From San Francisco to Bhutan: The Benefits of Measuring Happiness
Check out Chip Conley’s wide-ranging May 18 ideas in Huffington Post, What We Measure Matters. Conley is both a practitioner and a writer; as founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hospitality and the author of such books as PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow. The latter is about applying psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to the business world, taking a concept developed for the individual and applying it organizationally. In his post, Conley discusses how his company asks questions of its employees to help them consider the highest levels of attaining meaning from one’s work and making a positive difference in the experience of the people they serve. Their answers, in his view, help even hourly workers performing tasks such as cleaning toilets see the larger context of their work. Conley says the small country of Bhutan is doing something similar to the application of Maslow’s theory with its Gross National Happiness index, moving away from the traditional economic measurement of Gross Domestic Product to less tangible, but highly important, measures of personal satisfaction and well-being. He wrote about his visit to Bhutan to learn more about the index and how it played out in the lives of its people in a May 11 post in Huffington Post, The Happiest Place on the Planet? For more on Bhutan and its index, see the May 7 Seth Mydans article in The New York Times, Thimphu Journal: Recalculating Happiness in a Himalayan Kingdom.