Is happiness the hidden ingredient to extraordinary business success? We’re so used to workplaces focused on getting things done fast and generating results. But what if fostering a happy work environment is the key to unparalleled productivity, innovation, and employee loyalty?

In this episode of the HAPPINESS SQUAD Podcast, Ashish Kothari and Lars Kure Juul explore the potent impact of organizational happiness on overall business health.

Lars Kure Juul is a Trusted Advisor, HR Executive, and Author of the book, Organizational Happiness: The Happiness Sweet Spot & Your Motivational Landscape. He is no stranger to the transformative power of happiness. 

Transitioning from a seasoned legal career in mergers and acquisitions to a revered HR executive, Lars has spent over two decades mastering the art of enhancing corporate environments through strategic happiness interventions. His approach blends rigorous positive psychology with practical corporate applications, setting the stage for thriving workplaces.

During their engaging discussion, Ashish and Lars dissect a variety of pivotal topics, including the concept of compassionate leadership—how it shapes high-performing teams and fosters a robust organizational culture.

Things you will learn from this episode:

• Workplaces can either drag down or uplift individuals through organizational dynamics

• Key Drivers for Organizational Happiness

• The importance and effectiveness of compassionate leadership

• How leaders can cultivate compassion and presence within their teams

Listen now and discover how embracing organizational happiness can improve business outcomes. You’ll take away practical strategies to implement in your own organization.


• The Happiness Sweet Spot: 


• Organizational Happiness by Lars Kure Juul: 

• Hardwired for Happiness: 9 Proven Practices to Overcome Stress and Live Your Best Life.


Ashish Kothari: Hi, my dear friend. It is so lovely to have you on our HAPPINESS SQUAD Podcast.

Lars Kure Juul: Hello, Ashish. Thank you for having me. I've been looking forward to this conversation this afternoon in Denmark. I like that we always have meaningful conversations.

Ashish Kothari: Same here. Friends, for those who are listening or watching, hopefully, you can see the amazing energy that Lars exudes. I had a chance to meet Lars almost a year and a half ago. At this point, it's been about two years.

We were taking a trip through Europe. I had taken three months off as I was transitioning out of McKinsey to start HAPPINESS SQUAD. I was connecting with various people who work around happiness and flourishing to learn from them.

I met Lars on LinkedIn and then emailed him saying, "Hey, I'm going to be in Copenhagen, are you around?" Lars kindly came over with three of his books, which became one of the highlights of my trip. That's where our friendship started. This has been a long time coming. Since then, we've set an intention to record together.

Earlier this year, we had a chance to meet again. We were co-presenters on a panel on organizational happiness at the University of Peace in Costa Rica as part of the Gross Global Happiness Summit. I'm glad to finally have him here to share his wisdom. Lars has many years of experience in this field.

Lars, I want to start by learning a bit about your origin story. Tell me how you decided to focus all of your energies on flourishing and happiness. What got you here?

Lars Kure Juul: This could be a very long story, given my age, but let me try to give you a few highlights or defining moments.

I originally graduated as a lawyer, working in mergers and acquisitions in the early 90s in the IT industry. Looking at mergers and acquisitions from a legal point of view, I was good at it and it worked well. However, I also discovered that it wasn't really the lawyers that made the difference. It was the people in the organizations and how they fit together.

How do we make people work together, stay, flourish, and perform? From there, I really moved into a more people-focused HR role. For the last 25 years, I've been in corporate executive roles within the HR field and in management consulting like you.

For me, it has always been about unlocking potential. How can we do more with what we have here? How can we do more on an individual level, on a team level, or in an organization? That's what I spent most of my awake hours on over the last 25 years.

And just to answer your question, it started about 12 years ago when I began looking into some of the work by Dr. Martin Seligman and some of the science of happiness around that, connecting it with employee engagement.

I talked to some of my clients about how we can find a sweet spot for working with the PERMA model, which is really Dr. Seligman’s work. A Sweet Spot in an organization, so we can tap into the power of the science of happiness as a leader and as an organization.

It's been a slippery slope, but it's like, when you get into this, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And you're having fun with it, but it's also a complex thing that you need to make quite simple for organizational leaders to work with in an effective way. So that's been my focus.

Ashish Kothari: You talk about a slippery slope. Vortexes can be negative, which oftentimes workplaces can suck you down. We bond over complaining. We bond over how busy we are. This used to be the most common thing you heard, even at consulting firms.

