Click here for the full Trend Blend 2007+ map
Future Exploration Network is a company that assists major organizations globally to gain insights into the future and develop strategies that create competitive advantage, along with NowandNext -a trends report company offering clear, concise and non-sensationalist commentary on trends in society, business, science & technology, government and the environment; issues covers new trends, innovations and ideas across twelve sectors and speculates about future risks and opportunities.
These two innovative companies released The trend map 2007 inspired by the subway map of the city of London.The map shows some of the major trends across ten segments: society & culture, government & politics, work & business, media & communications, science & technology, food & drink, medicine & well-being, financial services, retail & leisure, and transport & automotive, as well as the key intersections between the trends. We can see some of the more interesting trends in the landscape. The map deals with ideas (with the River of Consciousness standing in for the Thames).
For a start this map is not meant to be taken too seriously… but still there is some truth in it.
We can see on this map many disruptive trends that are driving new business models.
I have selected one trend that interests me more than others: HAPPINESS.Actually it takes someone to be either brave or a dreamer to even think about tackling this topic. Before I start, let me say that I know there is no ‘logical answer’ or consensus to this concept I don’t think there might exist one universal standard or school of thought when it comes to this topic, perhaps just an ideagoras of different thoughts, ideas and philosophies. Like most of you, I’m still exploring it, which is why I have chosen to make it just that; a discussion and a group exploration.In fact Happiness is an issue which is relevant to every person on the planet. It’s probably the one topic which commands universal interest.
So What is Happiness? and how is it related to business as a trend?
Happiness can mean different things to different people. We might think that happy people have lots of money, are physically attractive, have great jobs, or own the latest gadgets. Or, we might just think happy people are plain lucky, and are born that way. Research suggests, however, that there are a number of variables that make a far greater contribution to happiness than external and more superficial factors.
That doesn't mean that if we have a lot of money we won't be happy, or that having a lot of money is bad, it just means that other factors are more important in determining happiness. In fact, a strong positive relationship between job status/income/wealth and happiness only exists for those who live below the poverty line and/or who are unemployed.
Actually,what distinguishes happy people from the unhappy, is that they have a different attitude in life- a different way of thinking about things and doing things. They interpret the world in a different way, and go about their lives in a different way.
The "Happiness Equation"
It has been suggested that there are several factors that contribute towards our happiness. This is an 'equation for happiness' suggested by Martin Seligman, an American based psychologist:
H = S + C + V
H = Happiness
S = Set range - (genetics: about 50%)
C = Circumstances (8-15%)
V = Voluntary Control - (past, present, future)
If we take a closer look to our daily lives we see that everything is speeding up thanks to our obsession with technology and efficiency - although whether anything is actually moving in the right direction is a moot point. We can blame computers, email, the Internet, globalisation, mobile devices, low cost travel, whatever you like. The result is 24/7 access to goods and services, multi-tasking, meals in minutes, hectic households, microwave mums, meals on the run, insecurity, one minute wins and individuals (and organisations) that want everything tomorrow. The result is a lot of stress, anxiety, chronic lack of sleep, a blurring of boundaries between work and home, work-life imbalance and, conversely, an interest in slowing things down.
So as we see, Happiness seems to be an ever more elusive ideal in society of empty materialism, violence and spiritual crisis. Yet, as we all know the United States Constitution is dedicated to the pursuit of it. Happiness is supposed to be what we are all here to achieve.
Talking about "The pursuit of Happiness"Forbes Magazines published in 1917 an article "The Pursuit of Happiness" explainig that
Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile up millions. 90 years latter Happiness has not taken a single wrinkle; it is as powerful as ever as a business trend.
How this trend is influencing business models ?
Major businesses are custumer-based models, but I see a shift to this new trend which is going to be hapiness-based model businesses, to explain this in plain words:Customer centered models can have the net effect of creating an imbalance within a business. No one will argue the fact that customers are an important leverage point in any business. However, it is quite another thing to say that the customer is in the center and the world revolves totally around them.
The ultimate lowest common denominator that ties us all together on this planet is our individual desire to seek happiness. At work, happiness is derived from each of us realizing our full potential.
Abraham Maslow defines this as Self-Actualization - the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can. In order for companies to reach their full potential, they need their team members to reach their individual goal of self actualization first. Only then, through this cummulative effect of the self actualization of the individual team members, can the company acheive the same goal. It follows that if the company is reaching its full potential, it should be maximizing the value for its customers, vendors, stockholders and the community at large as well.
