There is a great comments from Joe on one of the previous Cubicle 3B23 stories. It’s too good to be hidden in the comments section.
You are a CHO; now what?
Yesterday I was asked what was my title, and got a puzzled pair of raised eyebrows when I responded that my unofficial self-adopted title and vocation in life is Chief Happiness officer… It got me thinking – what exactly is a CHO? (And no, I’m not the corporate clown that everyone likes to pick on or that is famous for telling the best jokes – even though occasionally I find myself at the receiving end of a joke… )
Happiness officer is a very serious and heavy responsibility – a temperature meter, detecting the health of an organization, noticing the first signs of trouble and trying to heal them. It is like the shaman of a tribe, the healer or the local witch.
A healthy organization is one that not just functions and produces but is energized, gives a feeling of belonging and meaning to all the people that make it. A happy organization is made of happy balanced people – happy not in the sense of joking around all the time, but in the sense of having a deep feeling of satisfaction.
It is like a healthy bee swarm. Even though the swarm is nearly a creature in its own right, with mind and memory of its own, it is made of little individual parts who influence greatly its health. The swarm is very resilient, but only if its bees are healthy. When they are not, the swarm falls apart. When all the workers leave the hive in despair, it doesn’t matter if the queen is still there and healthy. A queen alone does not make a swarm – it stars it, but does is not equal to it.
Bee doctors watch the behavior of the individual worker bees to know the health of the hive. It is the same with the Happiness officer… He watches for small tell-tale signs: more and more people who have the nagging thought that even though rationally speaking they should feel perfectly satisfied with their position in life, they are somehow not; more and more people with the uncomfortable feeling that there is something missing, a feeling which gradually grows into discomfort and distress.
And distress is a powerful force – a force that pushes you to change.
This is what the happiness officer watches for and helps – by encouragement, nudge, energy boost – helping people one by one find what makes them tick and nurturing their belief that it is worth going for.It is a fine balance between wild optimism and integrity…
The ultimate success for a CHO? A company that does not need him; a company where everyone is their own CHO…
Joe – the CHO in Cubicle 3B21