Enews January 2018

 

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Happiness Goals 2018

Dear Learn & Perform subscriber:

Greetings for a very successful 2018 to all Learn & Perform subscribers. Hope 2018 has started positively for you. In a world that is dominated by varying definitions of success, often pointing to wealth creation, the world is still full of people searching for happiness. Happiness to some is straightforward but in a competitive world it seems to be an elusive and difficult thing to decipher.

The term Gross National Happiness (GNH)developed and popularised by the small nation Bhutan was instituted as a national goal and enshrined in the country’s constitution as early as 2008. It was a refreshing move from an intense focus on Gross National Product (GNP). While there is no doubt that both GNH and GNP are complementary to one another and it is of no use having a wealthy country with an unhappy population or a country defined by haves and have nots. Organisations aim for a happier and engaged workforce. Happiness is all around is and yet there is so much unhappiness. The ability to agree to disagree and walk away with no feeling of unhappiness seems tough to achieve in a competitive world.

In this context, the article in the Harvard Business Review intrigued me: How do you monetise happiness. With work around happiness and productivity, the Japanese corporation Hitachi Ltd, the article states has invested in people analytics technologies like high-tech badges (so-called “happiness sensors”) to help companies monitor and increase employee happiness. Assistant Professor Ethan Bernstein in an audio discusses Hitachi’s next challenge – how to find the right business model – as well as the ethics of collecting and sharing employee happiness data and whether a happier workplace is truly a more productive one.

With all this focus, the World Happiness report has taken centre stage. For instance, the article highlights that the Kingdom of Norway has a lot going for it. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It has the world’s longest tunnel and Europe’s deepest lake. It’s the birthplace of skiing and aquavit. And if that’s not enough, it’s the happiest place on Earth, according to the annual United Nations World Happiness Report.

The report, published each year since 2012, looks at the state of world happiness, causes of happiness, and misery, and policy implications highlighted by case studies. Each report contains analysis by economists and psychologists describing how measurements of wellbeing can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. There’s even a World Happiness Day, March 20th. Happiness is the new key performance indicator and perhaps, the next big idea in business. And, I am sure organisations are and will connect happiness and the correlation to productivity and results.

You can hear from Assistant Professor Ethan Bernstein about his case study entitled Sensing (and Monetizing) Happiness at Hitachi.

Look forward to being in touch with you next month.

With Best wishes

Palan

www.palan.org


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