When profit isn’t enough: Chip Conley to work with Saybrook University to reinvent business culture.

“I often ask business leaders this simple question: ‘If your business didn’t exist, would it matter to the world?’” said entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Chip Conley. “Companies that can answer ’yes’ are far more likely to bring out the best in their employees and excel in the marketplace.’

This is an insight Conley got from the humanistic psychology of Abraham Maslow – an eminent psychologist who was instrumental in the founding of Saybrook. For decades Saybrook has been working with leading scholars in humanistic psychology and systems thinking to find new approaches to business culture that enhance its positives – its dynamism, its innovation, its capacity to generate wealth – while putting the brakes on its destructive tendencies.

Since the publication of his best-selling book “PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow,” Conley has been a key leader in that effort as well, bringing the principles of humanistic psychology directly to boardrooms across the world.

“Over time,” Conley says, “what we’ve seen in looking at some of the best run organizations is that when an organization puts its attention on meaning, on that intangible of meaning, and really gives it an important part of the culture of the organization, it has a resonant impact for the employees and the customers. Those businesses tend to thrive in the 21st century, while businesses without a sense of mission beyond making a dollar are increasingly likely to fail.”

Conley is now serving as Saybrook’s 2013 Scholar-Practitioner in Residence (his second appointment to the position) and working with Saybrook to find new ways to extend the discoveries of humanistic psychology to the offices where we all live and work.

That includes working with Saybrook’s own faculty, staff, and students; reaching out to businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area;  and potentially sponsoring a joint conference to bring together business leaders and scholars to discuss the emergence of a newer, better, business culture centered around meaning.

Saybrook University President Mark Schulman said he is "delighted that Chip has re-upped with us as Scholar-Practitioner in Residence. We look forward to working with him on several exciting projects and I'm already looking beyond 2013 to see what Chip and Saybrook can do next!”

Posted at 03:19 PM

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