Estimated reading time: 33 minutes

Yellow Goldfish blog series

There should one ultimate driving metric in business (and life) and that’s Happiness. A Yellow Goldfish is anytime a business does a little extra to contribute to the happiness of its customers, employees, or society. Based on nearly 300 case studies, Yellow Goldfish, a book published by Stan Phelps and Rosaria Cirillo in September 2018, covers nine ways increasing happiness in business can drive growth, productivity and prosperity for everyone and it’s available for sales on Amazon & Kindle. Broken into three main sections, Yellow Goldfish will help you and your company understand WHY happiness in business matters, WHAT you can do to contribute to happiness (of customers, employees and society), and HOW to do so.

This post is part of a wider series with key insights from Yellow Goldfish. Find here the complete list of all this series’ posts that will be published every Monday and Wednesday from September 4th to September 18th (which marks Yellow Goldfish 1-year birthday).

Summarizing The Previous Posts In This Series

In the first post of this series, we reflected on why companies are in business and we dived into the five schools of thought or different management approaches that companies have adopted over the past few decades: profit, customers, employees or purpose first. We shared why we believe that “Happiness is a new way forward, it should be what comes first and it’s the ultimate business metric.”

Analyzing nearly 300 cases, we have identified nine ways in which business can increase happiness to drive growth, productivity and prosperity for everyone, and we call “Yellow Goldfish” the little extra that a business does to contribute to the happiness of its customers, employees, or society.

In the second post of this series, we shared why a Goldfish and why Yellow.

In the third post, we shared how happiness as a feeling made its way across Rosaria work on customer experience and what influences our perception of reality; we also revealed the nine areas we identified in which business can contribute to happiness for customers, employees and society overall: Health, Autonomy, Purpose, Play, Integrity, Nature, Empathy, Simplicity, Smile.

And we shared the path to Happiness Driven Growth.

 

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In this post, we share: a brief description of each area, the needs it fulfills and the chemicals that it triggers; some of the ways companies can incorporate each of these elements in their practices; the list of companies mentioned as example in Yellow Goldfish, because of the little extra they regularly do in one of the areas; additional brands contributing to each area in ways we collected in our List.ly project and analyzed but didn’t include in the book to keep it within the 50.000 words.

 

#1 Health

Physical and mental health are the basis for everything else. While we can be happy also with an illness, we surely can prosper and blossom most when we are healthy, physically and mentally. Hence our aim should be to maximize health and prevent sickness or illnesses like cancer which are often the result of our lifestyle and the products we consume.

Needs fulfilled: air, food, exercise, rest, sleep, light, water

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphin, GABA

Some ways to increase Health: Serve Nappachinos, Provide Prayer and Meditation Rooms, Offer Breakfast and Bonding Time, Promote Mindfulness, Offer Healthy Food and Less Sugar, Do Walking Meetings, Offer Additive-Free Food, Reduce Secondhand Smoke, Offer body products free of parabens and preservative.

Trailblazers we selected for Health category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Google Health: The Googleplex
  2. Halton Healthcare: Kailo Moments
  3. Unilever: EAP (employee assistance program) and 24/7 support; Mental Health First Aid training and free access to Headspace meditation app
  4. Huffington Post: Nap rooms
  5. CVS Health pharmacy: stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products and offer “Quit smoking” web resources
  6. Reebok: CrossFit One box and WODs (Workout of the Day) classes

Additional brands contributing to health: CEMEX, eBay, Clif Bar, Promega, VANAD

 


 

#2 Autonomy

Autonomy is about feeling in control of our actions, life and work, achieving balance and integration.

Needs fulfilled: choice, education, enablement, empowerment, freedom, independence, time and space

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Adrenaline

Some ways to increase Autonomy: Job crafting, Flexible Family Time, Working towards happiness

Trailblazers we selected for Autonomy category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Semco: Autonomy practices and program Date Semco
  2. Patagonia: “the Boardroom” and Sabbatical
  3. IDEO: OpenIDEO
  4. Ritz-Carlton: $2,000 Rule

Additional brands contributing to Autonomy: Zappos, Netflix, LinkedIn

 


 

#3 Purpose

Purpose is about contributing to something bigger than ourselves and fostering a better world.

Needs fulfilled: clarity, contribution, meaning, consciousness, growth, evolution, expression, transformation

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, GABA

Some ways to increase purpose: Create a rallying cry or manifesto, Create Meaning

Trailblazers we selected for purpose category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Barry-Wehmiller: Fostering a Better World
  2. Ben & Jerry’s: The Chunkinator
  3. Greyston Bakery: Center for Open Hiring
  4. Google: Alley Oop Hammer

Additional brands contributing to purpose: Barry-Wehmiller, Ben & Jerry’s, Greyston Bakery, Google, Danone, Pedigree, Cotopaxi

 


 

#4 Play

Play allows us to fully express our deepest self, without judgement or fear, focusing on the experience rather than on the outcome, and loosing track of time.

