Following Socrates and Creating Empowerment
It’s funny when I find myself quoted and it’s a better summary than I’d do myself.
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We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.
How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?
I’m Chair of Governors of my local comprehensive school in Hackney. The headteacher emailed me to say she’d been reading a book on getting more students through GCSEs and found me quoted in the middle of it:
“I soon learnt that you can only create a second class copy of yourself if you manage yourself as a model. What you aim for is for people to feel they own their own job which means you set the principles and you agree the targets. You step back and let the people perform, any way they like, as long as its within the principles and hits the targets. You offer support.”
Intriguingly the authors put it in the context of Socrates’ views. Apparently he said “an essential part of empowerment in any post is a clear sense of what is expected of the post-holder.” I’ve not come across that before but I’d certainly agree with it.
For me the key is to create a clear framework and make sure there is lots of freedom within it for innovation. If you want the full explanation of the principles/targets/support approach do download the draft of my book, The Happy Manifesto. And if you want to find out how to get more students through GCSE, check out this book: Climbing Towards Excellence, John R Rowling and Wyll Willis, Trentham Books.
You can find out more about the principles of Henry’s book, the Happy Manifesto.
- 5 Questions With Simon Grosse of Foundation SP - The CEO of one of UK's Best Workplaces in the small business category cites empowerment and helping employees reach their goals as one of the key factors to their success.
- Is it Time to Go Beyond Empowerment? - Is empowerment alone enough? Henry talks about more that could be done to galvanise possiblities.
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Learn the 10 core principles to create a happy and productive workplace in Henry Stewart's book, The Happy Manifesto.
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Next Conference: 2024 Happy Workplaces Conference
Our Happy Workplaces Conference is our biggest event of the year, and we'd love for you to join us next year. Save the date for Wednesday 15th May 2024!
This will be a hybrid event — we will host up to 50 people in the venue at Happy's HQ in Aldgate, London, and up to 200 people online via Zoom. The speakers will be a mix of online and in person. However you choose to join us for 2024, there will be interaction, discussion, space for reflection and opportunities to network with others.
All tickets are currently half-price until January 2024.
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