Rich Sheridan, Joy, Inc.

rich_sheridanThis month I’ve really been thinking about the general sense of fun and joy within organizations. So when I noticed a book called Joy, Inc., it got my attention. The book is written by Rich Sheridan, who’s the CEO of software company Menlo Innovations, and it’s all about how to build a workplace where joy is a fundamental concept.

I’m really excited to talk to Rich today about what Menlo Innovations has done and how other organizations can implement tactics and strategies to deliver Great Work, with more joy.

In this interview, Rich and I discuss:

  • The correlation between pairing and joy in the workplace
  • Why the culture of the individual hero is unsustainable
  • The benefits of continuous learning
  • How index cards can help eliminate ambiguity and foster creativity
  • How organizations of all sizes can achieve clarity and joy
  • The importance of engaging clients throughout project development

(Scroll down for more in-depth podcast notes.)

Listen to my interview with Rich Sheridan.

0:00:00: Rich introduces the concept of pairing in the workplace. He explains that it contributes to joy because it enforces knowledge sharing and enables organizations to produce better deliverables, leading to satisfaction during and after the work process.

0:05:15: Michael asks whether co-workers mind giving up individual control in order to work in pairs. Rich points out that pairing entails active collaboration and facilitates learning how to get along well with others. He notes that the superhero model of business success is outdated and that today’s complex software necessitates teams of human beings working together.

0:10:04: Michael comments on Menlo’s commitment to continuous learning, and he and Rich discuss its importance to remaining competitive in today’s business world. Next, Rich explains why his organization uses index cards: the act of writing by hand forces team members to think clearly about their project requirements, reducing ambiguity.

0:15:15: Rich elaborates on how an unambiguous system leads to success and fosters creativity. Michael then asks whether larger companies than Menlo would be able to incorporate some of the principles outlined in Joy, Inc. Rich points out that all organizations are made up of smaller departments, and that business leaders should focus on improving local functions within their organizations as a whole.

0:20:03: Rich explains his company’s unique approach to client relations, emphasizing the importance of involving the client throughout the project’s development process rather than waiting until project completion.

0:24:00:Michael concludes by directing listeners to to learn more.


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