February 25, 2011
Posted by Joan V. Gallos
The merits of joy have been promoted in this blog [see past posts of raising your joy quotient]. I am pleased to announce that joy has reached the hallowed halls of our top business schools.
Stanford Business School Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker was profiled in the March edition of Fast Company for her popular – and one would assume joy-filled – course on the use of joy and happiness to increase employee productivity and market share.
Aaker, whose research focuses on how people find, maintain, manipulate, and use happiness to their advantage, has worked with AOL, Adobe, Facebook and other companies of the issue. “The idea of brands enabling happiness and providing greater meaning in the world is powerful,” she concludes.
Four suggestions for your joyful leadership that can be drawn from Aaker’s work:
- 1. Create a happiness plan for your company or department. What would add more joy to the work day for you? For others? How’s the predicted impact on productivity and on sales?
- 2. Probe what makes you happy. Aaker, for example, asks her students to take a photo of a happy moment each day for 30 days and then to analyze the pattern in their pictures.
- 3. Recognize that there are generational differences in happiness. Younger people equate happiness with excitement, older people with peacefulness. Respecting that difference has huge implications for personnel policies, marketing, and corporate strategy.
- 4. Think about the use of social media technologies to pass on the joy – and its association with your product or service. Coke, for example, released a video of its “happiness machine” – a vending machine installed on the campus of St John’s University during exam time that dispensed (and recorded student reactions to) surprises like bouquets of flowers or a box of pizza instead of the expected can of soda. The video went viral with 2 million hits.