Needs fulfilled: creativity, adventure, discovery, fun, laugh, variety, vitality

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphin, GABA, Adrenaline

Some ways to increase play: Offer games or play areas, fulfil customers’ dreams engaging in unexpected playfulness, use gamification to engage your customers, make your product packaging engaging.

Trailblazers we selected for play category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Southwest: funny flight safety announcements
  2. COOLBLUE: from boxes to emails everything is sprinkled with humour & creativity
  3. Woohoo: “The Woohoo Account” monthly budget for fun
  4. Peppercom: comedy training
  5. DEEN Supermarkten: fun and engaging loyalty campaigns

Additional brands contributing to play: Four Seasons, Kimpton, AES, Nike, Zappos, Tony Chocolonely

 


 

#5 Integrity

Integrity is about believing and proving that businesses can be a force for good, not only creating high quality products or being honest and transparent, but actually improving the world we live in, contributing to community and/or preserving environment.

Needs fulfilled: authenticity, fairness, justice, progress, quality, transparency, honesty
Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin

Some ways to increase Integrity: be a force for good, think of the total chain and impact, become a B Corporation, sign the Giving Pledge, pledge 1%.

Trailblazers we selected for Integrity category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Tony Chocolonely: Slave-Free Chocolate and Chocolonely Foundation
  2. Southwest: Mutual Respect
  3. New Belgium Brewing: Beer Scouts
  4. Innocent: the Big Knit
  5. Plasticity: the HERO Generation

Additional brands contributing to Integrity: B Corporations, Patagonia, LinkedIn, Dopper

 


 

#6 Nature

Nature allows us to move from thinking to feeling. Organizations can recreate the same perceptions, feelings and benefits of immersing in nature by delighting by design through beauty and harmony, and by promoting experience and preservation of nature.

Needs fulfilled: beauty, balance, calm, comfort, completion, ease, harmony, peace, respect.

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphin, GABA, Adrenaline.

We found that organizations can recreate the same perceptions, feelings, and benefits of immersing in the nature through in two ways:

  1. Delight by Design:
    a. recreate the nature experience through appealing to any or all of the five senses
    b. add beauty and harmony in the design of both work space and products
  2. Experience and Preserve Nature: encourage, create, and even enable the opportunity for customers and employees to spend more time outdoors in nature, and to respect and preserve the environment

Trailblazers we selected for “Delight by Design” category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. GE: MRI scan for kids turned into an adventure experience
  2. Zaans Medisch Centrum: slide, piano and plenty of art in the hospital
  3. Sanifair: Highway kids friendly Restrooms

Some ways to increase “Delight by Design”:

  • make your toilets worth a visit
  • make your office entrance memorable
  • create offices where everyone enjoys spending time
  • create schools that feel joyful and secure
  • transform your city or village experience adding beauty

Trailblazers we selected for “Experience & Preserve Nature” category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Farmcamps: “BoerenPassport” (kids’ passport with stamps for every activity done)
  2. Kokett: Paper tissues packaging with nature beautiful images (instead of boring brand name)
  3. Albert Heijn: “Moestuinje” promotion offering customers vegetables seeds to be planted

Some ways to increase “Experience & Preserve Nature”:

  • Embrace Circular Economy by respecting, restoring and regenerating resources
  • Grow a garden for employees at work to cultivate vegetables
  • Add plants and colors to your city to make it more joyful
  • Add nature into your offices, hotel’s lobby or even in the middle of traffic

Additional brands contributing to Nature: Promega, Dopper, Innocent, Timberland and RAW

 


 

#7 EMPATHY

We are hardwired for connection and empathy; our relationships shape our biology and experiences. Feeling accepted and connected to others is at the heart of happiness.

Needs fulfilled: acceptance, appreciation, belonging, care, compassion, connection, cooperation, giving, love, sharing, trust

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin.

Some ways to increase Empathy:

  • Encourage employees to practice “Loving Kindness” meditation
  • Allow employees to create high quality connections and relationships with one another
  • Create heart-warming commercials that represents life in customers real shoes and promote a better world, like Nike, WestJet, BBQ Quebec and Income did

Trailblazers we selected for Empathy category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. UPIC Health Patient Care: meaningful partnerships
  2. Lexus: Omotenashi and special celebration also for second hands car purchase
  3. KPN: Next of Kin SUPPORT DESK and offering a recording of the voicemail welcome message of the deceased
  4. Brookings: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  5. Danish school system: “Step by Step program”

Additional brands contributing to Empathy: Disney, Montreal ComicCon, Brand Biology, Northwell Health

 


 

#8 SIMPLICITY

We have enough complexity in our lives already. Simplicity allows us to easily understand, act and remember, to reduce mental and physical energy consumption to achieve a result, and to spend our time on what really matters.

