So, you read my blog “The goal… is not making money“. But what is the goal, if not making money?

The good news is that the answer is simple: happiness. The bad news: happiness is hard to measure, for its highly subjective, if measurable at all.

But wait, no, companies have started using happiness as a goal for their respective stakeholders:

  • Net Promoter Score now is a widely accepted measure for the performance of companies. Simply put it’s the % promoters minus % detractors. And yes, those are determined by the happiness of the customers of the the company… and your impact on that.
  • What about employees? You guessed right. Employee satisfaction and/or employee pride both are indirect, highly subjective measures of happiness. Engaging employees makes them happier. More hints on applying happiness in your organization can be found the book What happy companies know.
  • What about investors? Corporate Social Responsibility, although currently being commercialized and commoditized, is investor (and client) happiness in disguise. CSR has shown up as a criterium for investing in and buying from companies.

What if (increasing) happiness is the goal?

When (increasing) happiness is the goal things shift dramatically. All of a sudden people become long term oriented. Willing to invest short term to later reap (more) happiness. Chip Conley in his brilliant book PEAK: How great companies get their mojo from Maslow explains that this is simply because people at our level of relative comfort and luxury, need to increase meaning of our lives to become happier. We all understand how that is long term focused, right?

You might want to read, for inspiration, the real life business case (pun intended): Delivering happiness… on the somewhat succesful company Zappos.

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