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The purpose of ROLE MODELS is to inform humankind about people and organizations that support humanistic workplaces. It is a publication of the nonprofit Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures.

Organizational Wellbeing and Happiness©The Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures©

Role Models

Whole Person Organizational Cultures©

Gerald R. Wagner, PhD.

June, 2015

The first issue of Role Models for Whole Person Organizational Cultures was a super success. Thanks to all of you for the great feedback!

As you saw in the first edition, Role Models is about recognizing and applauding organizations and individuals who support and advance the concepts of Whole Person Organizational Cultures©. If you missed the first issue, click here to see it.

In our inaugural run, we asked our readers to suggest businesses and individuals worth including in future issues. We were thrilled to receive some amazing suggestions! The nominations included many organizations and individuals who have exceptional Whole Person Cultures--but who aren’t necessarily in the international media limelight. That’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Please continue to let us know who you'd SUGGEST for future issues. Also, JOIN our followers so you don’t miss any issues. Let your friends and colleagues know about “Role Models”, too.


Kimberly Wiefling

Here is Kimberly Wiefling and her famous rubber chicken, "Kaboongee".

Kimberly is one of our superstar teachers at the IOC. Watch the feature video she did for the Institute called “Discover Your Organizations DNA and Leverage Your Organizational Culture”. A educated physicist, she realized long ago the limits of technology when it was devoid of the human element – the so-called “touchy feely” aspects of work that are so vital to success and all-too frequently overlooked. The truth is, those who include humanism in business see much greater success in every arena, including financially. As Kimberly says, "In my experience even small humanistic positive changes, practiced by a critical mass of individuals, can have a huge impact".

Bob Chapman's Truly Human Leadership

Bob Chapman imagines a world where people leave work each day truly fulfilled. His vision includes caring work environments that allow people to realize their gifts, apply and develop their talents, and feel a genuine sense of fulfillment from their contributions. In this world, because their work is so satisfying, people go home happy and become better spouses, parents, neighbors, and friends.

As Chairman and CEO of the $2 billion capital equipment and engineering solutions firm Barry-Wehmiller in St. Louis, Missouri, Chapman has championed meaningful employment and a compassionate environment through his commitment to Truly Human Leadership.

Play this video

Bob has an inspiring video on Truly Human Leadership that‘s eye-opening.

Most people come to work every day and wonder, “Does anyone know what I do around here? Does anyone care?” They long to be recognized for a job well done. Recognizing and celebrating people for their goodness is not only the right thing to do, it’s a fundamental leadership value.

People have a deep need to feel that they matter, and leaders have a unique opportunity to let them know that they do.

Richard Pike

Richard Pike (pictured here), is an inspector at the HayssenSandiacre subsidiary of Barry-Wehmiller near Greenville, South Carolina. Richard was one of the first winners of the company’s foremost recognition program. In this program, team members nominate their peers as great examples of leadership. This gives them the opportunity to celebrate the everyday greatness in those that they work with.

The awards ceremonies are no ordinary events. The entire organization gathers for elaborately planned events designed to make the winner feel honored for his or her contributions to the company’s culture.

When Richard’s name was announced, he was shocked. During the event he was awarded the keys to a unique sports car which he drove for a week. Unlike a plaque for his desk, Richard had the chance to drive his “trophy” for seven days, inviting questions from his family, friends and neighbors about why he had this unusual car. This gave him the chance to explain how he was recognized as a leader at work, to which most people respond, “Wow, I wish I worked for a company like that.”

Richard was touched by the thoughtful celebration and the prizes. However, what meant the most to him were the comments shared by his team members—people he had worked side-by-side with for years—on the nomination forms and during the celebration event. He never dreamed that people considered him a leader.

When Richard was asked one year later how it felt to be a winner of this award, he said, “Now I come in every day and try to be the person they think I am”.

Watch for an announcement about the Barry-Wehmiller Leadership Institute, coming soon.

Lincoln Industries

Lincoln Industries in Lincoln, Nebraska surely qualifies as a role model. They have been named one of the 25 Best Medium Companies to Work For in America six times, and there’s no secret as to why. The culture at Lincoln Industries is unique. They have 6 key culture elements including wellness. They particularly encourage healthy lifestyle choices and a good balance between work and home life.

Lincoln Industries Team

A leader in wellness programs, Lincoln Industries continues to outdo itself with the success of their people in accomplishing individual wellness goals. The year 2014 was a record-setting year with over 300 people qualifying for the annual company mountain climb of which 132 people elected to join in climbing Quandary Peak in Colorado. Of these 43 people were first time climbers. This year (2015) will mark 10 years since Lincoln Industries first began the company climb as a way of recognizing people for their wellness accomplishments.

All travel, lodging, and food are paid for along with providing climbers with hydration packs, snacks, Gatorade, etc… for when on the mountain. They also compensate individuals for any lost wages they incur as a result of the trip.

There are three wellness tiers, namely, Platinum, Gold and Silver, based on whether the individual is a tobacco user and their risk for metabolic syndrome. Points are assigned to various factors. Employees qualify for the climb by achieving Platinum status.

Harley Davidson Motors Harley Davidson Motors

Much of the chrome you see on iconic Harley’s comes from Lincoln Industries.

