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February 2013 Archives


We’ve all heard about bringing your work home with you, and have probably done it at some point. Even family-friendly workplaces that allow employees to bring their kids to work aren’t that uncommon anymore, like some of our winning organizations (see “Babies at Work”). But bringing home productivity tools and team development methods used at the office to run your household? Now that’s not something we hear everyday.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled "Family Inc." describes how families are using productivity and teamwork solutions that are successful in the workplace and adapting them to their home lives. As an effort to improve work-life balance and family functioning, approaches such as agile development (described as “a system of group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews) can be effective for some families. But could it work for you?

One point discussed in the WSJ article is that agile development can be used to empower family members and help them feel included as part of the team (family). Children set their own goals, with help. This way all team members contribute and feel invested in the larger mission.

Another aspect that could help in successful application of agile development to home life is that flexibility is built in. It’s not all about schedules and rigidity – you set goals, you meet to discuss your progress and then adjust course accordingly. Dana Rousmaniere summarizes the main points of agile development in this Harvard Business Review post – "Morning Advantage: Take Your Work Solutions Home" and also points out that accountability (a central tenet of agile development) is key. Team members that feel accountable for not only their actions, but their team members as well will perform better and potentially be less stressed.

In a time when people, especially younger generations are stressed out about work and balancing their work and personal lives, streamlining your household can have positive effects that actually spill over into your work life, too. Personally I’m a proponent of taking whatever makes life (or work) run smoother and applying it to any aspect of your life if it fits well. If it fits. And then of course, adapting it until it really works for you.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairegren / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Polly LaBarre, business thought leader and former senior editor of Fast Company, will deliver the keynote address at APA's 2013 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards, which will be presented on Saturday, March 9th in Washington, DC.

LaBarre is a best-selling author, speaker, television correspondent and strategist who addresses the big ideas and important questions that will shape the future of organizations, work and success. As a co-founder and editorial director of the MIX (Management Innovation eXchange), LaBarre looks for alternatives to the bureaucratic and disempowering management practices that still rule most organizations. The MIX is a pioneering open innovation project dedicated to reinventing management for the 21st century by gathering celebrated thought leaders, in-the-trenches innovators and maverick entrepreneurs from around the world to share breakthrough practices and advance important ideas about the future of organizations, work and strategy.

LaBarre is co-author of the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, which The Economist named a Book of the Year and called “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great.” The book has since been published in 16 countries around the world.

A member of the original team of Fast Company magazine, where she was senior editor for the better part of a decade, LaBarre was recently a business and innovation correspondent for CNN where she produced regular segments on big ideas and best practices from the world of business and beyond.

LaBarre has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses around the world and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune.com, the McKinsey Quarterly and The Huffington Post. Her widely syndicated blog, Fresh MIX, convenes important thinkers, progressive practitioners and agenda-setting ideas about 21st-century organizations. LaBarre has presented her ideas in forums ranging from a regular commentary on PBS’s Nightly Business Report to CNBC’s “The Business of Innovation” series to frequent segments on ABC’s World News This Morning and Good Morning America.

LaBarre is at work on a book about the future of organizations, social innovation and sustainable capitalism—a provocative and inspiring point of view about what it means to win when good is the new measure of great. She serves on the board of advisors of TakingITGlobal, the leading online community for connecting and empowering young people to make a difference in the world.


We invite students with research on psychologically healthy workplace topics to submit proposals for presentations at the 2013 Work & Well-Being Conference in Chicago, presented by APA's Center for Organizational Excellence.

These will be brief (ten minute) presentations that will take place Thursday, April 25th or Friday, April 26th at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Chicago, IL as part of a special conference session.

Topics can include, but are not limited to: workplace wellness and health promotion, employee involvement, work-life balance and flexibility, employee learning and development, occupational health and safety, job stress, diversity, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Occupational Health Psychology, management and employee recognition.

Guidelines for Presentation Proposals

  • Proposal must be submitted via email no later than February 22, 2013
  • Proposal must be in Microsoft Word, follow APA format and be no longer than 300 words
  • Please include the presentation title, statement of problem, study design, sample size and composition, measures used, analysis method, results and conclusions
  • Also include a one-page bio with the presenter’s credentials, academic affiliation, education, research and work experience, statement of career goals, mailing address, email and phone number

Presentations will be selected and students will be notified by March 1, 2013.

The American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence works to enhance the functioning of individuals, groups, organizations and communities through the application of psychology to a broad range of workplace issues. To learn more, please visit: www.apaexcellence.org.

Additional information about the conference is available online here.

Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianlim / CC BY 2.0



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This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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