This year the early Sunday morning Gathering of POS scholars at the 2012 Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting felt like a homecoming event. This was the tenth POS Gathering, my third, but the first one I attended as a scholar from a university other than University of Michigan. This perspective helped me understand more deeply and anew the value of 90 minutes with the POS community every year. It is a short event, with big results. The gathering’s organizers, Gretchen Spreitzer and David Mayer, built an ephemeral home filled with food for nourishment, seats for grateful faces from all over the world, and most importantly food for thought.
Participants learned of the Center’s new Positive Business initiatives during the session by way of a clever, and homey, metaphor. Just as every home has a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, every business engages in marketing, accounting, management, finance, and so on. In keeping with the metaphor one could say that positive organizational scholarship is management after remodel, upgrades, or renovation. Mayer and Spreitzer invited the crowd to join them in asking the questions, What a positive lens could do for the rest of the rooms in the house? What would positive finance look like? Positive accounting?
As usual, participants had opportunity to contribute to the morning in response to these questions and in to a call for announcements more generally. Some participant groups wondered if positive marketing would mean a switch from analyzing markets to understanding communities. Other groups shared thoughts on how teaching positive business would also look different, more co-creative. In the announcement we heard about the recently-published Using a Positive Lens to Explore Social Change and Organizations and a future conference with focus on positive teaching.