278: Profitable Happiness: A New Perspective on Business Performance, with Dr. Pelè

September 5, 2023

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Dr. Pelè: 

Hello happy people. Welcome to the Profitable Happiness Podcast.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Welcome everyone to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. This time it's going to be a little different. If you're a regular listener of a Dr Pillay's podcast, you know that typically he is the interviewer, and people like myself have been privileged to be guests on his podcast. Well, this time the tables are turned. He is going to be the guest. He's the thought leader this time that you're going to be getting a wisdom and insight from, and I'm going to take my turn as the hopefully insightful interviewer. So I'd like to introduce someone again, if you've listened to his podcast, that you know well, but maybe you don't know him as well as you think. Dr Pillay, my good friend, is an educator, a musician, a software architect and the best-selling author of a new book that's just come out that I highly recommend everyone, call Profitable Happiness the five key habits of a high performance organization, and we'll be talking a lot about that book today. But Dr Pillay, he's a man with a mission. He seeks to change the world through books, software training and music, by helping organizations build high cultures of high employee engagement and business performance. So, without further ado, dr Pillay, I've given the tea up, but there's a lot of things that people don't know about you. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to this particular point in your career.

Dr. Pelè: 

Oh my goodness, dr Rick, first of all, before I go into answering your question, I would like to say thank you, dr Rick Garlich, for being here, for doing this. It is not only a pleasure, it is an honor to be on this side while you, with your research background and experience, we get to talk about some of these important topics. So thank you for being here. So to answer your question how did I get here? What's my background? Oh my goodness, it's really interesting how we find ourselves, in the places that we find ourselves, and when you look back on where you've come, you're like oh my goodness, that's quite a journey. I came from a place where I discovered at a very young age the importance of one word, and that word is happiness. Now, in a world where you go to work and you have leaders who are focused on business productivity and profit, sometimes, unfortunately, at the expense of employee happiness, you really find that this is maybe an epidemic or worse right, this is something that is a real challenge for organizations, and so I learned at a very young age that happiness comes first before success. If you think of finding success first and all the physical things that you can achieve from success before your happiness. You'll wake up one day on the wrong mountain and everything will just be wrong. So what happened to me is that at a very young age, I was in a war zone. I was born into an existing civil war in Nigeria, west Africa and, as you can imagine, bombs are falling, guns everywhere, people are dying. People like myself and my mother are parts of. You know. We're part of a refugee camp and we're running from place to place and you know the funny thing is, when you're worrying about dying and you're worrying about food and how you're going to survive and beat the hunger, it's very difficult to be happy. And yet we had nothing, and my mother did the most amazing thing in order to save our lives. Instead of giving me food which she couldn't or shelter, she simply sang to me. She would sing songs to me, songs, music. She brought music into my life at this very young age and you know what that music did. It completely distracted me from the fear of dying and from the pain of hunger, and it made me happy. And that is when I learned that happiness can come before success. It can come before every other thing. If first you find your happiness, everything else will follow, and it's the same for organizations. If leaders can understand that their employees just want to be happy at work, they want to experience high engagement, they want to be connected and have meaning in the things that they're doing, if that becomes a core focus for leaders to encourage, to encourage everything else will follow. So that's how I got here. Believe it or not, it all started from a civil war.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, my friend, we could probably do an entire podcast just talking about your interesting backstory. I mean, I think that's got to be one of the more interesting backstories and what you bring from simply your life experiences and your understanding of the world. I think that, right off the bat, makes you very uniquely qualified to talk on this subject to happiness. But I know also we've talked and we've gotten to know one another. I also know that you've got a PhD in organizational behavior and you've worked in human resources. Tell our audience a little bit about that background. So you came over here and then you moved through the educational system and you found your path toward helping engage people in their workplaces.

