Four leaders accepted APA’s 2013 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards at the State Leadership Conference. From left to
right: Brian J. Bowers, for Bowers + Kubota Consulting; Iraida T. Ojeda, for Triple-S; Patricia Strusowski, for Christiana Care Health
System’s Cancer Care Management Department; and Brigadier General Brian Lein for Tripler Army Medical Center.
LaBarre. “While revving up the engines of mass production
in an industrial economy, we strapped flesh and blood
into straitjackets to institute obedience, compliance and
Many organizations have never left that factory mentality
behind even as society’s challenges have changed, said LaBarre.
Today, success requires inventiveness and inspiration.
LaBarre said employers who want both their employees
and their organizations to flourish must wrestle with three
• What ideas are worth fighting for? “You’d be hard pressed
to find an organization without a mission statement on the
wall,” said LaBarre. “But few really mean it.” In contrast, healthy
organizations really know who they are. These organizations
stand for a cause, promote a vision of an improved future and
shift the question from “What keeps you up at night?” to “What
gets you out of bed in the morning?” she said. Employees want
to work on something meaningful that might change the world,
as human as the human beings who work there? Most
organizations mistakenly focus on control — of people,
information and deviations from the norm, said LaBarre. To
unleash creativity, LaBarre said organizations should shift
the balance from control to freedom through such actions as
ditching formal hierarchies or instituting peer-review-based
compensation, for example.
• How can we spark innovation? Healthy organizations
encourage ideas from employees, no matter where they sit in
an organization. Mutual gathering places, opportunities to
comment on work in progress and shared training experiences
can all foster creativity, said LaBarre.
The 2013 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award
• Bowers + Kubota Consulting of Waipahu, Hawaii, sees
ohana — Hawaiian for family — as one of its core values and
treats employees accordingly, with frequent professional and
social events, an employee-run wellness committee and self-
directed project teams that give employees work-life flexibility.