The Positive Workplace Culture 2015 Thought Exchange


I partnered with Thoughtexchange to host an online discussion about building positive culture at work. We heard from people around the globe.

Researchers, leaders and organizational health experts discussed factors that improve culture; what the roadblocks are; and what they want to learn about improving culture at work.


In the first step of the process participants were asked open-ended questions.


In the Star step, they were shown everyone’s thoughts, and were asked to assign stars to show how much value they placed on each. This process allows the most valuable thoughts to surface.


The community-wide learning that resulted from the process is now available in an interactive report on the Thoughtexchange website.


You can see the themes that emerged and drill down to see which thoughts were most valued by the community as a whole.


Here are a few highlights.

When it comes to shifting culture, leadership was a big part of the discussion:

“Positive workplace cultures are characterized by having leaders who support and inspire.


Leadership can also prevent workplaces from achieving a positive workplace culture though, through characteristic like micro-management, and not dealing with conflict.”

The word ‘contribution’ came up a lot:

• In a positive culture, people value the contributions of others;


• There is acknowledgement of the contributions of all team members;


• You feel like your contribution is important.


• Practices that improve workplace culture include establishing
expectations around how team members will contribute and what they can expect in return, and recognizing and valuing the contributions of all employees.

What prevents workplaces from achieving a positive culture:

“Staff keep trying to succeed while suffering burnout, which means less ability to get things done.”

Participants stressed the need for real-life stories, and also the need to learn how to tell stories:

“We are drowning in data and information overload. To cut through that clutter we need to become good storytellers. Stories can convey a theme, an idea, a vision, a desire, in ways that data and bureaucratic/corporate speak cannot.


I want to learn to listen and tell stories that matter.”

The full results of this interesting discussion can be found HERE.


All of these themes are addressed in my upcoming book, which is full of stories of change from interviews with thought-leaders in this field. The focus is on developing practices that positively shift culture.


To book a presentation or workshop please click here:



Download workshop description HERE.

Book to be Released – 2017

This book is about how to be positively deviant at work, shifting from conventional to transformational leadership; from downstream to upstream thinking; and from a program approach to a cultural approach to organizational health.


I have distilled the knowledge from hundreds of thought-leaders that I brought together annually over the 17 years I ran The Better Workplace Conference. This review of expert advice shows that it is the daily practices we put in place that shift culture, disrupt downward spirals and create workplace environments were individual people, teams and organizations can flourish.


This allows people to contribute to a greater degree through being more creative, more innovative and more engaged, not to mention having more fun, which leads to better performance outcomes for the organization.


This project is sponsored by:

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