Dr. Pelè: 

Oh, wow, that's a great question because I actually had to make a jump of faith somehow from just happiness to music to, somehow, human resources and software. It's like, how did you do all that? Well, actually it actually turns out to be very simple. I learned somewhere that there are two kinds of happiness. There's one kind of happiness that is simply about seeking pleasure. Ra-ra, how you do it, I'm feeling good. We got ping pong tables in the foyer. That's one kind of happiness. We call that hedonic happiness. But there's also another kind of happiness that involves high engagement, high sense of purpose and meaning. It's the kind of happiness you feel when you forget time is going by and you're so focused, so in tune with what you're doing, the work that you're creating. And I found that that kind of happiness was why I loved to do music, because music is all about that total engagement. I love to be creative, to write books and to do all these things because I loved the happiness that comes with being highly engaged in something. And so to find a career and a path in this world. Of course I went through all the creativity things. I was trying to be an architect, I became a musician. I decided you know what I need to get my PhD? Because, guess what? My dad had one and my mom had one. I was like, okay, you got to go do this. But I discovered that I loved education so much and so I went and got my PhD and the natural thing was to study people and organizations for me. And so from there, of course, I went on and I've been a vice president of human resources at a health care organization, at Dale Carnegie training. I was a vice president of product and marketing and I've done many things that showed me what the corporate world looked like, especially big companies like EDS I was director of marketing there and PTC and a bunch of other places. And I learned that there's one common theme Organizations need help focusing on the happiness of their people, and not just the hedonic happiness, but the eudaimonic happiness, which is the one that is more about meaning. And, of course, instead of calling things eudaimonic, which sounds kind of weird, I came up with this moniker called profitable happiness, which again describes that kind of happiness that is all about employee satisfaction, engagement, that is about focus and just really helping employees find a sense of meaning and purpose in what they're doing. That's how you get high productivity is when everybody is rowing in the same direction, highly engaged and happy.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, first of all, let me just say just listen to your story. You are truly what I would describe as a Renaissance man, right? And I also want to say that anybody who hires you to come in and consult or advise their company on workforce issues is not going to get the same boring vanilla consultant. They're going to get a very unique perspective at all your life experiences and, to me, all of that background you bring adds such a dimension to any consulting work you would do. So, having said that, let me take your idea and build on it a little bit. So I think what you said is really, really an important distinction, because someone could hear this notion about being happy at work, and we've studied organizations for many, many years, you and I, and we know that there are certain organizations out there who have individuals who are making large salaries and have a very light workload and they're probably pretty happy, right, but they're not necessarily very productive. Another saying that a friend of mine often says well, it's called work for a reason. If it was fun, it would be called fun. It's called work because it's work. So I think what you did is you made a very important distinction for our listeners that we're not talking about just making people feel good without that productivity component to the overall picture. But let me take you to one of the most popular adages I've heard all throughout my career since the 90s, and that really comes through the service profit chain model that a lot of people are familiar with, and I have heard so many people say this line and I don't always know how I feel about it. I like to hear how you feel about it. But happy employees mean happy customers. Is that what you're saying?

Dr. Pelè: 

