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Posted: June 01, 2014

Dr. Oz and a happy company

It works on the organization of humans -- how about human organizations?

Pat Wiesner

My wife often watches Dr. Oz on the kitchen TV, so, like it or not, I end up listening to him, too. Even though I would probably deny being a “fan,” I have to admit that he is a very interesting fellow in the way he approaches health from the “you are what you eat” point of view.

Recently he was discussing with a researcher and a woman how serious disease, even ailments like cancer in the woman’s case, can sometimes be improved, even cured, by what is put into the body.

These “foods” he referenced include ideas and attitudes. The researcher made the case that a truly happy person has more tools than realized to deal with life-threatening illness. She shed light on treatment requiring five minutes each day of positivity to physiologically release endorphins into the body, with the potential of improving one’s health. The woman with the researcher had participated in the program and had beaten cancer after surgery and chemo therapy failed.

I have no problem accepting these ideas as quite possible with human beings. A happy body has the best chance of health. But I think you can extend these ideas to most organized, complex systems, more specifically a business.

How can we get good-will endorphins coursing through the veins of our company? Does a happy company function better? If so, how do we make a company happy?

 For years I have heard that the first responsibility of a company is to return the highest possible profit to the shareholders. I think that idea needs a tweak. How is happiness truly achievable if the team is working solely for its investors? I submit that a company will be its healthiest when running on all cylinders. When its workers truly enjoy working there, and customers love the product or service and understand the attached prices. When management is excited about its team of people it leads. And the community is happy that the company operates in its midst. And the investors are happy with their return. Until you have all this you are not running on all cylinders.

Here is what my checklist would look like:

• Tell all stakeholders what you are doing. You have to make sure that everyone in your company gets the idea, performs for the customer, the stockholder, themselves and the community.

• Put together a strong financial plan. Share it. Make it happen. Don’t disappoint employees to overpay investors. The value will not last.

• Make your products better. Make sure you have the right people doing the work or change them. No one will be happy where everyone doesn’t have his or her shoulder to the wheel.

• Do whatever it takes to earn the reputation of best customer treatment. Make the way you treat customers a matter of company pride.

• Make employees feel appreciated and important. A study a few years back showed that money is fourth on the list of what people look for from an employer. In front of it are things like opportunity, recognition and working atmosphere. 

• Get involved in the community as a company, not just a couple of top execs. It’s something everyone in your organization will take pride in. Of the three things you can offer — work, wisdom and wealth — any two that you share will make you an asset to your community.

If everyone has a happy, healthy attitude, the company will be very healthy indeed.

Pat Wiesner is the retired CEO of WiesnerMedia, publisher of ColoradoBiz. He still leads sales training for the company. E-mail him at pwiesner@cobizmag.com.

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Readers Respond

I love your checklist and would contend that your third bullet point is the most critical in building a successful environment. Having the right people who are held accountable to external and internal customers makes a difference that people notice. Successful leaders can leverage this positively or choose to ignore it, to their detriment. By CFO on 2014 05 08
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