2015 Corporate Leadership Circle (CLC) Forum

Rethinking Collaboration

Fostering High-Performing Teams in a Global, Diverse and Open Environment

May 21, 2015 • Haworth, New York City

In today’s complex, competitive environment, employees need to be able to work well in teams, break through silos to collaborate across functions and overcome biases and conflict to achieve business results. From skills and managing styles to workplace design, the 2015 CLC Forum explored what it takes to build and support high-performing teams, and what success factors are needed for building a collaborative culture. Learn more about the speakers.



Seeing It Their Way To Get Your Way

Adam Galinsky Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business Columbia Business School at Columbia University

Sharing a sneak peak of his forthcoming book, Friend and Foe (Sept 2015), Adam Galinsky explored how to use the power of perspective-taking to increase collaboration. Rather than simply trying to understand how someone else feels (empathy), perspective-taking is the skill of being able to see something from another’s point of view and understand how that can help you accomplish your goals. This skill (one of the seven life skills in FWI’s Mind in the Making) produces better outcomes for all parties, but can get tricky when there is an imbalance of power or a high level of competition between the parties. As Adam explained, “power reduces perspective-taking,” however, there are simple techniques to teach your leaders how to mitigate this blindspot. In highly competitive situations, people tend to turn the golden rule into the “jaundice” rule of “do onto others as you think they will do unto you!” which can lead to unethical behavior.


Collaboration Across Difference

Lisa Leslie Associate Professor of Management and Organizations NYU Stern School of Business

Lisa Leslie built on Adam’s themes by discussing how people’s perceptions of diversity and inclusion efforts affect the impact of those efforts. While most people say they support diversity and inclusion, there has been little progress from an institutional perspective. Lisa attributes this to two factors: in-group preference and a “color blind” approach, which ends up making whites feel that these efforts decrease, rather than increase, fairness in the workplace. 1) To understand the effects of in-group preference, Lisa introduced the group to a terrific, interactive exercise called a Segregation Board, which demonstrates how mild preferences can lead to extreme segregation.  2) To counter whites’ perceptions of diversity and inclusion efforts, Leslie encouraged diversity and inclusion training that includes the perspectives of the dominant group (white men).


Rethinking Positive Thinking

Gabriele Oettingen Professor of Psychology New York University

An expert in the science of motivation, Gabriele spoke about her new book, Rethinking Positive Thinking, which looks at three areas of personal change: becoming healthier, nurturing relationships, and work performance. She introduced “WOOP,” a scientific strategy for people to identify and fulfill their wishes and change their habits. WOOP–which stands for Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan–is an exercise that builds nonconscious associations between future and reality and between the obstacles and the actions to overcome the obstacles. Known as Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) in the scientific literature, WOOP was created as a result of over 20 years of scientific research and has proven to be effective across ages and life domains.


Trends in Workspace Design

Randy Fiser Chief Executive Officer American Society of Interior Designers

Randy Fiser’s presentation started with a startling statistic: 90 percent of our lives is spent indoors! Since a majority of that time is spent at work, is it any wonder that work environments are affecting our wellbeing, and therefore our productivity? The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is doing significant research to understand the connections between good design, wellbeing and productivity, and working towards a way to measure value per square foot – rather than just cost per square foot. Increasing collaboration and innovation is not just about bringing people together – it’s about building community. In that regard, Fiser recommended watching Steven Johnson’s TED talk, Where Good Ideas Come From, about “the space of creativity.” ASID is thinking through all these outcomes in its approach to the design of workspace.

Slide6Workplace Case Studies

Citi – Presented by Karyn Likerman, Head of Workplace Inclusion

Deloitte – Presented by Katherine Loscalzo, Workplace Strategy and Project Delivery Leader

Families and Work Institute – Presented by Anne Weisberg, Senior Vice President and Michael O’Neill, Senior Research Strategist, Haworth

Slide5FWI Updates

Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. The research FWI conducts takes the very real questions that arise from living in today’s world and turns them into studies that can inform and affect new ways to think and act at every stage of our lives.

Slide2FWI’s Learning Agenda – Ellen Galinsky discussed Mind in the Making, Vroom and the importance of executive function skills at all ages and stages of life.

Action Projects

  • Mind in the Making – Developed by FWI, Mind in the Making is an unprecedented effort to share the science of children’s learning with the general public, families and professionals who work with children and families. Visit the site to sign up for the Daily Kid newsletter and download tips and activities for promoting executive function life skills.
  • VroomWatch the video that had everyone at the Forum talking! Download the free Vroom app that shows how to turn everyday shared moments–like mealtime and bath time–into brain building moments for children.

Slide1FWI’s Workforce/Workplace Agenda – Anne Weisberg and Ken Matos offered a look at FWI’s strategic planning agenda, as well as an overview of FWI’s forthcoming National Study of the Changing Workforce and other research.

Recent FWI research:

Modern Families     Workflex and Manufacturing Guide     Slide2    Slide3

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