Actually, that is precisely what I'm saying, you know. Think about this. You have companies on the one side and you have the people who drive the productivity of any type on one side, and that is the employees. You got the leaders. You got the employees. I'm going to tell you a small story, a very short story. It's a fable. Once upon a time there was a farmer who had a golden goose that was delivering golden eggs. He was so enamored with these golden eggs and so happy and so fulfilled and he was just completely getting rich off of these golden eggs that one day he got greedy. He decided to get more eggs at a faster, you know better, cheaper, all of that stuff. You wanted to get more eggs. Now he decided the best thing to do is to kill the golden goose, open it up and get all the eggs that were inside. Well, you know the story right. Unfortunately, the goose died and the eggs stopped. Believe it or not, I have found this little analogy I've shared with you to be the central problem with organizations. Our leaders are too focused, too focused on output, right versus the input. They're more focused on the business, profitability and success than they are on the well-being and happiness of their employees. In fact, Gallup did some research and found that 85% of employees believe that their leaders don't care about their well-being as much as they care about the success of the business, if you will, the organization, and so it's really backward, and so my mission has been to help people understand this link between. It seems so normal, it seems like we should know this right, but people in action, in daily work life, don't always focus on this the simple link between happy employees and productivity. It's self-evident. When I feel happy with the work I'm doing, when I feel proud of the work I'm doing, when I feel engaged in the work I'm doing, my work is better. My work is fueled by passion and commitment and accountability. When those things are lacking, I just want to leave on Friday. I just want to go back and say thank God, it's Friday, I'm out of here. You want employees that just want to be at work, because what they do matters that much to them, and that's why happy employees produce profitable organizations. You got to make the link.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, I was going to say that, given the state of customer satisfaction these days, there are probably a lot of really unhappy people at work because we've never seen in the last 20 years, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, we've never seen such low customer satisfaction scores. It seems like now the focus is on attracting and retaining employees, but it doesn't seem like people are necessarily focused on the kinds of things that you're talking about as a means to attract and retain talent. Everybody's saying, well, we just need to pay people more. But we can't afford to do that and I think, in your opinion, it would be a lot more than just what someone gets paid?

Dr. Pelè: 

Oh, absolutely. In fact, I did a very fun little exercise because you will probably talk about this, but I'm big into the impact of AI on human resources, and I went to a bunch of my AI links online and I asked a simple question. I said what are the top five employee challenges that companies are experiencing and are willing to pay money to solve? Of all the different things employees could be dealing with, what are these things? Every single tool I looked at and, by the way, ai is good because it actually does have a large language model of all the data that's in the world, and so it's a valid thing. Regardless of how you feel about AI, it can give you data fast, much better than going to Google or a website. So I went to Bard, I went to OpenAI, I went to different ones, and the answer was very, very telling. Pay was not on the list, not even close. At the very top of that list was employee engagement, next was employee retention and after that was employee recruitment. These are the top real problems that our organizations are facing. Of course, productivity, wellness and so on are down there, but not even anywhere near that was the issue of employees not being paid enough. Pay was not the main problem that employees were having. And so I used to say when I was a vice president of human resources, to help everyone in my little organization understand what our mission was, I used to say that our job is to find, keep and grow great employees. We got to find them, that's a recruitment problem. We got to keep them, that's an engagement problem. We got to grow them right, that is a retention problem and an engagement problem, and so on and so forth. So I really think that pay is just not that important really in the big picture. If you hire me at a nice salary, I'll be excited for a few weeks, but happiness is such that we always plateau and look for the next level, and so that money is soon going to be something that's not as important to me as really just being happy every day when I show up. So I think that anybody who thinks throwing money at people is a solution is missing a big opportunity.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

All right, so let me ask you what I believe to be a very, very critical question. Again, it's something you and I have talked about in our personal discussions. So since the 90s, you had mentioned Gallup, and I had the privilege to work at Gallup in the 90s and was there at the time that they developed a lot of the tools and products and theories and ideas that have really changed how people think about employee engagement. For one, the term was really evolved from employee satisfaction now to employee engagement. But despite all those decades of probably millions of dollars being spent on surveys, not to mention incentives, rewards, training, everything possible to try to make that connection Like, well, if I can increase employee engagement, I can increase productivity and satisfaction on the part of customers all these things and in spite of all that effort, the needle has really not moved and it feels like millions of dollars been spent. I mean, you might see it go up a little bit, then down, but I think as we look at the 20 or 30-year trend charts, it never really moved more than 6 percentage points either way in terms of the percentage of people who consider themselves really engaged to work. So you've come along and you've got the answer to that You've got the solution that all these people have been spending all this money on all these other products and solutions. They need to talk to you why.

