Positive Business: Meet the award winners!

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Positive Business

Do you know exceptional business leaders who make a positive difference at work—who use positive business practices to enhance the well-being of individuals and produce extraordinary business results?

Today, meet five of them! Their awards were announced last night at the Positive Business Conference at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. View their short videos. Which is your favorite? (Spoiler alert: Don’t scroll down too quickly! At the end of this column, I reveal the grand prize winner.)

This week, we’ve considered several positive business topics: the principle of celebrating what’s right with the world, visioning, seeing your work as a calling, and open book finance. Today, we celebrate the award winners.

The awards are part of the Positive Business Project, which “aims to identify, profile, and showcase exceptional business leaders that make a positive difference in their work.” Each applicant prepared and submitted a 2-3 minute video highlighting positive business practices in the workplace. An independent panel of judges picked the winners with three criteria in mind: (1) The extent to which the video illustrates positive business practices, (2) originality and creativity, and (3) overall workplace impact.


How the California utility responded to a fatal gas line explosion and improved its safety culture.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company – video submission for Ross Positive Business Conference from TAG film on Vimeo.


How this United Arab Emirates-based company responded to the 2008 financial crisis and achieved extraordinary results through an extensive employee engagement initiate that produced a long-lasting positive business culture. UAE is in the remittance and currency business.


Highlights of the positive culture at one of the “largest organizations for young people and social change.”


How the administrative organization of this Australian municipality transformed itself into a positive business culture.


How this nonprofit used “practical tools and compassionate leadership to create a caring, innovative, and resilient culture.” HopeLab’s mission is to “harness the power and appeal of technology to improve human health and well-being.”

Which video is your favorite?

What leader or company would you nominate next year?


This year’s grand prize winner of the Positive Business Awards is—UAE Exchange!

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  1. Duncan Newcomer says

    Business culture is not the first place I look for quality relationships and positive institutional definition–only because my professional focus has been on schools, churches, and individuals in psychotherapy. These videos,then, are all very moving to see and instruct me on how the rest of the world deals with purpose, value, and relationships.
    Three additional resources I’d like to share.Two books and a practice.
    “Lincoln on Leadership” by Donald Phillips, tell how Lincoln led. He points out,for example, at the end of the war the whole people did not say,”Look how Lincoln saved the country,” they said, “Look what we did.” He was selfless as a leader and so released the best in most in a hard tragic time.
    Mitch Horowitz’s book “One Simple Idea” shows how lots of thoughts–like an attitude of gratitude–help change people.
    Also. A powerful community building tool is walking the Labyrinth. An ancient multicultural design. Check it out with Veriditas or The Labyrinth Society or on line or with me. Not every good worker is an extrovert,so walking silently with the team creates a strong and lasting spirit with everyone.

  2. Jose Azuela says

    First, I would like congratulate all the participant organizations, I think all have been doing an extraordinary job. But I would like confess that for me the most moving histories were the PG&E and the UEX Exchange.
    The PG&E is a great story, because most of the enterprises in the consumer industry, services, etc. lack of these kind of impacting leadership. It is very common that we admire the leaders that went through a situation like this one but at the end they took the best financial move regardless the impact in the people or the community affected. I think Nick’s values and leadership impacted deeply in the company toward a more respectful and ethical behavior at work something unusual to find these days.
    On the other hand, UAE Exchange was my favorite, because I found the application of all theories in a single example, such as building high quality connections, open book, etc. working toward to an objective that evidently the company achieved. Additionally, what is remarkable is what one perceives from the application of these tools, one can see the people integrated, enjoying and actively participating of the multiple activities. Definitely, an organization that practices these values will reach a high productivity levels as UAE Exchange has experienced.