After the happy at work conference

We had the happy at work conference yesterday, and it was a great experience. All our planning and desing efforts paid of, and everybody involved had a great day. Here’s some of the feedback we got:
Best conference I’ve attended in Denmark…

Wonderfully inspiring and immediately useful…

Very refreshing and different…

A great day of happiness…

Fun to be part of, very inspiring. See you in 2005…

I can safely say, that we succeded in creating a space and a mood where people could explore happiness at work from many angles. All day long the participants were happy, energetic, smiling, enthusiastic and positive. And I think the key is to create an environment where people have to take charge of their own learning. This was not a day that we created for them – they had to make their own day.

For example: As soon as the participants arrived and were registered, they had to make their own badge. Instead of those boring preprinted badges with your name, title and company on’em, we had a large tabe with paper and pens in every conceivable colour, and everybody made their own badge, exactly as they wanted it. Some people got really creative :o)

The conference only had 5 speakers, who spoke for 30 minutes each. The topics were very different, and each had their own individual style, that added immensely to the conference. Each of them did a great job.

We had the CEO of Denmarks best workplace, Mads Kjaer, who spoke toegether with Malene Nilsson of Kjaer Group (their people manager) on what they’ve done to create their success story. We had a doctor, Claus Hyldahl, who spoke of the significance and practice of health in the workplace. We had Jesper Bove-Nielsen, the author of Corporate Kindergarten, who talked about play and innovation at work. John Bern talked about a simple model for happiness at work, and finally the well known danish actor Jens Arentzen talked about his take on happiness, in his very own style. All of this – and it wasn’t even noon yet.

Then we had workshops. Lots of workshops. Coaching, appreciative inquiry, conversation circles, juggling, meditation, massage, health checkups and much, much more. And the participants seemed to throw themselves into it with abandon – especially the impro theater workshop seemed to generat a lot of fun and initiative.

One very nice thing we did was to invite some professional storytellers to tell stories. One right after lunch, and one at the end of the conference. This was a great touch, which added a lot of fun to the proceedings.

After the workshops, we gave each participant a chance to formulate a plan for their own happiness at work, and to discuss it with the other participants. Then it was almost 6PM, and we closed the day.

Right now I feel happy and very, very tired. Every single gamble we took paid off. Every weird idea that we put into practice work. And put together, all of it created a day that was almost magical. We rock!

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