Dr. Pelè: 

Who knew right. Well, thank you for that setup, because you're right, and I think that number is about 70% disengaged or worse at work for the past 30 years, and it has not changed much, as you said, as you described. And the question is why is it that we haven't found a way to make a connection between what employees want and what companies want? If you go back to my little analogy of the golden goose and the golden eggs, that's really the problem. Employees want something, but do we have the empathy to step into their shoes and give them that thing, that happiness let's call it eudaimonic or profitable happiness for now. If we give them that, how do we somehow get high performance? So let me tell you how you do that. This is the thing that no one that I'm aware of and I've done a lot of research is exploring as much as I believe I'm hoping to explore, and that is this Human beings have a magic superpower. We have a magic superpower. We have the ability to, if you will, put things on autopilot, should we choose to. That superpower is called habits. If you want to play a musical instrument and you are a musician, just as I am, because and I know you shared this with me back in the day. You did quite some fun musical things, so you understand this. Anyone who's ever tried to learn a musical instrument will understand this. It takes practice and when you practice something, you build muscle memory in the brain and, before you know it, what you couldn't do yesterday, all of a sudden you become able to do it. Your fingers have adopted something. What is that? That's the superpower of habits, and it works not only for playing an instrument or for playing sports, but also with human behavior and organizational behavior, or even organizational culture. If you repeat things enough times over time, you'll build some neural networks and connections in what we call Myelin, which will create habits, stronger pathways for those things you're trying to remember and do. Before you know it, it becomes automatic and you're putting things on automatic. If you can put your engagement for employees on autopilot, if you can put the happiness of your employees on autopilot by helping them repeat certain things and focusing on certain things over and over again, one day the habits will take over and your organization will soar into high performance automatically. I'll give you one quick analogy my children. I have three my daughters and my son. All of them, I was privileged to teach them all how to ride a bicycle at the age of six years old. For each of them, the same pattern happened each time. I would teach my child, I would put them on the bike and we would do this day in, day out and in summer, usually every single day for weeks, and they would keep on falling off. We had training legs, everything. It was terrible. None of my kids would learn. I would be like, hey, let's just do it again. Like, okay, dad, and we would struggle. Then one day for each of them. I had no prediction of when that day happened, but one day for each of them. I let them go and they were riding a bicycle and they didn't need the training wheels and they never, ever, went back. What happened that day? Let me tell you what happened that day. The information and the coordination required to ride a bicycle came from their conscious mind and went down into the subconscious mind. That architecture of the brain is the superpower called habits. What we need to do is to tap into human habits and build habits in organizations, habits of happiness and engagement in high performance. That's been the missing link.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Let me ask this question. We know that there have been books written on habits of highly effective people. This notion of habits is something that has been explored before, but you connect habits to happiness. Maybe talk a little bit about the neuroscience work even beyond habit formation, understanding that the emotional part of the brain is really the part of the brain that drives behavior. Help me understand how you link habits to happiness.

Dr. Pelè: 

Okay, I'll give you one very basic rule about how the brain works. The brain is the most powerful thing. In fact, there's more to discover in our minds right here than I think, even in outer space. That's how much power we have. The inner space is so much more and we could do so much more by learning what's going on here. The mind is so powerful, but it is also blind. Here's what I mean by that. The mind doesn't care what inputs are coming in, it will just accept it. If you repeat that input enough times, you create that muscle memory that you're looking for. Again, the mind is blind. It doesn't care if you're focusing on being a great cook or a bank robber. If you do it enough times, you'll get very good at it, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing good habit or a bad habit when people understand the basic principle that the mind is really a machine that we can manipulate through things like repetition and practice, that's when you turn that engine on. Basically, the answer to that question is happiness is a muscle, just like building muscles at the gym. It actually is a tangible thing that gets better with repetition, gets stronger. It's a choice that gets easier to make if you practice the things associated with happiness. That's the key. The difference between a book like the Seven Habits of High Effective People the things I'm talking about in profitable happiness, the five habits of high-performing organizations is the neuroscience. Stephen Covey, a wonderful teacher, was talking at a level of principles. Now I'm talking at a level of biology. This stuff actually works. When you go into the mind, look, there are pictures. Now we can do videos to see where the mind lights up when you're happy. It's a tangible thing that we now have data for when you see where the mind is lighting up. If you light up that section over and over again and build a habit of doing that, it becomes easier to do.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Let's unpack this a little bit more. It seems like there's more to happiness than what we might typically think of just having a good feeling, the endorphins in our brain going off, but it seems like there's some pillars that are really important to your work. It seems like among them are things like the degree to which I can master or feel good about the work I do. That that's something that fuels happiness. Talk about the five pillars that you've identified as being core to the definition of this type no-transcript You're identifying.

