Happiness is a fundamental human desire and a state of mind (and heart) that every individual subconsciously strives for. Sadly, it is often ill-guided and distracted by the pursuit of accumulating material wealth. Money – no matter how much of it you managed to accumulate – does not bring happiness, and neither do the material things we endlessly consume in order to perpetuate the illusion of limitless global economic growth.
With people being at the heart of everything we do at Wolwedans, it was decided in early 2020 to make “the pursuit of happiness” an integral part of the Wolwedans journey, if not its entire purpose: happy people, happy planet, and yes, a happy bottom line.
The concept – which agreeably seems lofty – is inspired by the country of Bhutan, which introduced the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index as an alternative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measurement of progress or success. The concept accounts for the holistic well-being of ‘the citizens’ while aiming to catalyze sustainable growth across the nation. The architects of this framework recognised that to get an estimation of human well-being, other aspects besides material wealth must be factored into the equation.
To be truly happy,
you have to be in harmony with your inner self,
in harmony with your social environment,
and live in harmony with nature.
So the teaching goes...
Gross National Happiness was adapted to Gross Corporate Happiness (GCH), by Dr Rüdiger Fox and the GCH Institute. Adapting the concept for the corporate context, the aim is to improve happiness in the workplace, thereby resulting in motivation, higher productivity, and better outcomes. Analogous to the GNH model, the Gross Corporate Happiness framework consists of nine life domains vital for a happy work context.
As much as Wolwedans is guided by the 5Cs, these nine domains will guide it towards an elevated and measurable level of happiness.
The Gross Corporate Happiness (GCH) Framework
(and what it means for Wolwedans...)
The Corporate Soul represents the unique culture of the organisation, its identity, language, and values. It is able to connect history with the future mission and is able to energize collective aspiration and transformation.
The Corporate Soul is embedded in our history, our purpose (the why), our values, the Compass, and the Wolwedans Vision 2030 (The AridEden Project).
A Learning Organisation provides individual space for personal growth within a trusting, learning culture. Supported by systemic thinking and continuous challenging of paradigms, it helps to constantly outgrow mental limitations.
We need to look at each individual (team and trainees) and explore how we can grow within the Wolwedans context and be inspired to live beyond our limitations.
A culture of Integral Recognition encompasses a balanced system of material remuneration and an open and constructive feedback culture within a secure and respectful work environment. This combination ensures a balanced and reliable mutual relationship resulting from the physical and psychological working contract.
We never had an issue with remuneration, but acknowledge that a constructive feedback culture needs to be vigorously nurtured as does recognising/ celebrating good performance.
A credible Corporate Sustainability strategy embraces full responsibility for the entire supply chain. By actively seeking strategic opportunities within global challenges, apparently conflicting interests become aligned and mutually reinforcing.
The AridEden Project and our 5Cs strategy cover this. Internal communication and training (on all levels) and alignment/ understanding is key. All Wolwedans stakeholders need to be ambassadors of the concept.
Transforming companies into communities nourishes a safe culture of collaboration, where inclusion of diversity contributes to high intensity of co-creativity and innovation.
Our purpose, Compass, and Culture C as well as Village life will create a values-driven sense of community and ambassadors of a ‘new way’ of living and working together.
Care comprises the behaviours and infrastructure for physical and mental care of all employees. Balancing preventive interventions and optional encouragement ensures the needed respectful attitudes.
Care – for people, the environment, and company property – present a core value at Wolwedans and need to be engrained in day-to-day life.
Transparency combined with trust in Servant Leadership creates the framework for intensive active involvement and enables the shift from command/ control to Trusted Efficiency, especially in complex environments.
Transparency and trust are substantial Wolwedans values and the understanding that “command/ control” is an outdated paradigm resonates with leadership. New ways have to be found.
Integral Psychological Well-being is able to merge a positive work experience with a high level of stimulation. This allows increased consciousness and autonomous engagement to naturally emerge.
Being in harmony with your inner self (a pre-requisite for happiness) will be strived for through a combination of physical well-being (board and lodging), opportunities to grow and discover hidden talents (e.g. arts & crafts), work / life balance, and stimulation of head | hand | heart.
In order to maintain a healthy work environment, any sustainable organisation needs to ensure that time consumed by work is in balance with time spent for other vital life domains and that protected recovery periods are guaranteed.
Introducing Sunday off, mix of employment, and entrepreneurship (5/3), diverse pastime offering (sport, music, play, education), and off-work stimulation of head | hand | heart.