John de Graaf is one of the amazing teachers at the Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures (IOC). Click here to watch his feature video entitled Time, Happiness, and Sustainability: the vital links for people and companies”. John is committed to making time-balance a goal for all people across the world.

John de Graaf Play this video

In his work, John emphasizes that life is a lot busier these days than it used to be. New gadgets, originally created to save time, actually lock us into working around the clock. Coupled with endless consumer choices, this leads to a sense of constant busyness, creating more stress.

He argues that only shorter, shared and flexible work will unlock people's time and make full employment possible--and ecologically sustainable.

But, perhaps more importantly, people also need leisure. Time stress is the "new tobacco" and it’s shortening lives. Leisure allows time for social connection, contact with nature, volunteerism, civic participation, mindfulness and other behaviors that are essential for happiness.

In the world's happiest countries, such as Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, people work the shortest hours, yet these nations have strong economies. Laws like the Hours Adjustment Act in the Netherlands encourages shared, flexible and part-time work. This pays off in productivity, happiness and a better life for children.

In 2011 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 65/309, titled "Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development”. John was part of an expert advisory group that met with the prime minister and king and queen of Bhutan to develop a Gross National Happiness report for the UN. John is in the front row fourth from the right.

GNH Group

The phrase "Gross National Happiness" (GNH) was coined in 1972 by Bhutan's fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The phrase was coined as a signal of commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on Buddhist spiritual values instead of the western material development represented by gross national product (GNP). There is a site specifically devoted to Gross National Happiness as well as a Centre for Bhutan Studies and Gross National Happiness Research.


Do great work and have fun while you’re at it. That’s what the integrated marketing agency, Marketwave, in Dallas believes. CEO Tina Young says happy, engaged employees lead to consistently better results for clients, and her company has thrived by putting employees first while building a culture based on servant leadership and their brand of Texas tenacity.

The main driver for this focus on culture is Tina’s involvement in a growing national business movement called Conscious Capitalism that says the place to start is with why you do what you do – understanding the company’s purpose. When the team is engaged with the reason they get up every morning, it elevates their work and translates into greater fulfillment.

Conscious Capitalism

And, this purpose-driven mindset shows up in obvious ways. The second that anyone calls, emails or steps foot in their office, it’s clear that Marketwave employees have a zest for relationships. They have a passion and wholehearted enthusiasm for what they do and they apply daily intensity – whether it’s for a big marketing campaign or for a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of service day like the ones they do each year on the anniversary of 9/11.

Employees are friends, personal coaches and mentors for each other, and there’s a genuine, caring attitude about the value that each person brings to the team. They work together to achieve each other’s personal and professional goals. And, because their business is in the creative realm, they tend to find fun, visual ways to keep their values and goals top of mind.

Every January employees “photomap” together to create vision boards that spotlights their personal and professional goals pasting images from magazines onto an 11x14 collage that is posted prominently at each person’s desk. Each employee presents there photomap in a staff meeting so that everyone hears what their goals are and can support them in reaching those goals.

Giving Back

Every month employees gather in front of a chalkboard wall with a giant infographic with slots to record points of recognition. These upbeat meetings center on team members who have gone the extra mile, celebrations of new client wins, employee to employee kudo’s, and examples of ways the group is living its values. And yes, there are slots for employees to write in recognition of employees and add kudos.

Giving Back

The company’s six values are: employee’s first, trust, service mindset, recognition, daily intensity and giving back. Marketwave has built a culture that looks through the lens of these values each day to nurture and sustain its culture.

Balle A New Experiment: Well-Being in Business Lab

If you aren’t already familiar with this project, you’ll want to be. It’s a new initiative including 50 of Oakland, California’s most inspiring business founders, leaders, investors, and organizers. These participants were invited to join the lab because the host committee recognized them as embodying the future of well-being. These are leaders who are moving beyond a me-centric mentality and toward a more collective attitude that emphasizes well-being for all.

The project is too extensive (and impressive!) to summarize in a few words, so go to their site and see for yourself. Then visit Well-Being in Business Lab: On Leading with Generosity which discusses their second meeting. Read the article and check out the links included. You’ll get goose bumps of excitement about what they’re doing.

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

Well-Being Sonia Keffer

Sonia Keffer, one of our great teachers, is doing a feature video for us based on the Gallup book “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements”. Look for a link to her video in the next issue. I want to express my gratitude to Sonia for her assistance on my pursuit of Wellbeing. In the early days of my Wellbeing work with companies in Omaha, Nebraska, she was a terrific advocate.

I also express gratitude to the Gallup organization for allowing me to be a Gallup Senior Scientist. Without that and the book I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today and this Role Models project wouldn’t exist.

Please Let Us Know Who you Suggest as Role Models

At the Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures recognizing individuals and organizations that support the advancement of Whole Person Organizational Cultures. This is a community project so please help. We want to especially feature businesses who are not already in the high profile limelight.

Please send Jerry a note about individuals or organizations that you think might be good candidates to include. His email address is

Click here to watch video segments of our curriculum faculty. Our complete curriculum with videos and suggested reading materials are free for all email addresses ending in .edu and also for faith based and/or charitable non-profit organizations with .org email. For others the fee is only $79 per year.

Jerry Wagner

Gerald R. Wagner, PhD.

Director, The Institute of Inspired Organizational Cultures.

© 2015 The Institute for Inspired Organizational Cultures, Inc. All rights

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