Come on, get happy
I have a master’s degree in organizational behavior and more than 40 years of experience managing people, beginning with a 20-year career at General Electric and now at my own business. This article ("Happiness Helps," January 2011) lines up with my experience and current operating philosophy. Companies should pay attention to this. It works.
There are good insights and data to support this article’s title ("Happiness Helps"). I think the challenge for some readers will be: How do I get my company to do this without being shown the door? At the opposite end of the spectrum may be this reaction: That’s a good idea, but we do not have the resources to implement employee engagement.
I hope a follow-up article bridges the void between data results and philosophy in a case study of a company that previously was not as disciplined in systemically monitoring employee happiness.
Mountain View, CA
Good points in "Doomed to Fail" (January 2011), but when there’s not even one single member at the executive level who truly understands and supports continuous improvement, it’s very hard—if not impossible—for Ben, the central character in the article, to get leadership engagement.
Four of the five actions suggested that Ben sit down with executives to talk it through. These are all good suggestions, but in many cases, Ben just could not get the time commitment from the executives. They’re always busy with tons of other more important things.
Revising a review
This letter is in response to Wayne Sander’s book review of What Works for GE May Not Work for You ("QP Reviews," January 2011). While he did an excellent job summarizing the book’s content, I strongly disagree with his conclusion.
I have had the opportunity to read the book. As the CEO of an international business services firm, a consultant and a certified practitioner of Human Systems Dynamics (HSD), I believe the value of Lawrence Solow and Brenda Fake’s work is that it offers smart, flexible and efficient approaches to process improvement.
The essence of HSD is its view that workplaces are unique, adaptive and emerging. What works today may not work next month. What works for one company may not work for another. The reviewer appears to have wanted a linear, prescriptive presentation of HSD. Fortunately, the authors did not try to dilute the value and magic of the theory and practice by representing it as anything other than what it is.