Dr. Pelè: 

Absolutely. And you know I have a nice Menomic that I think a little abbreviation that I use to remember it and please don't laugh it's H a P, p? Y. There you go so. So, of course, as we know, with with any of these abbreviations, it's really just a strategy for communication and memorization. It we're not being tried at all. I have done a lot of literature reviews and research to Come up with a set of five pillars that are in the book that described the, the elements that we need really to build cultures of high performance, that are about employee Well-being and so on. So what are they? Number one is happiness. We've talked a lot about the kind of happiness you don't mind, a happiness that powers engagement and that helps people just want to be at work and do even more than than they're asked to do. The next thing is Appreciation. Now, a lot of the research. Research shows that. A very simple thing, like when a manager shows Consistent appreciation to an employee that builds a sense of belonging and well-being and happiness that allows that employee to want to go above and beyond. Just a simple manager appreciation that is consistent the. The third element, ha is p. That the first P we call pride. Now, although pride has not been researched as much as Happiness and engagement and exp, employee experience and other things like that, it actually is surprisingly as powerful as anything you can imagine for motivating people to do More and to do what they really believe in. It turns out from the research that when people feel Pride in their work, pride in their team and pride in their organization, there are actually three levels. A lot of people talk about just the two levels, but there's actually a pride of just you and your nuclear team. When people feel pride in these things, they actually want to do more and go to the next level. So that's HAP, the, the. The fourth P is called participation. Now, a lot of people would refer to this as the employee experience, but the interesting thing is that when you have a top-down Mandating of an experience, it's not as effective as when you have employees participating Creating, designing and implementing that experience, and that's a missing link and a challenge, an opportunity actually right there, and so employee Participation turns out to be one of the best ways to create that positive employee experience that all the research shows builds Organizational success. You know, one of my best examples, personal to me, is Facebook. Now, I'm not advocating that anybody become a Facebook fan or or not a Facebook fan. I'm just saying that Facebook turns out to be a great example of employee experience in terms of employee participation. I went to one of their offices in California and I was in a tour and they taught us in that tour that everything, every single thing we're seeing here Was designed by employees. You would see, you know big signs that says that say things like hacker, because we employees, we're all hackers here. That's our culture. You would see a big wall where employees would write their dreams and hopes and everybody would participate in creating this. This experience, and so employee participation is is really important for building that experience that creates high performance. And then the last one is what I call yardsticks, meaning just measuring. Now, it's important to measure engagement, as we've discussed earlier, but there may be other fields of thought and and things that cultures you want to build, that you can add. So I just look at that as let's just measure, because, as as Peter Drucker says says, you know, what you measure is what, what improves. I like to say what you measure is what becomes a habit, and it's a habit that is the superpower of success.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, I think you know that's a great lead into. The next thing I wanted to ask you about is I know that you created a software tool that if an organization were to engage you to come in that. A big part, a big aspect of the solution that you bring is a particular software tool that you yourself have developed, and we won't take the time to demonstrate the tool. People can do that by Calling your contact to you and I know you're happy to demonstrate it. But tell a little bit about the software tool and why it's unique from other survey tools or platforms that people might purchase or have purchased.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that question and I'm gonna actually start by showing you something. See this book Probably can't see it very well, but it's called profitable happiness the five key habits of a high performing, or high performance organization. This book is really the business card for the software. It explains the background and gives people a sense of slowly but surely understanding as you can see in this diagram that when all their people Are rowing in the same direction, highly engaged and happy, that's how you create high performance. So now the question is well, how do we go from the book to the software, and what is the software all about? So I've talked about the model HAPPY. The five elements that together have to Are have been shown by research to create more profitable cultures, more highly engaged cultures. Now the question is how do you operationalize that? One of the best ways to do that, believe it or not, is Software. You know, training is great, workshops are great, motivational speeches are great, but what happens when you're done With the training? What software