The Paying it Forward Paradox

What if the toughest barrier between us and our needs is that we don’t ask for help fulfilling them? In this inspiring talk from Sociologist and developer of the Humax Reciprocity Ring - Wayne Baker offers insight into the concept of generalised reciprocity or “paying it forward.”

Even the Grinch came to realise the power of reciprocity and his heart grew three sizes that day!

Dr. Wayne Baker's teaching and research focuses on positive organisational scholarship, values, and social networks. Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago business school. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University. He was the first director of the Center for Positive Organisations at the Ross Business School and recently completed a three-year term as chair of his department. Enjoy Wayne's wisdom.


The Humax Reciprocity Ring is a high energy, group-level activity that enables participants to give and get help, strengthen group cohesion, and generate positive emotions.

Participants engage in acts of paying it forward while expanding their networks and gaining concrete benefits such as solving a problem, gathering critical information for a task, or receiving a referral to someone who can help with a project.  Standard groups range from 24 to 75 people but can also accommodate groups as large as 500.  A typical group of 24 people realises benefits valued at over $150,000 and saves over 1,600 hours of time. Many groups achieve even more!

The Reciprocity Ring is used to build high performance teams, break down silos, create a culture of collaboration and change and generate new sources of value creation, creativity and innovation by hundreds of leading companies around the world.

Many of the worlds leading business schools and educational institutions also use the Reciprocity Ring to help students and faculty members learn that workplaces thrive when people generously give help to one another.

Reality-based Results

The Reciprocity Ring does not deal in hypotheticals - its performance is backed up with hard data from real-world experience. We record and track the results of the Ring. Our evidence shows that during the Reciprocity Ring experience:

Real business benefits are achieved

  • The monetary values of benefits achieved typically exceeds $150,000
  • The time saved by participants typically exceeds 1,600 hours
  • The Reciprocity Ring builds community, strengthening the network of relationships among participants
  • The Reciprocity Ring is transformative - and informative. Not only will you learn solutions to your issues, but you’ll also learn more about your colleagues and co-workers.

At the end of your Ring experience, you will walk out with a “Wow!” The reason? People who use the Ring meet their actual needs, both personal and professional. They get the information they need. They solve real problems. That’s because the Reciprocity Ring emphasises the importance of solutions. Contact Ian J Lowe to start your ring journey today.

Image Credit: The Grinch movie, Universal Pictures, 2000