"How are you doing?" "Oh, I'm busy," because somehow busy was equated with being productive. You're doing work, and that's good, but I'm not sure we were born to be busy. So often, I used to get these eyebrows raised when I said, "I'm amazing." They're like, "Why? What are you amazing at? What are you on?" I'm like, "would you rather be amazing or busy?"

But anyway, with this work, what you're describing is, you can also create these positive spirals of vortexes that actually take you up, and then collectively and individually, you are creating an amazing impact and really operating at fullest potential versus interference that gets in the way.

In your book, you wrote about organizational happiness, which I absolutely loved. It's the happiness sweet spot and your motivational landscape. So we're going to get into that.

You described that sweet spot at the intersection of purpose, compassion, and strengths. That is so powerful. It's a really simple model. Talk to me about how you arrived at that and how you took PERMA and how you started to apply it and came to that organizational sweet spot model.

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, so it was something that we spent quite some time on, and it was a model that I developed on a walk in nature. It came to me on a beach in Costa Rica. I remember that clearly. It was like, what if we could have a simple enabling platform for leaders and organizations so they're able to tap into the power of happiness? The power of the science of happiness.

So you spoke to it clearly before, because I think it was like in 2012, Harvard Business Review had a cover issue on the Harvard Business Review talking about the happiness dividend. Sean Aker did a lot of that work in the beginning, but we're still talking about it. We're still trying to define the problem or defining what it is.

And I take pride in being a practitioner. I take pride in making things happen, going from talking about it to actually creating a change in behavior. For the benefit of the individuals, of course, in the organization, but also it's a huge opportunity for organizations.

So I wanted to offer that platform for leaders and organizations. And it developed while we were doing organizational development projects with a few clients. So it took off and then I, at some point, promised to write the book. That's not an easy process.

Ashish Kothari: Let's bring it to life for our listeners. Take me through a case study, a client either named, or if you can't name them, the industry, and take me through the study of the impact that they experienced and the journey that you took them on.

Lars Kure Juul: Very often, in the beginning, when you do things like this, it's a bit of trial and error, but now we have a solid platform and effective framework for organization leaders to use. Like you said, it is a sweet spot between defining or developing your purpose, tapping into strength-based leadership, and cultivating a culture of compassion in your organization.

It's important to say that it's not a one-size-fits-all. It’s a framework where you assess, "For my organization, where am I connected to that sweet spot?"

A good example is an organization we've discussed before, so I can mention Boston Scientific. I think they are a role model, a lighthouse, and the first mover in some of this. We've been working with them for five years. That started with a scoping and training workshop with a key team from the organization.

We took them away for a couple of days. They assessed where they were, scoring each other on the team in three areas under three dimensions. They discussed where it would make sense to start.

Four years ago, they realized they needed to improve their employee value proposition—what they offer to the market to attract the top talent in that market. So, we created a game plan, and they had their own internal project team to work on organizational happiness. We facilitated that game plan, and of course, we train all the leaders and such.

Ashish Kothari: So they were defining the employee value proposition. I'm assuming they used purpose and their 'why' as a key part of the employee value proposition, "Why did you come to choose us? Why work here? Why be part of this team?"

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, that's right. In this example, and of course, you can look at your own organization. If you're listening to this, think about your own mission, vision. Why are you here for your organizations?

For some organizations, this is very easy. Like you and I, we've just been together in a UN connection. It's easy for the UN to serve a purpose. For some organizations, it's very difficult. So they need to develop that meaningful story that makes me want to work for you and be proud of being a part of that organization.

For Boston Scientific, it was not so difficult. They are doing amazing work. They're saving lives every day. They live making life-saving devices. That's their business. I would say, looking from the outside, but sometimes it's also about telling that story in the right way.

So you're telling the story to all your stakeholders, employees, future, and current employees, but also to your customers and to the families, and so we worked a lot with that starting.

Ashish Kothari: Amazing. So that was year one. And so then take me through the journey. What happens?

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, so it's a good example of how it's not a one-size-fits-all. So we dive into it and ask, where would it have the most effect on these three dimensions? If we take one of them, where would the business case be best?

For most organizations, I think the business case is on retention. There are a few KPIs, but maybe we can talk about those KPIs and the business case later. For Boston Scientific, where they are right now, started last year, we noticed—because they measure organizational happiness regularly—that the scores on compassion were going down a bit for various reasons.

We were all still talking about Corona and things like that, but the scores were a bit low on that. And they said that would be our strategic focus or focus area for the next year.

