (2004); Ryan & Deci (2000); Shepela, Cook, Horlitz, Leal, Luciano & Lufty (1997)

How do you build courage in your organisation?  A few ideas for your consideration that can be easily implemented include:

insium's newsletter on leadership: August, 2016

Written by Wednesday, 10 August 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Courage:

The willingness to act towards a moral or worthwhile goal despite the presence of risk, uncertainty and fear

Robert Biswas-Diener, 2012

The VIA strengths of courage are bravery, perseverance, honesty and zest.  The benefits of these strengths include:

  • Healthy positive relationships
  • Taking personal responsibility for one’s actions
  • Increased tolerance for ambiguity
  • Increased resilience, personal growth and achievement
  • Increased trust
  • Increased happiness and wellbeing
  • Increased inclusiveness
  • Fuller expression of abilities, skills and talents
  • Increased resourcefulness
  • Increased self-confidence 

Adapted from Peterson & Seligman (2004)

 

While the following short clip depicts the courage of Buzz Lightyear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czgmiqhgMCQ

courage is not purely the domain of the heroes in the world - ordinary people have courage too. (Lopez, Rasmussen, Skorupski, Koetting, Petersen, & Yang, 2010).  And yet, being courageous … requires courage.

insium's newsletter on leadership: April, 2016

Written by Thursday, 21 April 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

The subject of my Master of Applied Positive Psychology course this semester is Positive Psychology and Organisations.  Our first assignment was to find an example of a positive organisation and to analyse it against:

  • Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi’s notion of a positive institution (2000) where they define positive institutions as those that “move individuals toward better citizenship” through cultivating “responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance, and work ethic” (p. 5); and
  • Stansbury and Sonenshein’s (2012) three elements of positive ethics; these being morally praiseworthy, discretionary and positively deviant


I chose the Lort Smith Animal Hospital as my case-study.  The following are a few excerpts from my assignment.
 
The Lort Smith Animal Hospital has been committed to caring for animals for the past 80 years.  The hospital’s vision is “to be the recognised leader in Australia for animal health and wellbeing” and its mission is “to improve the health and happiness of animals and the people who care for them,” with the supporting values of care and compassion, quality and affordability, integrity and respect (Lort Smith Animal Hospital, 2014).  The hospital is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, providing veterinary care, adoption and fostering services, emergency boarding and bereavement services to animals and their owners…

 … In addition to providing sanctuary, rehabilitation, welfare and a new home for animals, nurturance permeates all that the hospital provides and is linked to its core principle of preserving the human-animal bond … A further example of nurturance is the “Mates for Inmates” program (Humpage, 2015) in which female inmates care for and train rescue dogs, providing a second chance for the inmates by providing responsibility, a sense of purpose and future opportunities for employment.  The dogs also get a second chance where they are loved, cared for and trained to increase their likelihood of finding new homes. 
 
… A strong example of positive deviance and compassionate generosity to victims of hardship as described by Stansbury and Sonenshein (2012), is the hospital’s Emergency Boarding Program which is part of the Adoption Centre; … this program provides care for the pets of some of the most vulnerable members of community – for example, those who have mental health issues, the homeless, the elderly requiring emergency hospitalisation and victims of domestic violence.  The Lort Smith has been providing emergency accommodation since 1936 ensuring that pets are fed, accommodated, receive medical assistance if needed and receive tender, loving care until they can be reunited with their owner.  It can be argued that this program has been deviating existing norms in a way that is positive and honourable (Stansbury & Sonenshein, 2012) for many years.
 
… While the day-to-day actions described provide clear evidence that the hospital is a positive institution and is positively ethical, there many more actions undertaken by the hospital which, while not included, further reinforce its standing as positive and ethical. 
 
insium is a proud supporter of the Lort Smith Animal Hospital.
 
If you are interested in reading the entire assignment, please let me know.


Humpage, A.  (2015, September 3).  Rescue dogs in Mates for Inmates program at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, Ravenhall.  Herald Sun.  Retrieved from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/west/rescue-dogs-in-mates-for-inmates-program-at-dame-phyllis-frost-centre-ravenhall/news-story/1a27937d5ba808b9d783e40511ef0a0a
 
Lort Smith Animal Hospital (2014).  Mission, Vision & Values.  Retrieved from http://www.lortsmith.com/what-we-do/about-us/mission-vision-values/
 
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. The American Psychologist55(1), 5-14.
 
Stansbury, J. M. & Sonenshein, S. (2012).  Positive business ethics: Grounding and elaborating a theory of good works. In K. S. Cameron & G. M. Spreitzer (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive organizational scholarship (pp. 340 – 352).  New York: Oxford University Press.