Every business has five stakeholders; customers, team members, stockholders, vendors and the community at large. The only truly sustainable business model that will lead to organizations realizing their full potential is one that focuses on happiness creation as it’s center. Creating happiness for customers for sure, but also and equally important for all of the other stakeholders at the same time.
through my quest online I came accross the book "BUILDING A HAPPINESS CENTRED BUSINESS" which describes how Brisbane, Australia, dentist Dr Paddi Lund turned his dental practice into a happiness centred business, and has lots of lessons for any business, large or small.
You may be wandering, what has happiness got to do with running a business. Well, it has a lot to do with it. Not only whether you enjoy going to your business … but "happiness" in your business reflects on the bottom line.
So you may wander how did he create a "happiness centred business" that is fun, enjoyable, and profitable. Well heripped up his front reception desk with a chainsaw, fired his "C" and "D" clients, built his surgery around a kitchen so you'd smell fresh scones instead of dental smells... and ... now works half the hours and earns triple the income.
Dr Paddi Lund is the self-confessed "Crazy Dentist" from Queensland, Australia. "Crazy" because he's doing so many outrageous things in his practice and because his success defies all conventional business paradigms. He's built a 'By Invitation Only' business that thrives despite the fact that he locked his front door, took down all his signs and removed his name from the phone book! It's hard to believe he's still in business, let alone hugely successful. And successful he is.
Paddi works only 22 hours a week yet makes 3 times more than the majority of his colleagues.
His team never leave, and his customers are clamouring to buy his services.
But more than that, Paddi loves coming to work and has a rich, fulfilling life as a result. All this from focussing on just one aspect of business: not marketing nor advertising, his products, services nor even profits ... but HAPPINESS!!! Business Happiness, to be precise!
It's in fact very rare to find people who... Are massively passionate about what they do,
Are exhilarated by their work, and, Look forward to Monday morning.
While most people think the purpose of business is to create wealth, Dr Paddi Lund takes a different view: if in fact we’re miserable in the process, what's the point of earning the money in the first place?
As far as Paddi's concerned, the real purpose of a business is to add happiness to your life - that without some enjoyment in the process, you just can't keep going with your business for very long, despite the money.
It is to say the least An Unusual Profession ... for a Business Guru! Dentistry is, after all, a universal - in that we all have been to the dentist at some time and most likely have had a bad experience!
Paddi has created one of the most incredible customer service experiences in the world, and let's face it, if he can do it in dentistry, just think what you can do in your profession!
My second example will be about happiness in health and food businesses there are in fact easier and faster ways to put a smile back on your face using what I like to think of as "Happy Food". No, it's not about slipping illegal substances into your brownie recipe, but cooking with ingredients shown to have certain health benefits I supose Gordon Ramsay can best fit in for him Running a retaurant is like baking a cake . It is important to have a balance among three things: Food Cost, Overhead/Staffing and Profits. To much of any of three, and the cake ends up being a horrible mess.
In business, this is much the same. Every business has cost associated with doing the business, a tech business has intellectual property or the idea itself, a services business might have time or media costs, and a product business has manufacturing costs.
Spend too much on physical costs or staffing/overhead you eat up your profits. Spend too much effort on generating profits, and you will lose customers/clients or create opportunity costs.
Baking a cake takes more than just combining a bunch of ingredients and throwing it in the oven. Same could be said for running a business.
Here is a video about his method of running a business not directly suggesting happiness but passion for his job and a great sense of perfection.
and also this video:
How does Ramsay teach people how to run a profitable restaurant? It's not what you may be thinking. He isn't about cutting costs, shoddy work, and cheap labor. Ramsay is all about profit through excellence and skill. That's what attracts people to a restaurant and keeps them coming back...and back. Good food, good service, good atmosphere, happiness and enjoyment in what they are doing.
How Happiness as a disruptive trend inter-reacts with the other trends present on the map?
Happiness as a concept and as a trend is closely related to other factors and trends present on the market and on the map,all trends have interelation and thus affect one another, Globalizaton in itself is a major market disruptor.
Happiness (as station on the map) is almost central to all the Network,it's line includes Anxiety(station) and goes to Personalisation(station) closer stations or spots are as we see it on the map :Too much choice,Health Work/Life balance,Luxury goods and many other disruptive factors.
I defenitly see the future of the Happiness trend as flourishing,expanding and spreading to almost all sorts of businesses mainly leisure health and wellbeing businesses. Happiness-based business model is a real shift which can grow positivly worldwide in unthinkable ways.