Social Collaboration and the Sharing Economy

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by Javier Munoz

trust_and_happinessA week ago I published a post regarding the Sharing Economy and its relationship with happiness where we identified how the current trend towards social collaboration in western economies was aligned with recent findings about happiness in positive psychology research. For example, we found reports stating that people that met frequently to share and collaborate reported higher levels of happiness.

As we go deeper into this subject, we find that one of the key factors that enables sharing of goods and services among total strangers is TRUST. As society grows more skeptical of large institutions, we may start to rely more heavily on developing closer one-on-one relationships. It is a sort of reconciliation with the idea of creating real tribal like communities as a new model for modern collaboration bringing back what was usual centuries ago.

Thus, we find that companies will thrive in the future if they continue to strengthen TRUST as a value. When we advise successful companies in the subject of corporate culture and happiness at work, we realize that they list TRUST as a key value in their organization. Conversely, one of the most prevalent issues we find in dysfunctional cultures is lack of trust.

If we look at our Happiness Framework, we see that one of the key factors driving happiness at work is connectedness between employees. This entails more than just creating a nice work atmosphere with parties and team building off-site exercises. It also has to do with the intrinsic factors that make for strong relationships where one of the fundamental pillars is building TRUST.

Robert F. Hurley, professor of Management of the University of Fordham in New York, mentions, in a Harvard Business Review article, that when conducting surveys in his seminars about corporate trust, he asks participants in low trust work environments to describe their experience. The most frequent answers included: Stressful, threatening, divisive, unproductive, and tense. Conversely, when he asked the same question in high trust environments the answers were quite different: Participants experienced a supportive, productive, and fun work environment that was highly motivating. Corporate cultures that motivate trust are indeed the most collaborative.

About Javier

Javier MunozIn 1995, Javier started his first company, a Web design firm in Miami mostly focusing on providing services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. To do his job, he found himself asking questions about the founders, about their purpose, vision, values, products and services. In many occasions, he realized the answers to these questions were not clear. So, he found himself coaching customers on how to clearly define the fundamental aspects of their business. He did it even as he realized it was not supposed to be part the job. However, he enjoyed it tremendously! From these humble beginnings, Javier has built a career out of following his passion… helping people, and building tools to simplify their processes and create greater happiness at work.  You can follow Javier on Twitter @justaction!




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