 

If you'd like to download a copy of this newsletter, you can do so via this link: insium newsletter April 2016. If you'd like to join our mailing list and receive our newsletter regularly, click on the "News" link in the "About" section of our website and complete the form.

insium's newsletter on leadership: March, 2016

Written by Thursday, 10 March 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

There are a number of apps that are readily available that will support you in building and maintaining your well-being; these apps focus on:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Brain training
  • Breathing
  • Tracking moods
  • Yoga
  • Mindset
  • Positive practices
  • Physical fitness and more 

When choosing an app to support your well-being, consider its fit*; that is:

  1. Fit with your key well-being goal(s)
  2. Fit with your strengths and motivations
  3. Fit with your lifestyle
  4. Fit with what seems natural to you
  5. Fit with having some fun

Apps that we use regularly, which fit for us, include:

Buddhify 2 – a targeted mindfulness app which provides suggested exercises based on asking you “What are you doing?”; www.buddhify.com

Lumosity – designed to provide your brain with a workout; it’s a lot of fun and can get somewhat competitive in our household!; www.lumosity.com

Mood Meter – helps to identify emotions, thereby building emotional vocabulary which in turn helps in emotional self management/self regulation; www.moodmeterapp.com

Run Keeper – designed to track your physical activities; www.runkeeper.com

 

If you’d like to see a list of apps that we recommend, please click here

 

* Adapted from Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2010.  “The How of Happiness,” Piatkus, London.

 

P.S.  Does your team/organisation need assistance to build or maintain well-being?  If yes, let’s discuss my Melbourne University Master of Applied Positive Psychology Capstone project.  I may be able to help!

 

If you'd like to download a copy of this newsletter, you can do so via this link: insium newsletter March 2016. If you'd like to join our mailing list and receive our newsletter regularly, click on the "News" link in the "About" section of our website and complete the form.

An offer from insium for your wellbeing! Newsletter January 2016 Featured

Written by Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:00
Published in Newsletter

We're at the end of January and I hope you've had a great start to 2016 ... however you define great!

 

This great start may have been serendipitous for you or may have been planned.  We know that if we plan and have goals, we are more likely to achieve these and celebrate success ... however success is defined for you.  

 

So what plans and goals do you have for your success in 2016?

 

insium's newsletter on leadership: November, 2015

Written by Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:00
Published in Newsletter

Similar to our third newsletter, our final newsletter about the World Congress of Positive Psychology focuses on a number of key messages shared by a variety of speakers.  With each of these key messages, questions are posed for you to consider.  Again, we suggest that you might ponder one key message with the associated question(s) at a time and at a pace that is beneficial for you:

 

“The single greatest strength may be uncovering a (unrealised) strength in another person.”  Tom Rath

§  How often do you take the time to observe and inform others of their strengths?

 

“You can’t have two books (your personal and professional life is integrated).”  John Kim 

§  How well integrated is your book?  How authentic are you?

 

insium's newsletter on leadership: September, 2015

Written by Tuesday, 29 September 2015 00:00
Published in Newsletter
Our third newsletter about the recent World Congress of Positive Psychology focuses on a number of key messages shared by a variety of speakers. With each of these key messages, questions are posed for you to consider. We suggest that you might ponder one key message [with the associated question(s)] at a time, and at a pace that is beneficial for you:

“The average describes, while the best prescribes. Studying the best makes excellence accessible to all of us.” Tal Ben-Shahar

  • How do you make excellence accessible for yourself and for those you lead and interact with?

“Human systems move in the direction of the questions asked.” David Cooperrider
  • What questions are you asking?

insium's newsletter on Leadership: August, 2015

Written by Friday, 04 September 2015 00:00
Published in Newsletter
The focus of this month's newsletter is my learning from the WCPP2015 The Power and Possibilities of High Quality Connections at Work workshop facilitated by Jane Dutton, Co-founder of Centre for Positive Organizations, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Jane posed 2 key questions at the beginning of the workshop:
* Why do people flourish in some organisations and not others?
* Why do you flourish in some organisations and not others?
based on the core claim that more high quality connections (HQCs) between people during the day foster individual, team and collective flourishing.

HQCs are energising; they are mutual and each person holds the other in positive regard. The value of HQCs at work include1:
- Increased well-being
- Enhanced physiological resources
- Greater cognitive functioning
- Increased trust
- Increased learning
- Increase resilience
- Increased commitment and engagement
- Increased creativity
- Increased shared knowledge and goals, resulting in increased quality and performance

April Newsletter

Written by Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:00
Published in Newsletter