6 minutes

I have taught an introduction to organizational behavior class for more than 30 years — to both undergraduate and graduate students. I first taught it at The University of Michigan to undergraduates when I was doctoral student. And I’ve taught an ever-evolving version of the class almost every year since I landed at Stanford in 1983. For years, the last day, especially the final 20 minutes or so, felt awkward and forced as I struggled to look back on what the class had learned, provide some closure, and end on an upbeat note. About 15 years ago, I experimented with an ending ritual: I passed out a list of 12 things that I believe, made a brief comment about each one, and thanked the class for their efforts and for putting up with my quirks and imperfections. The list contained many opinions that were related to the class. But they also drew on other work I hadn’t mentioned in class and my general perspective on life.


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