Do you feel joy or pride in your work? Do you know the difference between joy and happiness? Do you know how to tell if the software you created is a win?
Curious about any of the above? you’ll want to check out our recent LinkedIn live, “ Joy + Purpose = Good Business.” (If you love dogs, don’t miss Dexter’s cameo!)
Instant Teams Founder and Chief People & Community Officer Erica McMannes interviewed Rich Sheridan, the CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations, about his journey to starting Menlo and why creating an intentionally joyful culture is so important. Rich is a software engineer, successful entrepreneur, and best-selling author.
A Journey towards joy
Rich’s journey to creating a career filled with joy and purpose began with a personal crisis. After spending years as a software engineer, he struggled with a lack of job satisfaction and pride in his work.
Naturally an optimistic person, Rich started diving into business books to see how he could find more joy and happiness in his career. Rich shared that he finds joy to be more of a long-term commitment – and that happiness might come and go. In 2001, he founded Menlo Innovations based on what he’d learned.
“We wanted to end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology,” Rich told Erica. “We wanted to return joy to technology.”
Menlo prioritizes client relationships with consistent communication and ongoing involvement in the development process. Rich and the team aren’t afraid of making mistakes, either.
“Mistakes will happen,” Rich told Erica. “We have a choice in our process. We can make big, slow, expensive mistakes, or we can make lots of little mistakes quickly.” This mindset and a team of “Tech Anthropologists” is a crucial part of what makes Menlo’s culture unique—the tech anthropologists extensively research and study who will use their products and their native environments.
“Software only really wins if it gets used and if it is delightful to use by the people who use it every day,” says Rich.
After creating a joyful workplace, Menlo Innovations embarked on a mission to share their knowledge and experiences with the world. Rich regularly travels and speaks about joy in the context of work, believing that joy should be an integral part of any business, defining joy as “delighting the people you intend to serve with the work of your heart, your hands, and your mind.”
Menlo’s all about teamwork, collaboration, and camaraderie – between employees and customers. New employees go through a customized, hands-on onboarding process with a current employee designed to intentionally integrate them into ongoing projects.
Want to learn more about cultivating joy in your workplace? Check out Rich’s books, Joy Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love and Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear.
You can watch Rich and Erica’s full conversation on LinkedIn.