Workplace Clips and Quotes
Author: Jenny Sherman, PSU Senior Manager, Employee Relations/Training & Development, Office of Human Resources
Posted: January 1, 2009
Words of Wisdom

"Social psychologists tell us that we cannot truly be persons unless we interact with other persons. All life is interrelated, and all men are interdependent. And yet we continue to travel a road paved with the slippery cement of inordinate selfishness.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

We honor Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday, January 15."


As various human resource management journals and news alerts cross my desk, I look for information that may be helpful to leaders and administrators seeking to stay tuned to the workforce trends and patterns. This article is designed to share a variety of clips and quotes I have encountered in recent readings that may be of interest to readers of The Source.

The New Skills: Hope, Confidence, Loyalty

WorldatWork, Erin Ryan, December 2007, Excerpt of Thoughts

“Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream, not a ‘five-year plan.’” In the article, Erin Ryan quotes from the work of writer Jonas Ridderstrale, Ph.D. as follows:

  • It’s not enough to have knowledge, according to Ridderstrale, author of Karaoke Capitalism: Management for Mankind and Funky Business: Talent Makes Capital Dance.
  • Competition will be intellectual for sure, but also psychological and emotional.
  • Peak performance is about skill and will working together.
  • It’s much easier to change the skill level of people than to change attitudes.
  • Sociology classes usually teach and research negative deviance, but should also include instruction on positive deviance, or when a society (or organization) does something amazing. In business, this can be as simple as asking employees to write down a ‘motivation description’ rather than a ‘job description.’
  • Management, as we’ve defined it for 100 years, has been about stamping out deviance…But now, business is focused on the creation of the unknown. It’s about innovation.
  • When it comes to mistakes in the pursuit for top talent, a lot of organizations are afraid to be distinct…it’s much more important to re-dream and reenergize as opposed to restructuring.

Lack of leadership talent emerges as a key issue
Employee Benefit News, Lydell C. Bridgeford, September 9, 2008

  • New data shows that 56% of employers are facing a leadership shortage that is affecting their business’s performance and that 31% expect to have a leadership shortage in the next one to four years, reports Aon Consulting.
  • With a lack of leadership talent, an organization will face severe challenges in: attracting new talent, easily developing and retaining current talent and fostering the requisite thought leadership and innovation to grow the business.

Top 10 Threats to Computer Systems Include Professors and Students
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey R. Young, December 19, 2008

“Increasingly, the weakest part of a network is the users, who carelessly give out their passwords or leave important information for the taking.

  • Threat #5: Students – Every year students seem to become more careless about computer security, according to some college officials. Students will happily give their passwords to friends to check their e-mail for them. Or they’ll create simple passwords that are easy for attackers to guess.
  • Threat #4: Professors – When a phishing scheme hit Stanford University this year, for instance, the vast majority of those who fell for the con were faculty members.

It’s clear that tech security is as much a people problem as it is a technological one.”

At PSU, our OIT Acceptable Use Policy includes the following as one of the several requirements of staff:

Users do not own accounts on University computers, but are granted the privilege of exclusive use. Users may not share their accounts with others, and must keep account passwords confidential.

The article confirms that not sharing passwords is one of the more important ways that we can maintain security on our PSU computer and systems.