Joy – It Leads to Organizational Resilience!

When people are fulfilled by their work, they experience joy! When the organization culture includes personnel development and involvement, joy is a frequent occurrence.

In a recent speech I described the gray line between work and play. Humans are the only species that seeks happiness. And the ultimate goal, the peak of happiness, is joy. 

Poets talk about “Joi de vivre” – the Joy of living. According to polls, the most popular and beloved of all classical music compositions is Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. 

I ended my 2014 book, “The DNA of the Resilient Organization – How One Collective Heartbeat Creates Continuous Competitive Advantage”, with a discussion of Joy in the workplace.  I have found that organizations that achieve internal organization unity frequently and regularly experience joy. And the greater the unity, the greater the organization resilience. It is circular.

I heard Steven Covey, highly regarded and best-selling author, recently finish a presentation with “Millennials value open, transparent, collaborative leadership style. Trust leads to Joy.”

Joy should be the goal of not just play but also of work! Both Play and Work can and should be a great source of Joy! You can’t sustain health – in mind, in body, or in any organizational body – without joy. When joy goes, health also deteriorates.

True unity, which is accomplished while building organizational resilience and sustainability, leads to joy. The greater the unity, the greater the joy, and the greater the organizational resilience.

Joy – The Result of Unity/Resilience

I learned today that Beethoven wrote his immensely successful Ninth Symphony to convince people that the only way to Joy is through unity. In writing it, he became so absorbed and then personally infected that by the time he and, ultimately, his audience came to the “Ode to Joy”, they were consumed by it.

Beethoven read Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” poem and started setting it to music in 1793 when he was only 22.  He returned to his “Ode to Joy” themes numerous times over his lifetime but did not complete a piece of music on it until he was commissioned to write the Ninth Symphony in 1822. He wanted to introduce the human voice to this special symphony about Joy and became the first classical composer to include a chorus and soloists within a  symphony.

The Ninth Symphony intended to reflect Schiller’s themes about human conflict resolved by unity. The Symphony’s fourth, “Ode to Joy”, movement begins with outrage and tumult, then restates themes from the first three movements, but interrupted and rejected – signifying conflict. A new theme is introduced, is slowly accepted, and ends with a triumphant statement of the new theme. Human voices are introduced to sing the new theme, “O friends, not these tones. Instead, let us sing more pleasing and joyful ones.” Beethoven’s objective was to display two concepts: the universal brotherhood of man through joy, and love of the heavenly father.

Without knowing the Beethoven story behind the Ninth Symphony, Joy is also how I ended my recent book about the concepts and strategies for sustainably achieving organization change, The DNA of the Resilient Organization When I began writing the final chapter, I recalled that when organizations achieved the higher levels of unity that lead to greater Resilience, they also reached high levels of organizational Joy. I realized that unity and joy are linked. That is the surprise and wonderful result of working towards unity/resilience!

“By now, you should understand that Resilience = Unity . . . And that true unity leads to joy. The greater the unity, the greater the resilience. . .

“Unity, a collective heartbeat, is achieved with organizational wisdom and strength. The greater the collective Wisdom and Strength, the more likely the entity is to achieve a collective heartbeat, as . . . winning teams . . . all demonstrate.

“It is unity – with one another and with the Higher Power – that enables individuals to take risks, to innovate, to work zealously to accomplish the Mission and achieve the Vision. Unity enables resilience and, ultimately, the Joy of working for a greater good that sustains resilience.”

Excerpts from Chapter 10, The DNA of the Resilient Organization – How One Collective Heartbeat Creates Continuous Competitive Advantage.

 

 

 

Game Changer

Sandra A. Suran was just featured in the January 2015 issue of ASPIRE Magazine, a very cool, online, international magazine.  

ASPIRE’s mission is to inspire people around the world to use business as a force for good and to shine the spotlight on Game Changers.  

Susan SuranSo, they tell the stories of Game Changers to inspire and share their best practices to empower others to follow their lead.

Here is a link to the article about Sandra, written by Susan Bender Phelps:

“The Collective Heartbeat – The Foundation for Organizational Resilience”

Click to hear more about ASPIRE:  www.theaspiremag.com

What’s greater than a Magic Bullet?

Magic Bullet imageDo you know how to improve the resilience of your organization?  There is no magic bullet. But, there is a way to improve resilience constantly while making changes more efficiently and sustainably.

Changes don’t stick unless the people in your organization want them to happen. And people don’t want changes to happen unless they truly believe it will be successful and will benefit the organization, their department and their job.

Even great “magic bullet” solutions soon lose their impact.  The best improvements to infrastructure (processes, systems and organization structure) and cutting edge improvment tools don’t necessarily accomplish their intended purpose if they aren’t effectively linked with each other and with all stakeholders.  And none of these changes by themselves will help build resilience for the long haul.

You can improve your organization’s ability to make sustainable changes while also increasing people’s desire to make changes.  That’s the key to success: build ability (with tools, improved infrastructure) and desire (through increased group knowledge and trust) at the same time.   My new book The DNA of the Resilient Organization and the Workshop of the same name will teach you how to embed resilience with every change project you undertake.

Buy The DNA of the Resilient Organization at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s and other great book stores. Ask about Group Presentations and the Workshop: info@thesurangroup.com.

The DNA of the Resilient Organization“Great book for the large or small organization. It has so much content focused on connecting the pieces of the structure, the culture and the thinking of the organization. And then Sandra gives example at each step on how it works and how it doesn’t work when those pieces do not come together. This is a book that pulls together the missing links to help an organization determine what is missing, so they can fix the problems moving toward synthesis and resilience.”  Steve Harpham, Living Water Financial Advisors, Former Controller, UPS

“In this book Sandra Suran does a beautiful job of bringing together all the concepts that make up a resilient organization.  Sandra has worked with our company a number of times over the years and has helped us be the resilient company we are.  My management team is reading it to prepare us for the future.”  Tom Kelly, President, Neil Kelly Company