organizational psychology – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: organizational psychology

Photos by Mike Wilson and Ky0n Cheng

Inspiration and Aspiration

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”  —Khalil Gibran, The Madman I once worked for a company that aspired to be a $10B corporation. I said to the executives at that time, “That may be a good goal but it surely isn’t a compelling vision, and it does nothing to inspire me.” I left the company after two years. Part Read More

Artwork by Do-Ho Suh | Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith | Source: Library of Congress

The Masses and the Margins

“And the soul is like the eye: when resting upon that on which truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands and is radiant with intelligence; but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she has opinion only, and goes blinking about, and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence.” —Plato, Republic, VI, 508 I worked in inmate rehabilitation for eight years in Read More

"A Humument p190: Silence & Stars" | Artist: Tom Phillips| Source: www.humument.com | License: © Tom Phillips

Nouns and Norms

I have always loved new ideas and embraced them enthusiastically. I have read an enormous amount about a ton of concepts, and I have accumulated a large repertoire of nouns in my vocabulary. But nouns require action verbs to make them real.

As Bucky Fuller said, God is a verb.

Title: orange | Author: Bob May | Source: alternative_illustrations on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Balance and Unity

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” —Abraham Lincoln, Nov. Read More

Photograph of Rick and Bobbitt

Three Types of Trust

I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years, and I can say unequivocally that I totally trust her. I trust her to do the right thing, I trust her to not throw me the under the bus (even though I have given her many opportunities), and I trust her to stand up for people in need of special help. When she makes a statement, I know it is based on sound research; she Read More

Fear and Freedom

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” —Aung San Suu Kui Raising children and having grandchildren gave me an intimate understanding of fear and freedom. I wanted my kids to have the freedom to explore the external world and to discover who they were, but I lived in constant fear of lurking dangers. I always leaned toward freeing them, but tried to establish boundaries that would keep Read More

Credit: annajasinski on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thinking and Believing

Believe me—Daniel Kahneman got it right: we are more likely to find stories that support our beliefs than seek out evidence in the pursuit of truth. Kahneman is a professor emeritus at Princeton University who wrote the best selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. His work is focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His findings challenge the assumption of human rationality. Clearly, Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.

Credit: Ryan McGuire | License: CC0

Selecting Coaches

Forty years ago, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the selection of counselors for public high schools. I didn’t write it to create a career-defining, landmark study. I wrote it to check off a box for the completion of my doctoral degree in counseling psychology. Little did I know that the profession of coaching and counseling would explode in the next century. Now, practically everyone either has a coach or is a coach. The question Read More

Full Rainbow | Credit: Jakob Owens | License: CC0

Step Back

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon, and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Passion and Drive | Credit: Death to Stock Photo | License: CC0

Exploitation Masquerading as Engagement

Most companies measure employee engagement. It represents one critical way to determine the level of commitment and productivity of their human capital. An abundance of research suggests a high correlation between employee engagement and great performance. But how do we stop from crossing the line into exploitation?

Title: Sensitivity | Credit: .m.

Leadership Lexicon

Leaders sometimes wonder why no one is following them. In most cases, the reason is because the leader does not possess all three essentials of effective leadership: Character, Commitment, and Competence. Leaders must be honest and ethical at their core, or people don’t follow. Leaders must also be committed to developing themselves and others. If people are not convinced of the leader’s commitment to their growth, they will not help the leader grow—and they will Read More

Photo of skyscraper (Credit: John Salzarulo)

Ethical Leadership

One more time. In 1987, Barry Cohen and I wrote the book Ethical Leadership. We published the first version of the book when greed was still in its relative infancy and millionaires (much less billionaires) were still relatively rare. It thus preceded the economic boom of the 1990s, a decade in which market values escalated to what was then outrageous levels. In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the Read More

"Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Credit: Internet Archive Book Images

Leadership Myths and Realities

Over 25 years ago, Barry Cohen and I published a book titled Leadership Myths and Realities. Since that time we have held a variety of senior leadership positions and have continued to study the Art and Science of Leadership. This post will review the 10 myths and realities we wrote about in the late 80s, discuss their current relevance, and suggest any new myths and realities that have emerged. To be clear, myths usually contain some degree Read More

Credit: Mksaunders

Corporate Spirit: Oxymoron or Possibility?

Spirituality is coming to the workplace thinly veiled as mindfulness, awareness, and stress management. As the veil gets lifted, the questions arise: does it belong, can it co-exist with profitability, and what are the dangers?

Does spirituality belong in the workplace? It depends…