Trust – much aspired to within companies – starts at the top. The more you trust your team, the more of a trusting culture you will build.
Henry Stewart, CEO of Happy Ltd, took that to a place very few would be willing to go.
At pay review time for the company, he asked his team to decide what he should get.
It’s a logical conclusion if the whole ethos of your company is about building trust-based organisations. Which is what Happy is about.
In this episode of the Karmic Capitalist podcast, a natural pair with Richard Clarke’s episode on building a company around happiness, we learn some complementary considerations.
While Richard talked a lot about building psychological safety, Henry makes much of building trust. Neighbours. Or perhaps co-habitants!
We talk a lot about devolving decisions (we’re both fans of much in General Stanley McChrystal’s “Team of Teams“), of stepping out of your team’s way (also eloquently illustrated in L. David Marquet’s “Turn the ship around“) and of self-organising companies (as lived in Ricardo Semler’s wonderful “Maverick“).
But this isn’t a conversation about books or talk. It’s a conversation about what Henry and Happy actually did, what their clients have actually done, and the practicality of creating a human and happy workplace.
It’s also a conversation about how that fuels company performance – in Happy’s case, going from having lost 95% of their income when the pandemic kicked off, to recording the most profitable month in their 30+ year history.
Finally, it’s a conversation about passing up the opportunity to have bought happy.com as a domain when the internet was scarcely a thing!
Now that would make me deeply unhappy!
It’s an enlightening conversation. Find the Karmic Capitalist wherever you get your podcasts or here.
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