We developed a training session for the leaders, and they are going back and committing to do something with their team. So they kind of moved from purpose, a little bit of strength-based leadership, but they're very good at that, and then they moved into the compassion policy.

So how can we cultivate a culture of compassion here? Right now, we're talking about it as tapping into the power of belonging, so we're taking a bit of a deep dive into compassion and also talking about belonging there.

Some of the cases, I cannot share with you the data from Boston Scientific, but I have another case that we just did on retention. Because when you have to deliver on the business case on organizational happiness, I often take the KPI as retention or attrition, whatever you call it, that's the other side of that.

But there, we worked with the Happiness Sweet Spot. We implemented, we did a baseline survey, and then one year later, we tracked again on a quarterly basis. And then of course, the attrition was there, the matrix went down, and they saved 708,000 US dollars in a year on that. So building that business case, I’m just saying that figure because it makes it a no-brainer to do it.

Ashish Kothari: Yeah, so let's go down that path of the business case for investing in organizational happiness. You mentioned one of the drivers being retention, as kind of a big one.

What are some other ones, Lars, that when you are working with organizations or any of the leaders who are listening to this, what are some key elements that you would encourage them to include in the business case?

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, I normally advocate making a business case where you underpromise and overdeliver. That's my approach to business cases, and I think it works best. And for HR, sometimes it's very difficult for us to build a business case in a boardroom or to the CFO. So very often, I'm using retention because that just gets it, and we can see it.

So that in itself usually is enough to kick an organizational happiness project off. But I would say some of them probably have more return on investment, like high performance in teams. It could be customer satisfaction, innovation, things like that.

You can measure it, but can you identify that it's really the organizational happiness project that delivered on that? But what we see is that these things go up if you work with it, especially compassion.

I think it's interesting. Maybe it's because I'm right into it right now, but we talk about psychological safety, high performance in teams, and we also talk about a workplace that is broken.

In many ways, we talk about a global workplace. You could look at the Gallup figures. We all refer to those, but I think the fix for that broken workplace is leadership. And I think the compassion part is so important to lead with compassion.

Ashish Kothari: Yeah, and look, I think in our own work, Lars, and the models we're building in our work, the business cases really need to be very clear. So often when I'm doing this work, I build a case around profitability, productivity.

We know that organizations that are happier are 20% more productive, 20%+ more profitable. They have two times higher stock market returns. Alex Edmans' work at London Business School proved causation: two to three and a half percent higher shareholder returns versus competitors year over year, but it only holds if it's over a longer than four-year horizon.

Organizational happiness is not a fix for the short term, but long term, I think it can create a powerful strategy to create an alpha of 30 to 50%. Over the long term, I'm not sure of any other strategy that can actually deliver that level of performance while making everything else go better.

It's almost that lubricating wheel because we sometimes forget that what connects strategy to execution is people. And if people are engaged, fully aligned, and happy, they achieve higher performance.

I had another expert on our call, Ali. Ali is doing some really amazing work. So friends, if you haven't listened, I think that podcast should be released a couple of podcasts before this one. So go back and take a look at it. We'll tag him instead.

Ali's building a very quantitative tool around this, and he loves it. He builds his business case around what he calls, we help organizations eliminate CRAP.

And he says, crap. So what's crap?

C is for claims risk. If your people are happier, you're going to have fewer mental health, burnout, and health claims.

R is for retention, as you said, Lars, it should reduce your attrition. You should be able to keep more people around.

A is for absenteeism. You're going to have fewer people taking time off or not actually showing up and being present when they are showing up.

And P is for performance risk. Again, high-performing teams are going to be more productive, more profitable. The invitation is to really build the fact base around where you are and where you want to go. So we can stand in front with the same level of base with boards and engage the leadership teams to truly make this a leadership-led effort.

We've got to build a business case, but the business case is there. We just need to build it for our organization because you and I, through all the work that we have done, know that it exists. And I think these organizations can win with it.

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, I think that's a very good point. And I think when you talk to, I mean, maybe we can speak to that because I think organizational happiness doesn't resonate in all boardrooms.

I think we are getting there and there are some things happening, but the ability to talk about happiness in a boardroom or in a C-suite meeting, we need more of us, more of the people who are able to take that conversation to a business case level in those meetings or in those rooms.

Because there's too much, and I have to be a little careful here because I love yoga, I love mindfulness, I do it myself, things like that, but sometimes some of the organizational happiness that's promoted out there looks a little bit like a yoga class or a mindfulness class.

And that's not how we are going to deliver on the business case because that's just an employee service that we're offering to the organization.

