The concept of Gross Corporate Happiness® was inspired by the model of Gross National Happiness that was introduced about four decades ago by the 4th Dragon-King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in Bhutan. For many years a rather neglected concept, it has received much international attention in the past few years in the global search for new national measurement concepts “beyond GDP”.
Recommended by the United Nations in 2011 as a role model to study for national governments, this concept accounts for the holistic wellbeing of the citizens while aiming to catalyze sustainable growth across the nation. Instead of focusing solely on Gross Domestic Product as measurement for progress, the architects of this framework recognized that for human wellbeing other aspects besides material wealth must be put into the equation.
Specifying nine key life domains that are evaluated through 37 sub-criteria, the GNH model serves the Bhutan’s government as a guiding instrument for the strategy process, and leads, in a way that is comparable to a Balanced Scorecard, the economic and social development of the country.
While the idea to transfer this concept from a small state in the Himalaya in the early phase of its economic development into our highly efficient and industrialized economic world might appear bold at first sight, the governmental challenge to lead half a million people is in reality of a similar dimension as some of our global corporations, with their comparable multi-location challenges and internal cultural differences. Furthermore, independent of the level of material development, the basic elements relevant for human wellbeing and growth do not differ between the social world and business.
But most striking is the analogy between the Bhutanese striving for a high level of wellbeing under constrained material conditions – in conjunction with their commitment to a neutral national footprint – with the core business challenge of the 21st century: to achieve a high level of employee motivation with limited economic maneuvering space – while limiting any consumption of assets to the companies’ ability to regenerate them.
From this perspective, to design a leadership concept rooted in the GNH philosophy but transferred into our modern business context is a logical strategy towards a comprehensive model for employee motivation.
“We have seen within the past 18 months a complete transformation of an entire workplace. Not only a new future was build through a strong increase in efficiency, but it was our joint effort, from the little worker to top management who build an unprecedented culture of cooperation”
"The Management jointly with the employees in Offenburg have successfully demonstrated how the combination of a clear business focus with spiritual principles like service attitude, honesty and passion, can lead to both, econonmic success and high satisfaction of all workforce. This development became our global benchmark for new aquisitions and turn-around."
"Since the factory was taken over by new management, our relationship between customer and supplier can be described in three words: Trust, Service Attitude and Success. In 18 months, a highly complex new contractual relationship was handled with the utmost fairness and honesty and crowned by a price reduction which exceeded by far any contractual obligations. The service attitude is without question and a strong basis for our own business success. Very rarely have we experienced anything alike."