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Happiness!

November 3, 2012

After being designated a Delivering Happiness at Work Certified Partner, I have received many queries regarding how Happiness relates to our Transformation consulting/coaching practice.

The Business Case for Happiness

In The Happiness Advantage (What is the Happiness Advantage?), Positive Intelligence, The Happiness Work Ethic, and The happy secret to better work, Shawn Achor explores how happiness fuels well-being and performance:

Happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result. And that happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement — giving us the competitive edge that I call the Happiness Advantage.

The single greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged workforce.

The “happiness advantage” is the discovery that nearly every single business outcome improves when a brain is positive as opposed to negative, neutral, or stressed.

In a sweeping meta-analysis of 225 academic studies, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.

Delivering Happiness at Work

As Zappos is a Phenomenon — going from $0 in 1999 to over $1 Billion in 2008 (and now over $2 Billion) — Delivering Happiness at Work is a workplace culture consultancy focused on helping clients create happy and successful work cultures that are good for employees/people and companies/organizations using a Make Happy Work model, which combines the core concepts from Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose with the with the science of happiness and other best practices.

  • What: Commit to live culture and happiness
    Happiness involves a sense of Control, Progress, and Connectedness towards a Purpose. Culture involves Values and supports Happiness. Profits are the fuel for Purpose and supports Culture.
  • Who: Alignment of culture and happiness
    Every individual/Me contributes to a company/We and every company/We contributes to its Community.
  • How: Define, live, and evolve a culture of happiness
    A Roadmap to Make Happy Work involves Asking Why; Planning (and measure); Defining your Culture (Core Values, Behaviors, and Higher Purpose); Living your Culture (with Culture Coaches/Champions) through empowerment, impact, scalability, and sustainability; and Evolving your Culture (and re-measure).

Transformation and Happiness Model

The essence of transformation is creative destruction and renewal, and the essence of coaching is being an alchemist or catalyst in fostering a transformation journey (of human dynamics). Transformation cannot be merely reduced to a collection of designations — October 2010, CultureSync Approved Tribal Leader; February 2011, Creating WE Institute (CWI) Member & Associate (CWI Chicago / Chicago Team); and October 2012, Delivering Happiness at Work Certified Partner — but generally leverages the wisdom of many!

For more than 30 years, we’ve leveraged various bodies of knowledge and experience! To mention a few…

Fundamentally, Delivering Happiness at Work’s Make Happy Work model and notion of Happiness (Positive Psychology) corresponds to our notion of a Healthy and Thriving Organizations and Organizational Health (well-being and performance).

Mindset and Behaviors

As Gary Hamel, recognized as the most influential business thinker in the world, emphasizes:

As human beings, we are amazingly adaptable and creative, yet most of us work for companies that are not. In other words, we work for organizations that aren’t very human.

We are all prisoners of our paradigms. A paradigm is more than a way of thinking — it’s a worldview, a broadly and deeply held belief about what types of problems are worth solving, or are even solvable.

And as Edgar Schein, the world-renowned expert on organizational culture, emphasizes:

Culture is a pattern of shared tacit and interconnected assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

Fundamentally, Gary Hamel is emphasizing the importance of a mindset (or worldview) and Edgar Schein is emphasizing the importance of behaviors that emerge from internal integration and external adaptation.

A mindset involves values and their reification into behaviors, relationships, and language. Internal integration involves identity as determined by meaning/values and purpose/cause, and external adaptation involves value as determined by specific results in a specific context.

Fundamentally, Delivering Happiness at Work’s notion of a Roadmap to Make Happy Work corresponds to our notion of Artful Transformation.

Artful Transformation and the Happiness Roadmap

Artful Transformation describes the transformation journey using three phases, including Context, Foundation, and Evolution. The journey may also be described using three major goals, including Defining, Living, and Evolving a culture.

Define your Culture

In defining your culture, our goal is to ensure awareness of the aspects within the enterprise and activate human vitality — essentially, change attitudes or beliefs, that is, Hamel’s worldview or mindset.

  • Establish a culture team
  • Define a “minimal” Mindset and describe it as Behaviors, Relationships, and Language
  • Socialize and refine the Mindset and Behaviors

Live your Culture

In living your culture, our goal is to ensure the dynamics among the aspects within the enterprise and foster organizational health (well-being and performance) — essentially, adopt new habits and behaviors, that is, Schein’s external adaptation.

  • Live the Mindset by enacting & elaborating the Behaviors
  • Renew Value Creation

Evolve your Culture

In evolving your culture, our goal is to ensure the wholeness of the enterprise and ensure marketplace success — essentially, express consciousness through actions, that is, Schein’s internal integration.

  • Evolve the Mindset by enacting & evolving the Behaviors
  • Renew Enterprise Wholeness
  • Foster Communities around the Mindset

Thus, as much as Transformation may be Artful, Happiness may be ArtfulArtful Happiness!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2013 2:50 pm

    Hi Si,

    I’ve been listening to the McCarthy Show (http://www.mccarthyshow.com/episodes/) which seems to me to be the first conscious attempt to codify and then live out a new culture. Not just for work, of course, but everywhere. I propose we investigate further by listening to the podcasts and reading through the Core Elements (http://www.mccarthyshow.com/core-elements/)

    -David

    • Si Alhir (Sinan Si Alhir) permalink*
      December 21, 2013 3:02 am

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, David. Respectfully, I’m very well familiar with McCarthy’s work, it is not “the first conscious attempt to codify and then live out a new culture,” but a codification of *his* culture. Every individual’s identity is unique and every collective’s (group’s) culture is unique and not simply “codified” in such “core elements.”

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