Ashish Kothari: Yes.

Lars Kure Juul: We need to make it a strategic priority. We need to do the business case. We need to measure it and we need to deliver on the business case.

So a little bit of that and it's a discipline that I know you and I, as we have been doing this as management consultants and things, but it's a discipline that in HR, we're not very used to doing the business case. I think it's getting much better. And I think that we have some great people out there doing great work.

Ashish Kothari: Yeah. So look, I've been in business cases, you talk about, and you've written about the motivational landscape platform. An instrument that you've designed that actually allows people to be able to assess, and quantify this work. So it's truly grounded in real performance shifts and impact that you can see.

Talk a little bit about that landscape platform. How do you define that and how do you measure that? And what's your advice around that?

Lars Kure Juul: Without referring to a specific product, I can talk about the motivational landscape. But I think from the top, we need to have a listening strategy. We need to figure out how we listen to our organization. One way of doing that is having a regular pulse survey. I think that's best practice now in most organizations. I think the yearly...

Ashish Kothari: How often would you pulse?

Lars Kure Juul: I would pulse at least once a month, depending a little bit on how many, the motivation landscape has 10 questions. It takes you as an employee 90 seconds to go through it. So it’s not a huge effort to do it, but it gives you a motivational landscape.

It gives you, you can look at your organization and say, where is there smoke before it becomes a fire or even I would say also, and I think we also have to look at that, where do we have our lighthouses, who are the leaders that we can learn from?

So, the motivation landscape is setting up the organization and asking the 10 questions to your teams, every quarter could also work if you're coming from a very yearly based employee engagement survey.

I just wanted to say that, I just heard Nick Marks in London, last week. And I know that he has a notion, and I subscribe to that, talking about how a yearly employee engagement survey could actually be harmful.

We spend so much resource and time on that, but when we are asking the questions there are a lot of questions. Maybe 50, a hundred questions to every employee, then to get the data produced on it, I’d say HR, it takes us a month or two, and then we have to go through it with the management team, and then we kind of announce it and give it back to the leaders. That's sometimes...

Ashish Kothari: There’s a long lag, and it comes at a high resource cost.

Lars Kure Juul: That's a long lag. And that's right. And not just that, I think that's one thing. But the other thing is that then the rest of the year we are acting on old data. We’re kidding ourselves. We are lying to ourselves because it's just old data from half a year ago.

Of course, it gives you a picture, but I would say use fewer resources and then just ask maybe three to 10 questions every month that would give you that pulse or as a manager that gives you, what is it that I need to speak with my team about in my next team meeting?

Because sometimes it’s very, sometimes it’s the food in the canteen. I mean, or sometimes it’s a really serious leadership problem. But, you don’t know, so you have to ask.

Ashish Kothari: You have to ask and this is the work we're doing at Happiness Squad. This is front and center. I invite you to just think about the following, which Lars is highlighting and inviting us and encouraging us to do the same.

When it comes to physical assets, you look at data continuously, almost every hour, if not every minute. If you've ever run a factory, we have sensors or marks that show how many units per hour this line is running versus the rated capacity versus the target.

But somehow when it comes to human assets, we think one year is okay. Imagine if you ran your physical assets at the same cadence and with the same lag, six months after looking at one snapshot, you take action. Where would your business be?

Now, think about where your investments are. Are you investing more in people or machines? And if you're investing more in people, what would it take you to get to a more rigorous, more efficient business?

I'm going to highlight something else for you because this can become quite overwhelming. Many HR departments are under-resourced, and so this can be a real challenge. Like, hey, it takes us so much just to process the engagement survey. How the hell are we going to do this? And for that one, I offer you a real example.

So at my time at McKinsey, all 17 years, we did not measure organizational happiness, but for sure we measured something using an instrument called the team barometer. On how as a team we were operating all teams, almost 20,000 teams at some point that were deployed, got their team barometer. It was a team-specific thing.

No center person was involved in actually making sense of it. Overall, the team got their barometer benchmarked against other teams in the industry or in the particular office complex they were part of, and it was really set away for the team to have a conversation around, "Hey, what's getting in the way of us operating at our fullest potential? What's an action I can take?"

So it's real-time and we really use our people who know the small steps that they can take. We put the power back to them. And we resource and reduce the resource load.

So I love the work you're doing around this. I think more and more companies, if we go to a continuous listening strategy, rather than a once-a-year listening strategy, and we truly democratize and create autonomy for teams to take action, I think we see faster response, we see a more nimble and effective way to implement this work that we are talking about.

