Workplace Happiness - Does Agility Keep us Happy?

With the increase in population that separates ‘work’ from ‘life’, as if work is absence of life, it becomes increasingly important to study about what happiness means to people at work, so that they can be made to feel alive in their offices too. This session is aimed at introducing two interesting research studies that aimed to do just that. Also, this session helps people understand if agility keeps us happy in the true sense.

The two studies that this session will discuss about are as follows:

  1. Richard M. Ryan et al’s Self Determination Theory – led to a book Drive by Dan Pink
  2. Mihaly’s Measurement of Flow in Everyday’s life – led to book Flow by Mihaly himself

This session does not just explain these two research works but also will find the commonalities between these and will engage the audience with discussions using leading questions, thereby bringing out personal examples that they can relate to.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Introduction – 1 min
  • Hidden meaning behind the term ‘Work-Life Balance’ – 2 min
  • Definition of Happiness – Is it the same for all? – 2 min
    • Power of correlation in improving happiness - 2 min
  • Happiness as Personal Satisfaction - Drive  – 3 min
    • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation – 4 min
    • Self-Determination Theory – Intrinsic Motivation – 5 min
  • Happiness as Positive Engagement - Flow – 3 min
    • State of Flow – Mihaly’s Point of View – 5 min
    • How can you induce Flow conditions at work? – 4 min
  • Does Agility keep us happy? – 8 min
  • Q&A – 6 min

Learning Outcome

By attending this session, the audience will walk-away with an understanding of the following.

A self-made definition of what happiness means to oneself
Self-Determination Theory: Differences between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation
How to derive intrinsic motivation at work?
Flow: The happy state of flow
How to induce conditions that bring about flow?
How Mihaly’s work co-incides with Self determination theory in all three dimensions – Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose
How can I make myself and others engaged and happy at my office?

Target Audience

Any agile professional

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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  • Sharmila Patwardhan
    By Sharmila Patwardhan  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    This is good topic, few comments from my side

    1. Why limit happiness to "Scrum", it can be related to "Agile", any particular reason for using just Scrum?

    2. Is it similar to finding "purpose"? there is one more topic similar to this about the business with purpose.

    3. Can you share draft slides?

    Overall an interesting topic.



    • Vivek Ganesan
      By Vivek Ganesan  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Sharmila,

      Draft slides are ready and I have provided the link.  Please let me know if you have any more queries.

      Thank you.

    • Vivek Ganesan
      By Vivek Ganesan  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for your feedback, Sharmila! Please find my answers inline.

      1. Why limit happiness to "Scrum", it can be related to "Agile", any particular reason for using just Scrum?

      The limiting to Scrum was because of the time availability.  But, after your suggestion, I realized that I can come up with a comparison chart for "Autonomy, Mastery, Drive" characteristics & Flow inducing characteristics for may be two ways - Scrum & Kanban.  I can cut short time spent in other sections too.

      2. Is it similar to finding "purpose"? there is one more topic similar to this about the business with purpose.

      This is not just about 'Purpose'.  This session is about the Autonomy, Master, Purpose trio of Daniel Pink's 'Drive' book, relating these items with "Flow", a book by Mihaly about workplace engagement.

      3. Can you share draft slides?

      I will be ready with the draft slides within a week's time.  Will it be okay if I share the slides by then?


      Thank you.

  • Tushar Somaiya
    By Tushar Somaiya  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    May I ask:

    1. Are you trying to sell agile or scrum for happiness at work?
    2. For me happiness exists beyond scrum and agile, and maybe even work. Because when someone finds his purpose, whatever he does doesn't remain work any longer. And probably the person who has found purpose won't care agile or not. Correct me if I wrong.
    3. Does agile bring more flow, purpose and autonomy for mastery? yes. Beyond this what do I get as an audience?
    4. Can you elaborate what techniques you would use to bring out definition of happiness, understanding one's purpose and identifying what one can do to implement in their work environment? Would be just an open question to audience to write it down for themselves or something more deeper and stronger?

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