Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh's book of the founding and nurturing of Zappos, and the Zappos community, releases today. From Twitter (@Zappos, @dhbook) to the CEO/COO blog, I've had the chance to follow the Zappos management story for a while (hiring & on-boarding, marriage to Amazon, starting a movement). With Delivering Happiness, I feel like I'm getting to play a part. Earlier I reviewed Delivering Happiness. Here I'm focusing on the the Delivering Happiness movement more broadly. We're asked on the Delivering Happiness site to:
Join the Delivering Happiness Movement! One of the reasons why this book was written was to contribute to the existing happiness movements out there, all towards the cause of making the world a better place. Over the next several months, the site will evolve to become a place for you to read and share your own stories about Delivering Happiness, passion and purpose, in business or in life. In time, we hope this site will become a place people can play a part and learn about the ongoing movement of delivering happiness to ourselves and one another.
We have the chance to share our "experience and help others make actionable steps towards making positive changes in their lives." You can read featured stories, or browse contributer stories by industry, region, company size, or core values. I searched on the core value of "Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication" and was surprised that there weren't any stories posted in that category yet. So, I posted my own:Transparency has been an important management topic (how much, with whom, about what) for decades -- but now it has a chance of being more than a topic. I think we’re entering an era where transparency is going mainstream. Technology, organizational practice, and employee expectations are aligning in a powerful new way.
- Technology has reduced organizational communication barriers.
- Organizational practice has evolved to include teams, open innovation, and other alliances across organizational boundaries -- which require increased transparency.
- Employee expectations are leaning toward new forms of psychological contracts with Gen Y pushing us along.
I see this in my MBA courses and am pleased with the results. Students and faculty are taking advantage of our ability to automatically video record classes and post to the class website. I admit to being concerned about how permanent records of discussion-based courses might play out, but the benefits to the students pushed me to take the plunge and turn on the capability. The results have only been positive. We also use (and have for a while) open discussions/wikis for class questions/comments and, starting this term, a wiki for links to class readings. There is added responsibility on both sides: The course becomes a constant discussion rather than something bounded by class times; as my role transitions to facilitative rather than directive, students have to/get to pick up the slack; and given the shifts in responsibility, I have to provide more guidance on learning to learn. Transparency isn't free. I expect this last point crosses roles and industry. Increased transparency will require management and employees to make adjustments. Increased transparency will require management and employees to make adjustments. As long is the communication lines stay open and we all are open to adjustments, I think we have a chance. ...now to see if my contribution is accepted. Turns out it's not automatic: "We appreciate your time and generosity in sharing your story. While we won’t be able to publish every story we receive, your feedback means so much to us. Thank you for being a part of the Delivering Happiness movement." I'll link here if it goes live on the Delivering Happiness site. What do you think? Are we in an organizational environment where a movement to more transparent organizations can take place? What evidence do you have that this is true/not true? Please comment below (by June 11, 2010) and I'll draw a winner for my extra advance copy of Delivering Happiness.