does is it allows us to reinforce and extend the implementation of whatever we're trying to build. There's this thing called the forgetting curve when we learn something. There's something called the learning curve. When we go way up, we're excited, we're learning, everything's great. Then Monday morning at 9 AM, after the training is over, it begins the forgetting curve, where we begin to naturally forget everything. And this is research driven. If you want to maintain and transfer the learning of anything, you have to do spaced reinforcement of things over time, and that's how you combat the forgetting curve. Think of profitable happiness software as something that builds culture and organizations by continuing to reinforce the culture that we know will produce high performance, which has again the elements of happy employees, appreciated employees by their managers, pride in the work they do, high employee participation to create an employee experience. And then yardsticks measuring engagement, measuring all the different elements of the kind of culture that we want. That's what the software does. It helps people focus on the right things that build the culture, build habits through repetition and, by the way, the habits are built by simply getting questions. It's like a pulse survey. You get asked the same questions over and over. You can't help but focus on those things and, as we know, whatever you focus on will grow. The repetition of those questions creates the habits that we're looking for for a culture. The third thing the software does is by all this interaction over a community of practice, if you will to build a certain type of culture. You get a whole bunch of data. You can now go in and say, hey, how happy are my employees. Imagine answering that question. Then, when you answer it last week and they answer it this week and you see a delta, maybe you got to do something about that. Now you've got data about every single element that builds profitable organizations. With this data, there's one more missing link, and this is why I love AI so much. Now you can ask the system for advice. Sure, you could go out and hire Marshall Goldsmith, who I'm grateful he actually reviewed one of my books. I'm not trying to say don't call Marshall, but I'm saying you can hire Marshall Goldsmith for $100,000. Come talk to you for one hour. Or you could ask our system Profitable Happiness. Ask the AI. Given the data that we have that has been captured by our system here, how do we improve our employee engagement? How do we improve pride in this organization? How do we improve the performance of this organization so sales can go up instead of down, and instantly? Because of the large language model of AI, you'll get answers based on whatever questions you're asking.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, one of the things let me just take a step back and say that, one of the things right off the bat that, as you talk, distinguishes what you're offering from other, say, survey tools is that, rather than having a point in time survey, like once a year, once every six months, or even a pulse survey that you might give once a month, your survey and your tool is really an ongoing exchange, ongoing dialogue between the organization and its employees. Fair to say, that is precisely correct, and so it always keeps people engaged in the process. Because I think what happens with these tools and again, I've done many of these studies in my career and what happens is we typically will come up with several really good action steps from the data. And it's kind of like when you go on a diet, you're making new year's resolution, you come at it, you're really hitting it hard at the beginning of the year and you're sincere and you're going to do everything necessary to improve your outcome, but maybe a month in you start to slip a little bit. Two months in you slip and then by the third or fourth month it's just kind of gone back to the way it was, and maybe that's part of the reason why we don't really see the needle moving is because we don't have a tool until now that continually keeps this dialogue between employees and their management going beyond just simply a past, a simple point in time.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yes, and to add to what you're saying, we don't have a tool that taps into the superhuman power of habits. It's really that simple. When we automate our engagement and our happiness and all those intangibles to point toward performance, it becomes easier to do, and the tool is designed to focus on building habits of those particular elements, and I think that's something that I'm not sure anyone has implemented before now, and I'm not saying it's a brand new idea. There's a lot of data about how to build habits for individuals. The issue is how to build habits for organizations, and that's what the software does.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Really, it has to be ingrained in the culture, right? Or else it just simply dissipates. So let me ask you another important question that someone on this podcast might be listening and considering what you have to say. Obviously, the amount of effort involved on both the part of the human resources professional and the people who participate in this process is going to be a factor. Right, we can't put too much more effort on the HR person, nor on the employees. We can't take them away from whatever they're doing on a day-to-day basis. How much effort is required to participate in your process?