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, great point. You put it much better than I could. So I think that in board meetings or management meetings where you're evaluating your KPIs, you always have the financial performance and your customer satisfaction. Almost in real-time data.

But on employee engagement or happiness with flourishing or performance, you accept that it's a yearly thing, I think that's very important. And I think if you are in HR, looking into best practice in this area is a big thing. It makes a huge difference for the conversations you actually have in your organization.

Ashish Kothari: Yeah. So talk to me a little bit about... I'm quite curious. We can go deep and we can just have a whole series of conversations here. Around purpose and strengths and compassion, but compassion is something that is not commonly talked about in the workplace.

And in fact, there might be many leaders who say compassion... Compassion is a weakness. I would rather drive my teams to get to the performance. That's always worked for me.

What's been your experience as you've talked about compassion and some real practical tips through which we can create compassionate workplaces?

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah. So first, I think we have to look into the research around it. I mean, first we need to define what is compassion. This could be a longer conversation among a lot of wise people, but from my perspective, working with leaders of my station, the definition of compassion is an interest in other people's difficulties and a burning desire to do something about it.

So there is both an interest—that's the empathy part, I would say—but there's also an action part, which is, I have a desire to do something about it. So I think if we want to talk about this, we should talk about the definition also.

And then as leaders, we need to accept or look into the research and say, compassionate leadership is one of the most effective leadership styles that you have.

And this can be a little mind-blowing, especially for when I do leadership training and we talk about effective leadership styles, right? How can you work with people? How can you influence people? How can you make people work with you and the team and things like that? How can you have high performance in teams?

And I think from there, there is a direct correlation between projecting warmth, which I think is a part of compassion, projecting trust, so you're connecting with people. Which is a building block for psychological safety and high performance in teams.

So there is a direct correlation. So if you kick off your team with projecting your own ego or your status or your power, your Harvard certificates or whatever you come with, that's not projecting warmth. It's not connecting you. That's just your ego speaking as a leader. So how do you connect with your team? To actually create that trust and psychological safety and high performance.

Ashish Kothari: So if you're a leader, what are a very specific, like what are some two, three ways in which you can both cultivate your own compassion capacity but actually show up that way with your teams, like what would they do?

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, there are two things when we work with cultivating a culture of compassion in organizations. The two things that we are working on are paying attention and being present. And these are two different things.

I think the presence thing is something that we don't feel a lot. I think you and I have it right now here in a virtual form. But it's not something that we feel very often. We don't, and it's more and more difficult for us as a leader to be present with another human being.

But if you're able to do that just for two minutes, it's not a one-hour thing, but for two minutes, you can move mountains. And this is where performance is, but that's also where connection is. It's also where you start to understand what's going on with the people in your organization.

How do you best manage and lead and serve the people in your organization? So the presence part, this is something you can train. Think about this as maybe you can see a little bit about that. But it's something that's almost a listening skill.

It's a mindset and it's also taking away a little bit of the electronics around us when we're speaking to other people, because we have, I have a watch that tells me that there is a text on my phone.

And immediately when I feel that little, I might be able to juggle it and try to keep attention. But there's something here that makes me think about what's going on. Is it one of the kids? What's going on? And immediately we lose the connection. Then I'm not present. And then I lose the opportunity for the connection.

Ashish Kothari: I love it. Attention and presence are two important elements. And oftentimes we are not paying attention to the human. We are often paying attention to the problem that needs to be solved. And that problem is often creating a triggered response in our bodies and in our minds. So we're not regulated.

We are in the grips of the sympathetic nervous system, fight or flight, which is then getting in the way of being present. Because we're already, I'm talking with you, you're sharing your problem. I am not really present with you.

I'm already thinking about all the different ways I've solved this before. I'm thinking about maybe judging, like, why can't you figure this out? I have seven other problems as a leader I need to solve. Why are you making my life hard?

And I'm thinking about the future or what is going to happen if this doesn't get solved. I am not present. I am not present. I am somewhere there. My body is here, but my mind is not. And so I think what you're inviting leaders to do is be present.

And I think for me, what I have been practicing a lot of is just consciously bringing attention to my breathing and to the quality of my breathing. So I constantly, every 30 minutes to an hour, at least take five or six deeper breaths.

In fact, when we are dealing with a problem, my initial reaction always used to be to jump in and now I always try and take six breaths because till my nervous system is regulated, till I am really present, till I'm sensing the most creative set of solutions that I could offer or inquire about, those are not accessible to me. They're just not there. So yeah, I'm practicing that a lot, myself trying to be present.

