I just came across a great article on Fast Company, that I thought I should share because it is so closely linked with my previous post. It’s about happiness. Much has been said, researched and analysed about that very elusive term – and admittedly I know little about it, but I will add my two cents anyway. What hit me while reading the article was a quote by Tom Harbeck, senior vice president for strategy and marketing of OTX.
“There have been in my career a handful of times when I had what I call true happiness–where who I was at that time felt in harmony with what my company did and was about,” says Tom Harbeck, who is today senior vice president for strategy and marketing at OTX, a consumer research firm. And Tom connects his professional happiness during those times with a few key factors: working for a company where there was “a team of people who ‘got it,’” where everyone felt plugged into some larger vision and shared the goal of making the mission come to life. Tom is talking about the collective experience of flow, the happiness derived from face-to-face, day-to-day social connection with other seriously engaged people on the same wavelength.
This seems to cohere with my previous thoughts on why having a purpose is so important. It’s just gut feeling but in companies like Apple or google or amazon employees seem to be on a mission. Not just to create novelty but to be truly innovative through system change – and in that way to be meaningful in the everyday lifes of a lot of people. I believe that having the feeling that your work is relevant beyond profit for your company leads to greater happiness in our workplaces. Building that “ecosystem” where one can become truly engaged with what the company is doing and where people share a common vision (not just on a marketing level, but on a very personal level) will be, as I see it, one of the big challenges for companies in the future.
Here’s the full article from Fast Company.