Dr. Pelè: 

How about three minutes once a week? That's all we need Three minutes for you to answer a five to 10-point question once a week on Fridays. Here's how it works Basically. Every week we get a new chance to live our lives at work and create success for our organization. In fact, I heard once that and I don't know if this is true but I heard once from Les Brown that most of the heart attacks in this country, in this world, actually happened on Monday morning at 9 am.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Now, I have not verified that.

Dr. Pelè: 

But I can see how that would happen because Monday morning comes and they go. Oh, I don't want to go back there, I'm going to get up, something like that. And I think that If we had a system that says you know what, let's spend this week focusing on these five elements, because we know that on Friday morning at 9 am we're gonna get a simple question that asks us how happy were you this week and how appreciated did you feel from your manager, and the pride and the other questions and so on. If we simply had that expectation every week, what we focus on grows, you can't help but become biased toward trying to seeking an improvement on your happiness when you know every Friday you're gonna get that question for three minutes and you know that your leaders are watching this. You know that everyone's participating in voting on ideas and what can improve the participation of the organization. It's a whole community of practice geared toward one thing helping the golden eggs and the golden goose both feel important, profitable happiness in the same context.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, I think that's a great summation. We don't wanna give too much away in the podcast. This is really just meant to introduce people to you and the concepts. But there's another thing I wanna ask you before we draw to a close, and that is something I find so interesting and unique about both you as a person and your business consulting piece is the way that you link this into your musical background, musical experience, and I think that I'd be leaving something major out of your story if I didn't let you talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Pelè: 

Well, you can probably see the smile on my face, so I'm gonna-.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

I think you're happy.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, it makes me happy to talk about music and these things. But I wanna let everyone know that I'm in safe hands with you because you, my friend, have actually done things like Elvis tribute bands and you've been a great singer in the past, so you get this passion. But let me just say that I think I probably woke up one day and realized that music is probably the most, the one thing that I am most passionate about. I love to write music and create music and I found that I had left my music behind. You know, I was making six figures at some big company somewhere and had a big title, but I wasn't happy and so I said you know what? I'm gonna bring my happiness into my work, into the thing that makes me profitable. That's actually where I decided that profitable happiness was a thing. Almost everywhere you go you find people at an individual level who wanna be happy, but they've left their happiness behind. Whatever that is, a hobby, a thing, whatever, they've left it somewhere and they're focusing only on the profit piece, as Maslow says. You know a lot of people have misunderstood, by the way, maslow his hierarchy to be first do the profitable things, then do the happiness. He wasn't saying that. That structure has to have that sequence. In fact, you can start by considering what is the thing that makes me happy and do both. That's profitable happiness. So for me, I took my music and I said you know what? I'm gonna write a book where every chapter is gonna be devoted to one song, and even if that's the only link, I'm gonna do that. But the songs themselves are motivational. They help people aspire and believe in themselves and show up with that sense of happiness and build those kinds of cultures. You know, I have a song called I Got Happy, which is all. It's a celebration of the idea of just being happy. I have another song called I Am A Conqueror, a conqueror of my own fears, and when I I'll just speak for myself. When I listen to these songs, I can't help but be just a little bit more emotionally engaged in what my purpose is. And so I decided that I was gonna include music, which is our universal language. It is the one thing we all agree with and understand. I thought I would make this book and this project all about including music some way, even at the sides and the corners, not necessarily as the main thing. The main thing is the book, the science, the software and the implementation and consulting. But just for fun, can we just, can we just dance a little bit, can we just? And can we just be happy in that fun? You know way, that's the purpose of the music is to inject some beauty into the equation.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, I was gonna say that again. I love what you're saying and I think maybe I'll just suggest this and I'll just throw out a provocative idea here that maybe another reason why we haven't seen as many results as we might have seen otherwise in this whole area of improving engagement is maybe we look at it too much from a left brain perspective and not enough from a right brain perspective. I love the idea. You bring creativity and emotion and all these sorts of things into your solution and you know, as someone who's really a right brain person myself, even though I do a lot of work with numbers and statistics, I appreciate that creative side and just bringing some unique thinking into the workplace, because we got to kind of unplug this stagnation. I don't know that people really are happy at work now. As you're describing it, we hear all these terms like the great resignation and quiet, quitting, and it just seems like there's a lot of unhappiness and a lot of problems that you know. Maybe they're a residual to pandemic, but you know we certainly see them really rising it up and everything. And after all the money, the millions of dollars we spent for the last several decades, we really do need some new thinking. So I know we're just about at the end of our time. I'll just ask one more thing Is there anything that I should have asked you that I left out, or did we cover everything that was really important?

