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

Whole Person Organizational Cultures©

Role Models

The Now Generation

The Institute with this first issue of “IOC Role Models” is recognizing and applauding organizations and individuals who we know support and advance the concepts of Whole Person Organizational Cultures©.

The past several years have seen an explosion of articles, books, workshops, webinars, conferences, and speeches on organizational culture, engagement, wellbeing, wellness and happiness. People in the business world can’t say enough about these topics, with publications and organizations from Harvard Business Review to in UC Berkeley getting in on the conversation.

Great Place To Work

The media has released countless rankings of the “Best Places to Work”. Many of these companies have made substantial investments in perks such as gymnasiums, bonuses, food, cabins, and trips. Included in that are the “wellness” programs in which only 24% of employees participate and only 12% believe improves their overall wellbeing. Too many companies focus on physical health and fail to address the entirety of a person’s experience (Gallup Business Journal, February 4, 2015).


Now we’re also seeing more “whole person” publications that consider the “soft sciences” using words such as empathy, emotional intelligence, compassion, mindfulness, love, joy, gratitude, virtuousness, kindness, dignity, and other intangibles, and how they apply to both work and personal lives. Of course, these “heart” sciences are related to positive psychology which continues to gain momentum.


The above referenced Gallup Business Journal said “Developing thriving employees requires taking a whole-person approach. After all, employees bring every aspect of themselves to work each day.” Thanks Gallup!


If these words resonate with you, you might want to look at the Globoforce conference called WorkHuman 2015, June 8-10 in Orlando. “WorkHuman is what happens when organizations harness the transformative power of emotional connections among colleagues”. Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine from Globoforce have a recent book entitled “The Power of Thanks”. This is one of the best books ever written in my opinion. Eric and Derek are doing a video for us and it plus the book will be the lead module our curriculum.

Another event to consider is the 2015 Thrive Summit sponsored by Virgin Pulse a part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. This is indicated to be the biggest conference on employee well-being held on April 27-29 in Boston.

An organizational culture strategy needs to be one of a “Whole Life Organizational Culture”. It needs to include the traditional perks and benefits along with the soft sciences. It includes employees and their families, customers, suppliers, advisors, owners, and the community as a whole.

While many are seeking to achieve this kind of balance, it can be confusing, and there’s no secret recipe. It’s confusing because a whole life culture is a system with many moving parts, and most of today’s employees (including managers) do not have the knowledge or experience to handle the parts — or the system as a whole.

Role Models

Joy Inc.

There are individuals and organizations that have created or assisted in the creation of Whole Person Cultures. These are role models that have made life better for employees, customers, owners, and communities. An example is Menlo Innovation’s CEO, Richard Sheridan, who proposes creating workplaces that people love by adding joy. Rich is one of our IOC teachers. You will want to watch his 40 minute lecture.

What Motivates Me Chester Elton

Chester Elton one of our exceptional IOC teachers is known as the Apostle of Appreciation. Appreciation is clearly a key culture item in whole person cultures. You can watch his 40 minute video from our curriculum or watch an 8 minute promo video with stories about recognition, kindness and appreciation.

Coding ZEAL

Wildly successful Coding ZEAL in Medford, Oregon hires for culture fit and for empathy. They don’t necessarily hire for current talent. If there is talent that becomes an added benefit. In the photo are Trever Yarrish and Sean Culver both Partners and Managing Directors, and Adam Cuppy, Partner and COO. To learn more about the company take a look at Chris Cook’s article about Coding ZEAL. You will be glad you did.


Herb Kelleher and the Southwest Airlines LUV brand are legendary. Their empathy and compassion for employees is also legendary.

It is clear that we will be seeing many more CEO’s who care about Whole Person Cultures. These are the most important and exciting times in “management arts and sciences” in more than 100 years.


Nearsoft in Hermosillo, Mexico and San Jose, California believes in an environment that eliminates fear. Fear kills creativity and impedes entrepreneurship. ​They have a governance framework for decentralized decision making where teams are free to address any issue they care about, from organizing offsite team building to how bonuses are distributed. All company data including salaries is open and available to all employees. Click here for a Nearsoft role model video. In the photo are Nearsoft employees at their new building in Hermosillo.

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 such as Zappos and Google.

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

To watch video segments of our facultyclick here for Teachers and Topics. 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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