Joy, Inc. How We Built a Workplace People Love with CEO Rich Sheridan Episode #19

Aaron McHugh


Podcast Highlights with CEO Richard Sheridan

        • How Rich is bringing humanity back to business
        • The winning strategy of hiring humans and not polished resume’s
        • How the biggest risk Rich faced was doing the same thing
        • The business value of Joy
        • How to empower employees to become evangelists
        • Why they don’t allow headphones or earbuds at work

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How Does Joy Fit @ Work?

One of my favorite things to write and talk about is how to enjoy going to work everyday.

Yet it tends to be as common as meeting someone who has walked on the moon.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Where does the word “Joy” fit into your description of your work environment?

It doesn’t?

Join me on this podcast interview with Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Menlo Innovations, a small but very successful software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Chief Storyteller-Rich Sheridan
Chief Storyteller-Rich Sheridan

Culture of Innovation and Joy

I find that most organizations kid themselves about the realities of their own culture.  I believe it’s because the people in charge are very pleased with how the company functions regardless of how dysfunctional it may be.

Organizations take on the DNA of the people in charge of them.

At age 40, Rich had a Jerry Maguire moment when he could no longer stand being apart of a system that was fundamentally in conflict with his own belief system.  Rich had risen through the ranks, had the big title, big salary and high profile projects.

He hated it and so did most people he worked with.

He choose to eject to dream a big dream of his own

What if Joy was the goal?”

A Workplace where mistakes are celebrated

Rich grew up near Dearborn, Michigan’s Greenfield Village where Henry Ford recreated the Menlo Park, New Jersey lab of his good friend Thomas Edison. Rich’s childhood visits to the lab that was home to over 400 inventions in six years served as a childhood inspiration

Edison’s lab was noisy. It was full of energy and young talent and they birthed inventions like the phonograph.

Fast-forward forty years and meet Menlo Innovations, Rich’s software company that emulates many of Edison’s spirit of innovation.

Straight from the Publisher Portfolio/Penguin

In JOY, INC: How We Built a Workplace People Love, Rich shows readers how to establish a healthier, happier atmosphere at work—leading to the sustainable business results necessary for growth.

He provides insights such as:

      • Joy is noisy: The Menlo Software Factory is alive with the hum of conversations and laughter. You can hear work.
      • Two heads, two hearts, four hands, one computer: Pairing is the foundation of Menlo’s work style and their learning system. Two people sit together at one computer, working all day on the same task at the same time.
      • Conversations, rituals and artifacts: Menlo eliminated unproductive, joyless meetings from their process. They have replaced rules, bureaucracy, and hierarchy with predictable rituals, ceremonies and storytelling events.
      • Interviewing, hiring and onboarding: The hiring process is a key junction in which to build and foster your culture of joy. Hire humans, not polished resumes.
      • Fight fear, embrace change: For a culture that survives and thrives, you must establish a standard of fast, frequent and inexpensive experimentation.

Over 2000 Tour Visitors per year

Last year 2,528 visitors came from around the world made the trek to visit this space in the basement of a parking structure not to learn about technology, but to witness a radically different approach to workplace culture—one intentionally designed to produce joy.

Joy, Inc. is for readers in any field who want tangible examples of a healthier, happier atmosphere at work—leading to the sustainable business results required for growth.

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