Needs fulfilled: awareness, clarity, efficiency, focus, order, structure

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Serotonin, GABA

Some ways to increase Simplicity: Kill a stupid rule, Look for the pencil solution

Trailblazers we selected for Simplicity category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. T-Mobile NL: CEO App to offer customer service for family members and friends
  2. Headspace: Headspace app
  3. WD-40: Versatility
  4. Apple: iPod, iPhone, and iPad
    Additional brands contributing to Simplicity: Zoom

 


 

#9 SMILE

Gratitude is the most healing energy and when we smile we send a message to our body to rebalance, to cultivate health and vitality, we feel inner joy and connection to others.

This category is also about Celebration!

Needs fulfilled: acknowledgement, appreciation, award, celebration, kindness, lightness, mourning, recognition, reward, sharing, validation

Chemicals triggered: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphin, GABA

Some ways to increase Smile & Celebration:

  • Celebrate special customer milestones
  • Create reasons for customer WOW smiles and then create a WOW Wall
  • Celebrate your customers’ special life events
  • Stimulate your employees to start (or end) the day with an act of mindful gratitude
  • Celebrate a “killed project” by turning it into a fun moment
  • Recognize employees behind the scenes
  • Applaud the efforts
  • Practice ten minutes “Inner Smile Meditation”

Trailblazers we selected for Smile category and they respective Yellow Goldfish:

  1. Plasticity: Gratitude World Guinness Record
  2. Aegon: Global Aegon Awards (GAA)
  3. Qualtrics “Dream Experience” every year
  4. HelloFresh NL: in-box surprises for gezellig family moments together

Additional brands contributing to Smile: Plasticity, Aegon, Qualtrics, HelloFresh, Crowe Horwath, Etana, City Bin, Blue Band (Unilever)

In Yellow Goldfish we have dedicate nine chapters to explore each type, sharing case studies of brands that represent each element of H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S., the WHAT of Yellow Goldfish.

In the next post we will share about the HOW, the process behind creating your Yellow Goldfish to Drive G.R.O.W.T.H.: Grounding, Reaching-up, Operationalizing, Wowing (or Wow Blossoming), Taking Time, and Harvesting. Stay tuned!

This post is part of a wider series with key insights from Yellow Goldfish. Find here the complete list of all this series’ posts that will be published every Monday and Wednesday from September 4th to September 18th (which marks Yellow Goldfish 1-year birthday).

  1. Why Happiness in business? – From Yellow Goldfish Overview Section
  2. Why Yellow Goldfish? – From Yellow Goldfish Overview Section.
  3. Uncovering H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S. in business – From Yellow Goldfish What Section – The Types
  4. Brief Overview of companies and examples covered in Yellow Goldfish – From Yellow Goldfish What & How Section 
  5. Drive Happiness G.R.O.W.T.H. in Six Stages – From Yellow Goldfish How Section Coming on Monday 16
  6. Yellow Goldfish Top Five Takeaways Coming on Wednesday 18

Follow Rosaria Cirillo on Linkedin & wownowexp on Instagram or sign up below to be notified as soon as a new blog post is published.

*** Yellow Goldfish is available for sales on Amazon/Kindle. Rosaria’s royalties for sales taking place from starting of this series 4th September till 18th September 2019 will go to #ForTheFight. Find out why here. Find links to you local Amazon store here.

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* Sharing is happiness. If our message resonates with you, please help us share it and let’s start building together the world we wish to live in. Thank you! #YellowGoldfish #HappinessDrivenGrowth

** If you would like to know more about how to pursue Happiness Driven Growth in your company or would like us to deliver an engaging talk about it at your event, get in touch or simply follow Rosaria Cirillo on LinkedIn & Instagram to receive her inspirational DOSE of Happiness.

*** Did you already enjoy reading Yellow Goldfish and want to help us inspire more persons? Helps us spread the word by sharing the quote that most resonated with you and by posting a picture of you with our book on Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn using hashtags:
#YellowGoldfish
#YGBITW (Yellow Goldfish Book In The World)
#YellowGoldfishBook
#YellowGoldfishQuote

 

Yellow Goldfish book has been published on September 2018 and is the result of collecting and analyzing nearly 300 cases and identifying the common threads. It covers nine ways increasing happiness in business can drive growth, productivity and prosperity for everyone and it’s available for sales on Amazon. We hope it can help more companies understand WHY happiness in business matters, WHAT they can do to contribute to happiness of customers, employees and society, and HOW to do so.

 

If you would like to know more about Yellow Goldfish:

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