Today, increasing human connection in organization cultures is getting more media attention. Julianne Holt-Lunstad and the insurance company Cigna have declared American and other democracies are facing an epidemic of loneliness. Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General, is calling for organizations to boost social connections to combat America’s loneliness epidemic, which is diminishing employee wellness and wellbeing, and organizational productivity, innovation and performance.  Several books have come out that join the chorus.

More than a decade ago, Michael Lee Stallard first called for organizations to boost human connection and create what he described as “Connection Cultures.” In his first book, Fired Up or Burned Out (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Michael wrote:

“The bottom line is that connection is a necessity to any organization that aspires to achieve sustainable superior performance. Organizations with people who report they are more connected and engaged are also better performers across the board in a variety of measures from customer satisfaction to profitability…An overwhelming amount of evidence points to the need to increase connection in our organizations.”

Since that time, Michael and his colleagues have worked with a wide variety of business, government, healthcare and education organizations to boost connections in their culture. They share best practice attitudes, language and behavior to create Connection Cultures that have propelled the success of teams and organizations including the rock band U2, Costco, the U.S. Navy and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

About Michael Lee Stallard

Michael is an author, thought leader, speaker and a widely recognized expert on how how effective leaders boost human connection in cultures to improve the health and performance of individuals and organizationals.   He is the author of Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work and Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivityand a contributor to other books including What Managers Say, What Employees Hear: Connecting With Your Front Line (So They’ll Connect with Customers) and The ASTD Management Development Handbook.

Articles by or about Michael’s work have been in the media worldwide including The Financial TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Leader to Leader, Entrepreneur.comForbes.com, FastCompany.com, HR Magazine, Human Resource Executive, Talent Management, SmartBriefRotman (Canada), Shukan Diayamondo (Japan), Developing HR Strategy (UK), The Economic Times (India), LiveMint (India), Outlook Business for Decision Makers (India), Smart Manager (India), and Capital (Dubai).

Michael has spoken at many organizations and conferences including the Association for Talent Development, Center for Creative Leadership, Costco, General Dynamics, General Electric, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NASA, Northwestern Medicine, TCU, University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Treasury. He is a faculty member at the Institute for Management Studies.  Texas Christian University created the TCU Center for Connection Culture to advance Connection Culture at TCU and in higher education generally.

Prior to founding E Pluribus Partners, Michael was Chief Marketing Officer for the private wealth management businesses of Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab. The programs identified and implemented by the team he assembled and led at Morgan Stanley contributed to doubling the business unit’s revenues over a two-and-a-half year period. The practices he and his team developed became the genesis for his approach to elevating the productivity and innovation of individuals and organizations. Earlier in his career, Michael worked at Texas Instruments and Barclays Bank PLC. Michael’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Illinois State University, an M.B.A. from University of Texas Permian Basin, and a J.D. from DePaul University School of Law. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1991.  Michael is married to Katie Stallard. They have two grown daughters.


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