The Genesis Project Episode Twenty-Three

“Shirley, Jim, I want to thank both of you for helping transform my organization into one where creativity and innovation now flourish. I’m not naïve enough to believe that the transformation is permanent. Shirley, I think you have ideas for how what we have now started can be sustained.”

“I do”, said Shirley. “First, keep doing what you have been doing, but you can expect that at some point some of these efforts will go stale.”

“Then what?” asked Grace.

“I expect you will find that answer in your workforce. The Why Team initiated one of your most important programs. I think you will see other initiatives coming forward. As they do, you will want to adopt what you learned from your current efforts to those new programs. Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to what has outlived its usefulness.”

“I have another thought”, said Jim. “When you have setbacks, use these as opportunities to advance, not retreat. We have learned from our brain studies that setbacks are often the catalysts for great innovation.”

“I’ve seen that in my studies of innovators”, said Shirley. “Think of setbacks as an opportunity to reinforce the positive mindsets of your employees.”

“That’s right”, said Jim. “We can teach people to develop a positive pathway in their brains. Now I’d like to suggest one other initiative, and that’s to change your hiring practices. Rather than hiring decisions based on school attended, GPA, and honors start looking for personal traits. We now know from numerous brain studies that happiness leads to success. We used to think that success led to happiness. We now know that isn’t true.”

“But how do we look for happiness in a candidate?” asked Grace.

“There are 10 emotions that are important in happiness. They are joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. You may wonder how I can remember all of those. I use these criteria in my hiring of research assistants. Honestly, I don’t look at their resume.”

“What do you do to measure those traits?” asked Grace.

“I don’t even try, even though there are tests for happiness. I engage candidates in a conversation. You can just tell by how the conversation is going whether they have a positive attitude on life. And that then leads to having the kind of mindset I can help develop.”

“Wow!! Both of you have given me a lot to think about. Could we reconvene in six months to see how things are developing?”            

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There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.” – Buddha  

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