Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Happiness Culture

It’s exactly how it sounds – happy. I had heard about this concept last week when I had the opportunity to listen to Bruce Poon Tip founder and CEO of Gap Adventurers. Bruce was enthusiastic and vibrant about the happiness culture, convincing my entire 2011 BCom class that this is the future of business. The concept of a happiness culture is to empower employees, owners and customers to actively change the world while making some money along the way. 

It stems from this idea of the why culture, why we believe what we do. Bruce was able to articulate Gap Adventurers why through a quintuple bottom line approach: People, Planet, Profit, Passion, and Purpose. In order to have a culture of happiness all of these fundamental values need to be first met before anything else can happen. The result is one very happy company whose employees and customers both feel four things:

1) Perceived Progress – Whether it comes in the form of work or making an active difference in the communities tourists travel to.

2)Connectedness – A special bond those involved will share forever.

3) Perceived Control – Whether it’s the freedom employees have or the choices tourists get to make on the trips.

4) Being part of something larger than yourself – Real difference is being made and it’s powerful knowing what role one plays as a customer or employee in the bigger picture.

A happy workplace is more effective. Happy customers are more loyal. It speaks for itself. But if you need more convincing listen to a similar speech Bruce gave at SB’11.