Last month I participated in the 3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Having attended the first Canadian conference at the University of Toronto in 2012, and avidly following all the research, articles, and books in this burgeoning new field I found the conference lived up to their theme “Exhilarate 2016 – Learn It, Live It.”
Strengths-based development is the foundation of positive psychology. So I thoroughly enjoyed leading a workshop sharing our last four years of our experience with The Extraordinary Leader, Zenger Folkman’s strengths-based assessment and development process, as outlined in my webinar on Ground Breaking New Approaches to Leadership and Coaching Development.
David Cooperrider delivered a very inspiring and insightful conference keynote presentation on “The Discovery and Design of Positive Institutions.” David is a professor, researcher, and author who co-created Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Having read some of his books and articles I was fascinated to hear updates on AI’s contributions to a global revolution in the positive leadership of change. David showed how AI is helping institutions around the world discover the power of strength-based approaches.
David’s written that “the emergence of strengths-based management may be the management innovation of our time… the insight that a person or organization will excel only by amplifying strengths, never by simply fixing weaknesses. But in spite of impressive returns, organizations and managers have almost all stopped short of the breakthroughs that are possible.”
A key theme of David’s presentation centered on the transformative role business is playing in elevating society. He told us Stanford University’s Willis Harman was an early mentor for him with such insights as “Business, the motor of our society, has the opportunity to be the new creative force on the planet, a force which could contribute to the well-being of many… the modern corporation is as adaptable an organizational form as has ever been invented, so that in a time of fundamental change it may be expected to be on the cutting edge.”
Positive and powerful organizations result from strong leadership teams. Today we publish my June blogs in the July issue of The Leader Letter. As you’ll read in this issue, highly effective leadership teams step back periodically to sharpen their strategic focus, establish strong learning environments, vision their team or culture, follow proven steps to high teamwork, and foster courageous conversations that reduce the moose.
May you find positive insights, examples, or ideas to strengthen your effectiveness!