8-Weeks to a Better Place to Work

Offer this course live in your workplace or online for your team! It can be taught in eight separate modules (one per week) or in different formats (e.g. as a two-day retreat).

Better Place To Work Team

Deborah speaks internationally in the workplace and at conferences, both in-person and online. She is a captivating speaker, storyteller and workplace coach. From starting Canada’s first annual conference (The Better Workplace Conference) to authoring “A Better Place To Work: Daily Practices That Transform Culture”, she has distilled the knowledge of hundreds of thought-leaders, combining it with her own leadership experience to provide practical advice on organizational and team practices to create environments that allow for more creativity, innovation, engagement and fun. Deborah teaches leaders to radically shift workplace culture so that people can flourish.

Rob Crooks is passionate about people and performance. Combining holistic insight and a strengths-based approach, he collaborates with leaders to co-create healthy, highly effective and purposeful teams and organizations. Rob brings a broad and varied professional background including human resources and health & safety to his consulting and coaching. Living life to its fullest potential, you will find Rob enjoying the outdoors, cycling and spending time with his wife Faye and two adult daughters.

André Ferraz is an Organizational Psychologist, specializing in Behavioural Medicine, Positive Psychology and Neurosciences. He is a Coach with Gallup, an Organizational Mental Health Consultant, a Mentor and Trainer with the HeartMath Institute, A Better Place To Work Facilitator and a professional skydiver! Andre has translated the Better Place To Work material into Portuguese and is teaching this program in Brazil. He lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife and teenage son.

Past Guest Speakers On This Course Have Included:

Michael West
Europe’s leading expert on healthcare leadership and its impact on financial sustainability
Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University Management School

Mary-Lou MacDonald, President, Inside Health and Business Consulting

Graham Lowe, President of The Graham Lowe Group

Author, Creating Healthy Organizations

Cheri Torres, Lead Catalyst, Speaker and Author at Collaboration by Design.

Co-author with Jackie Stavros of Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement

Robert E Quinn

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

Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

Mary Ann Baynton

Workplace Relations Specialist, Author, Consultant, Speaker

Director of Strategy and Collaboration, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, Canada Life

Past Co-Chair of the Technical Committee, National Standard of Canada: Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Course Resources

The course is based on Deborah’s book: A Better Place To Work: Daily Practices That Transform Culture.

Is your work culture one of surviving or thriving?

Join us for our next eight-week online course on creating a better place to work. In this course you will have the opportunity to read, discuss, question, share and inspire one another as you develop and implement new practices aimed at positively shifting your workplace culture.

Who is this course for?

This course is open to leaders at all levels and is ideal for those who are workplace change agents. Based on Deborah’s book, “A Better Place To Work: Daily Practices That Transform Culture,” the focus is on learning daily practices that support creativity, innovation, productivity and pro-activity at work.

This is a very hands-on course, with thought-provoking topics and guest speakers focused on the latest concepts in workplace health. We would love to welcome you to this forum where you will read 1-2 chapters of the book each week and then come together to learn and discuss. It is kind of like a book club – fun, friendly, and very practical!

What will I learn?

The objectives of this course are numerous, but among them, you will:

  • Explore new approaches to shift to a more positive work environment
  • Be inspired by case studies and success stories from organizations that have seen great progress through adopting new practices
  • Discover how to set a foundation for psychological wellness at work and to make psychological health a part of the workplace conversation
  • Create a positive vision for your team or organization, and develop a more transformational approach to your leadership style

Each week we will learn about personal, team and organizational practices that can shift your workplace culture, and can be tailored to suit your unique workplace. As we move our way through the course, Deborah will share the research behind over 50 daily practices that are outlined in the book. You will leave inspired to overcome negativity at work and create teams and organizations where people can flourish!

The course is organized into 8 modules outlined below:

 Module 1: A Better Way: Engage in Practices

We will address the challenges and opportunities in our workplaces today, and the need for a different approach. You will work on designing your own personal leadership plan that will be developed throughout the duration of the course.

Module 2: Positive Deviance & Positive Organizing

We’ll explore three shifts in thinking that can help us to positively deviate from the conventional way we operate in most workplaces.

Module 3: Shift Yourself First

This module will help you and your teams to shift to more resilient cycles. You’ll discover practices that help to prevent burnout, and how to support yourself and others to come back strong if burnout occurs.

Module 4: Ignite Positivity at Work

Learn how to invite flourishing into your workplace! You will gain knowledge about how positive and resilient teams impact organizational success, and the practices that increase positive emotion and thereby increase creativity, engagement, innovation, customer service and many other outcomes.

Module 5: Positive and Resilient Teams

Explore the difference between a real team and a pseudo team. Develop team practices to increase team positivity, including learning to lead an effective team debrief.

Module 6: Inspire Psychological Health

Learn how to inspire mental wellness in your workplace. Discover how other organizations have developed practices to make psychological health a part of the workplace conversation.

Module 7: Develop a Compelling Vision

As a person leading change, it is important to present an inspiring vision that engages people, whether it is the vision of your team, department, committee or your organization as a whole. This requires an understanding of why and how your culture needs to change and building the behaviours and practices to achieve that vision. In this module you will further explore the question, “What do we want our culture to be?”

Module 8: Create a Learning Culture & Tools for Change

The final module will focus on how to build a learning culture at work. We will look at how the language we use at work can help us grow, and how to lead emergence to create a culture where we can learn from our mistakes.

Write your own story.

Do you remember reading those Choose Your Own Adventure Books when you were a child?  The ones where you could choose the direction of the plot, and ultimately the ending of the story? In many ways, you can write your own story at work through the choices you make. Often that means learning to be positively deviant. Deviating from what is normal, but for honourable reasons. Flourishing people contribute their best, see more possibilities, and are more creative, innovative and engaged. Let’s create flourishing cultures together. Contact us now to book a session?


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