Finding Happiness and Meaning at Work, That is the Quest

Next week, I will be giving the opening keynote speech at the Sustainable Brands Conference in Rio de Janiero. My message is simple, You cannot have a sustainable brand without a sustainable culture; and in order to have a sustainable culture you have to measure and manage it.

In the afternoon, I will be part of a panel discussing the question “Is it possible to reconcile work and happiness.” My answer is a definitive YES; but you have to become a values-driven organisation in order to do so. No matter who you are, depending on what stage of psychological development you have reached and what level of consciousness you are operating from, you will either be looking for happiness or meaning in your life. After your family, work will be the principle domain of this search.

Happiness and meaning are not synonymous: the ego is in search of happiness; the soul is in search for meaning. Most people find meaning when they are able to tap into their creativity, make a difference in their world and be of service to humanity.  Business leaders are beginning to understand this.

At the conclusion of his first interview with the New York Times (21st February 2014), Satya Nadella, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft remarked, “One of the things I am fascinated about generally is the rise and fall of everything, from civilizations, to families, to companies. We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings. There are few examples of even 100-year old companies. For us to be a 100 year-old company where people find meaning at work, that is the quest.”

My previous blog What Employees Want deals with this question in more detail.

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