2017 Positive Business Project Overview

What is the Positive Business Project?

Has your organization created positive change? Does your organization create meaningful jobs and value for all stakeholders? A great workplace? Does your organization bring out the best in its people in terms of their performance and their humanity? Has your organization been a great neighbor to the community and environment? Does your organization address important societal and environmental issues, needs, and opportunities?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then we invite your organization to participate in the 2017 Positive Business Project!

The Positive Business Project (PBP) is an annual student-led initiative presented by the Center for Positive Organizations aimed at identifying, studying, celebrating, and spreading positive business in organizations of all types.

Each year, submissions to the PBP are reviewed by a panel of University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate students, Michigan Ross professors, and business leaders affiliated with the Center for Positive Organizations. Outstanding submissions are recognized at the annual Positive Business Conference, held in early May at the Ross School of Business.

The PBP helps to grow an impressive network of individuals and organizations committed to positive business, generating more awareness of the field and connecting those who practice it every day. Past awardees and current awardees are able to connect each year at the Positive Business Conference to support, and continue to grow this community.


What is positive business?

At Michigan Ross, it means:
  • Creating economic value for customers, shareholders, and society
  • Creating a great place to work, being a great neighbor the community, and/or being a great steward to the environment

Organizations can achieve these goals by implementing positive practices.


What are positive practices?

Positive practices are ways of getting work done that advance core business objectives while achieving other worthwhile goals such as building great workplaces, helping the community, or helping the environment.

Here are a few examples of organization practicing positive business:
  • KPMG undertook an initiative to identify 10,000 stories from their employees drawing deep meaning and purpose from their work. Research shows that connecting to purpose is a powerful way to build great workplaces, and increase engagement and performance.
  • Whole Foods Market is providing access to healthy food options to Detroit residents. This is good for business because it broadens the customer base, and good for the local community through job creation and through the provision of healthy local food options.
  • Fiat Chrysler recently invested in converting trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas. This move is good for profitability and enhances environmental sustainability.

What is the Center for Positive Organizations?

The Center for Positive Organizations brings world-class transformational research to students and leaders through articles, books, events, tools, teaching, and organizational partnerships. We are the leading research hub focused on the leadership, strategies, systems, culture, and practices of high-performing organizations that enable people to be their best selves in the workplace.


2017 Deadlines

  • Early bird application and nomination deadline: February 17, 2017
  • Final application and nomination deadline: March 3, 2017
  • See full 2017 Calendar for more details