Shiny, happy, innovative people

…the business world is full of highly touted prescriptions for being more innovative… in my experience, few solutions actually address what I believe to be a fundamental enabler of innovative behavior in organizations… The key to unleashing innovative behavior is asking the question “how can I help each person in my organization achieve a state of happiness on a daily basis?” In other words, help happiness bloom, and innovative behavior will follow.

Happiness and the Art of Innovation

I’d say more is required — innovation is more than just working well, it’s taking risks to try the untried, which takes moxie — but the essence of this message is spot on: happiness is a prerequisite for good work, and managers are responsible for creating an environment where that’s possible (you can test this by asking, “What if you knew everything there was to know about innovation, but you worked for Dilbert’s boss?“). The Knowing-Doing Gap argues this at length, refuting the idea that mean-spirited management makes better workers.