I believe that a strong emphasis on personal happiness is the hallmark of an innovative culture.
Tal Ben-Shahar teaches a class at Harvard on positive psychology, and out of this class has created a nice list of principles for enabling happiness.
Here are his flow-inducing tips:
1. Give yourself permission to be human
2. Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning
3. Keep in mind that happiness is mostly dependent on our state of mind, not on our status or the state of our bank account
5. Remember the mind-body connection.
6. Express gratitude, whenever possible.
While his list is couched in the language of personal happiness, I
think it’s a wonderful one to keep in mind when you’re navigating your
way through the workplace. After all, organizations are made up of
individuals, so why not apply the same principles for happiness to life at work? It’s not as if work is really a different mode of existence from everyday life. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. How can we make individuals, teams, groups, and entire organizations happy in their work? That’s when innovation starts.