Joie de Vivre

I recently watched Chip Conley’s TED Talk on measuring what makes life worthwhile. His adaptation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to the work context is intriguing. Instead of the 5 level hierarchy for individuals that Maslow created (Physiological, Safety, Social/Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualization) Conley suggests a 3 level hierarchy of needs in the workplace (Survival, Success and Transformation) that can be mapped to Maslow’s. Conley posits that organizations can easily measure survival (Maslow’s physiological and safety) but that success (Maslow’s social/belonging and esteem) and transformation (Maslow’s self-actualization) are more challenging to measure and thus often not.

He then asks the question, “Are we going to spend our lives mired in only measuring the mundane?” or are we going to measure what makes life (or work) worthwhile.

I’ve spent the past six months working with an organization inquiring into the question, “What conditions, practices and habits should be present in order to cultivate and environment in which the greatest number of people are able to thrive?”

Much like the King of Bhutan and the leaders of other nations that are measuring gross national happiness the goal of the project is not to create thriving but instead to understand and create the conditions that allow for thriving to occur. 

In discovering conditions, practices and habits and then creating metrics around them the organization will be able to measure something that was once immeasurable.

And rather than continuing to measure the mundane, will have the opportunity to measure the things that make life (and work) worthwhile…the Joie de Vivre @ work.

Erin @ sr4