From Barry: According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, a recent study published in Psychological Science found that those with more optimistic attitudes had better-functioning immune systems which, in turn, helped them ward off illnesses. Might the same be true of organizations? According to the story, far too many of us assume that optimism is an inborn trait bestowed on a lucky few. That’s a completely wrong assumption, says James Maddux, a professor of psychology at George Mason University. Can people (and by implication organizations) learn to be optimists? “The answer is an indisputable yes,” says Maddux.