Hooray, there’s a crisis

My new book is coming out on May 14 and I just got to see the front cover design for the first time:

Hurra der er krise - Alexander Kjerulf

Unlike my first book which came out in English first and then Danish this one is coming out in Denmark first. The title means “Hooray, there’s a crisis – use it as a springboard for more happiness, progress and profits at work.”

It sounds a LOT better in Danish :o)

The theme of the book is happiness at work in a crisis (duh!). This is of course inspired by the current financial crisis but the book is directed at any workplace in trouble.

The book has three central claims:
1: Most of what companies traditionally do in a crisis doesn’t work.
The way many organizations typically handle crises is by cutting back on all expenses and doing mass layoffs. While this can be necessary, studies actually show companies who choose this approach recover more slowly.

2: It is possible to be happy at work even in a workplace in trouble.
Of course it’s easier to be happy when everything is going swimmingly, but people can still be happy at work in a crisis. It takes determination and focus, but it can be done. Surprisingly, a crisis can make people happy at work, provided that it becomes a reason for people to focus and pull together – rather than an excuse to give up.

3: Happy workplaces get out of a crisis faster.
Especially in a crisis, an organization needs to get the best out of its people – and when we’re happy at work we are more motivated, creative and productive.

I’ve got plenty of real-life stories and case stories of people and companies who refused to just give in to tough times and instead used them to create even more happiness. My favorite story from the book is the one about Xilinx, a computer chip company in Silicon Valley whose revenues fell to about half during the dotcom implosion. Their CEO Wim Roelandts refused to do what everyone else in the IT industry did (ie. mass layoffs) and instead found a more creative way that brought the organization out of the crisis stronger and faster than their competitors.

7 thoughts on “Hooray, there’s a crisis”

  1. Very strong theme and I agree with the major statements. None more than obvious 1. Management is reactive offering little hope for a properly navigated plan to build the business, offer true value to the client base, and create stability and a proper work environment for the employee. I work with the C level and most of all I find one thing ever consistent – fear to make the dramatic happen or be successful. In times like this, it is prepare for the worst all the time. Well what if the worse does not happen? Better yet, what if the worse does not have to happen/

    In any case, looking forward to the book.

  2. Arg, I cannot wait to read it. When is the English translation ready? Is it something I can wait for, or is it faster to learn Danish ? ;-)

    Good luck and congratulations!

  3. You know what? I DO like it when there is a crisis! It relieves the monotony of the work day, gets the juices flowing, makes the time go by really fast, helps people pull together like a REAL team, and gives us all a chance to shine, to show what we’re really good at and what we really need to get better at or, at least, appreciate more in our coworkers. How does that sound in Danish?

  4. Happiness cannot come from without.
    It must come from within.
    It is not what we see and touch or that which
    Others do for us which makes us happy;
    It is that which we think and feel and do, first for
    The other fellow and then for ourselves

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