Back from Florida: WorkHuman 2016 Highlights

May 13, 2016 Sarah Payne

This past week the second annual WorkHuman conference was held at the Orlando World Center Marriot, with more than six million people reached through twitter using the #workhuman hashtag. Even Michael J. Fox dropped by to share his personal story of hope, optimism, and gratitude. There was also a wall of cookies (yes, you read that right).

For those who couldn’t make the conference, we captured all of the great content from the pre-conference workshops, keynotes, and concurrent sessions on the live blog over at

Here are posts from my 3 favorite sessions:

  • Bureaucracy Must Die (And Here’s Why): I’ve been researching and writing about the WorkHuman conference speakers for many months now. And I’ve always been fascinated with Gary Hamel’s title—iconoclastic business thinker. The word iconoclastic means, “characterized by attack on cherished beliefs or institutions.” After seeing Gary deliver the closing keynote on Wednesday, I think the word attack is spot on!
  • Building a Dream Team: What can HR and business leaders learn from the world of sports? Lots—according to Don Yaeger, inspirational speaker, writer, and longtime associate editor of Sports Illustrated. In the third WorkHuman for Your Company session on Wednesday, Don shared findings from his in-depth study of 110 sports teams. What he found is that great teams have one thing in common—they are all hyper-focused on culture.
  • In Defense of Power: We’ve all been in situations that we approach with fear, execute with anxiety, and leave with regret—perhaps in a job interview or on a first date. Bestselling author and researcher Amy Cuddy opened her keynote by sharing a story from when she was a graduate student and fumbled her way through an elevator pitch (in an actual elevator).

And if you want a sense of what the mood was like at the conference, WorkHuman speaker Andy Swann shared his personal story in a Medium article titled How to Be Human.

The WorkHuman Fellows

 two new WorkHuman Fellows who won the 2016 essay contest

WorkHuman 2015 Fellow Isha Jog (left), student at Loyola University, joined us again this year and shared great video blogs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday!

We were also joined by two new WorkHuman Fellows who won the 2016 essay contest—Reno Rafly (middle) from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Avona Pinkston (right) from San Jose State University. Reno also shared her three takeaways from Monday’s sessions.

Thank you

As I reflect on all of the ideas and best practices that were shared this week—from mindfulness to futurists and grit to civility—I am reminded that, at its core, a human workplace is one that is grounded in appreciation. So I’d like to take a moment to show my appreciation for everyone who joined us in Orlando and for our blog subscribers for joining and engaging in the WorkHuman conversation. This wouldn’t be a movement without your thoughtful input and passionate participation. Thank you!

Back from Florida: #WorkHuman 2016 Takeaways
Click To Tweet


The Dangers of Herd Thinking (And How To Avoid It)

[Infographic] The Science of a Human Workplace

How to Kill Happiness at Work

Change Your Broadcast: Q+A with Michelle Gielan (Part 1)

Previous Article
How Rude! How Incivility Is Hurting Your Team
How Rude! How Incivility Is Hurting Your Team

Incivility can be a surprisingly common and accepted behavior at work. Learn tips for creating new 'emotion...

Next Article
The Dangers of Herd Thinking (And How to Avoid It)
The Dangers of Herd Thinking (And How to Avoid It)

Steve Pemberton, chief diversity officer at Walgreen's, shares how recognition can help create a more diver...


New Workhuman content delivered direct to your inbox.

Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!