Dr. Pelè: 

We covered everything that was really important, but I will add one thing, and that is, for anyone listening how can they be a part of this movement, if you will that we're talking about this idea that employee happiness can lead to real, tangible productivity and high performance. And I have a great offer right now, which is that we're looking for early adopters. We're looking for leaders and organizations who want to try something different. You know you talked about this 70% disengagement for the past 30 years. Maybe at your organization, things could be different If you try something different. Right as Einstein said, keep doing the same thing, keep getting the results. So we're looking for organizations who will be early adopters and will do some pilot programs with our software. So, if that's you, this is a great time to do it. This is a there's a great incentive to do it, and I'm happy to talk to anyone who's interested in taking that step.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

And how do they get a hold of you?

Dr. Pelè: 

Well, I'm on LinkedIn and I have a website. I'll just really quickly tell you. On LinkedIn it's my handle is Dr Pallee, D-R-P-E-L-E. So just go to LinkedIn and search for Dr Pallee. I should come up. I'm also at drpalleecom D-R-P-E-L-Ecom. So if you wanted to bring me in as a speaker and someone to do some training, that's where you would go for that. The software is profitable happiness, and that's at profitablehappinesscom.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

All right well, Dr Pallee, thank you so much for allowing me this privilege to be on this side of the interview, because it's rare for me to just be able to sit back and listen to a thought leader like yourself share ideas, and I hope that we'll be working together on some of these engagements and that much success with your book and profitable happiness.

Dr. Pelè: 

Dr Rick, you once told me that I was what a purple pineapple I can't remember.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Orange pineapple. Yeah, orange pineapple, orange pineapple.

Dr. Pelè: 

And I love that so much because what you're telling me is stay true to what you believe, because even if the whole world doesn't know about it yet, those who do will truly benefit from it and will truly connect. And that's just the nature of starting something from scratch, like you and I are doing and, by the way, you're great at interviewing.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

So I'm gonna have to come talk to you about that. Well, that's good. Just a tiny bit of context on that orange pineapple comment. Why I referenced that is that we always see vanilla. Everybody's always got vanilla and vanilla. Everybody likes it, but I don't think anybody's particularly passionate about it. Orange pineapple is my favorite type of ice cream. It's unique, it's different. Not a lot of stores sell it, but the people that like it like me, they really like it and they'll seek it out. And that's what I see in you.

Dr. Pelè: 

Thank you, and you know I should tell everyone big disclaimer here You're a mentor to me, you're a friend, of course, but you have really, really supported me and I wanna thank you for that.

Dr. Rick Garlick: 

Well, it's truly a pleasure. I'm glad that life brought us together All right. Well, thank you, and thank you for listening, and we hope that you've enjoyed this podcast.

Dr. Pelè: 

Thanks for tuning in to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. For more episodes, visit drpalaiscom. And remember get happy first and success will follow.