And by the way, so often we're not even, we don't want to know sometimes about hardships outside of work that somebody's going through. Because even when we talk about attention and presence, I want to talk about your problems here. How often do we really want to engage?

And I have many leaders who say, well, why do I care about that? It's not my job to solve somebody's personal problems. No, it's not your job to solve somebody's personal problems. But we all care about the person more than the office. And if that person is showing up here with a personal problem, they're not fully here for you. They're not resourced.

And so it's not an invitation to solve a personal problem, but at least sense it and offer a bit of space to that person if they're dealing with a sick parent or a sick child or whatever they're going through. Sometimes compassion is not about acting to solve. Compassion might be just acting to create space.

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, I love that. And it makes me reflect a little bit on some of the work we're doing with some leaders right now. It's like a big part of that compassion part of feeling that is also being seen right for who you are. I think that's the whole person and you need to accept that I'm a whole person and I bring everything to work. If we're talking about it in the organization and workplace.

So somehow we need to feel that we are being seen as who we are, because that's also a part of how do I contribute best to my team, to my organization and how do I perform best right in my given situation.

Ashish Kothari: Yeah, this is an amazing conversation, my friend. As we wrap up, I want to leave friends with our listeners with your story about a leader who went through a journey with you. A transformation and the impact of them out there, but also the impact of them in here, like what changed in them?

Lars Kure Juul: Yeah, that's a great question. So let me start in another direction, because this is something you're very often in a one-to-one session or in a training session that we talked about earlier, like positive leadership and organizational happiness.

Sometimes, having leaders in that room for a couple of days and even having ongoing one-to-one sessions, and then you meet them five years later and they tell you, it's something I've been using every day.

And one leader I can share, it's in Asia. It's a leader in Asia, and when I met her, she was in a difficult environment, but in a very male-dominant environment. So the values projected there were very high-performing, very direct, as you mentioned that as an example, and we talked about how you can be effective in that environment having a different leadership style.

How can you be a role model for other leaders, including other female leaders, of course, but other leaders? How can you be that? And we talked about servant leadership. What can I do for you so you become a success? I like that approach because that's compassion. The big part of compassion is servant leadership.

And we were able to give her the tools and, or she was able to put that learning, that reflection into her everyday leadership role and later becoming that's top, not the CEO, but becoming that divisional executive for a big part of the organization because of her leadership style.

Because of creating high performance in teams by projecting compassionate leadership, I would say, and now we're working, of course, I think that's a big part of organizational development is also creating lighthouses and role models that you can look at. And how do you do more of that? So we have some examples that I'd be happy to share more of that.

Ashish Kothari: Yes, that'd be amazing. Nothing is possible out there. Organizations are made up of individuals. And that's kind of where I wanted to make the arc. Often we are working on things out there.

Nothing is possible there until you change the person in here. How we show up, sometimes that work is not easy and can take a long time and it's also not a linear process. It's not that you take on a journey and it's all great.

It's a messy process, caterpillars don't become butterflies in a nice, pretty setting. The cocoon is a pretty messy place to be. It's gooey and there's a lot of breaking and there's a lot of emerging. And I don't know if it's painful or not, I'm not sure it is pleasant to say the least, but I think we have to be brave and courageous to be willing to do the work. Because otherwise, we end up hitting a wall of individual and organizational constraints that truly keeps us from operating at our fullest potential.

So friends, as we wrap up, it's been amazing to have you. I'm going to pull up and we're going to put the link in the podcast show notes Lars's book Organizational Happiness. It's a really simple, easy-to-read book.

One of the things I loved about it is it's filled with tips and things that anyone can start to implement right away. And then, of course, if you want to engage and do this work and you feel called, we'll have information on how people can reach you, Lars. But, my friend, this has been such an amazing conversation.

I am so grateful for the work that you're doing. I look forward to seeing you in person, hopefully at the GGH next year, if not even sooner. But thank you for giving us the gift of your time and your wisdom of your years, and sharing that with our listeners.

Lars Kure Juul: Thank you so much. It's a pleasure. We could have this conversation forever because there are so many things. And you spoke just to that. We hope to invite more real changemakers into this field. I hope that the work you're doing here and the conversations we are having will bring more people into this space as real changemakers, both in organizations and the world. So thank you for making that effort. I really appreciate it.

Ashish Kothari: Wonderful. Be well, my friend.

Lars Kure Juul: Thank you. Bye.

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