The Business Case for Happy Companies

There is no doubt that business success depends on highly motivated employees.

Highly motivated employees multiply in organizations whose missions, leaders, and inner workings provide profound meaning and inspiration.
—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Why do so many companies have uninspiring leaders and uninspired employees who plod along with little — or the wrong — motivation? Why are corporate decisions still being made for the short term, undermining morale and jeopardizing business success?

The worst cases make headlines for their ethical misdeeds and corruption, and the damage is much greater than economic: There’s also a significant loss of public trust in both the business and its leaders. Consumers, regulators and business leaders are searching for ways to reduce such incidents.

When business leaders focus strictly on the bottom line, they’re more likely to misbehave when attempting to achieve results. And such focused attention on bottom-line results doesn’t work for the long term.

A new body of research points to a missing dimension that would enable organizations to achieve stellar results. This “new science of happiness” — a name that may seem frivolous at first — goes far beyond putting on a happy face.

Happiness is not a result, but a cause, of success. It’s key to fully realizing an organization’s “return on people” (ROP), which entails bringing out their best talents, strengths, passions, interests, knowledge and skills.

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This is a brief synopsis of a 2000 word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences.

There are two versions of this article: 2000 words and 1000 words (approximate word counts). The full article covers the following sub-topics:

Elements of Happiness
Taming the Inner Ape
Hard-Wired for Hard Times
The Opposite of Fear
The Organizational Brain
Whole-Brain Functioning & ROP

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