Book review: The Happy Manifesto

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Henry Stewart

The Happy Manifesto
The Happy Manifesto

Henry Stewart is the founder and chief executive of the IT training company Happy. He has created a company that has been lauded by many as a great place to work because of its ethos and methods, and now he's written a book (well, more of a pamphlet) that explains how he has done it.

Naming it The Happy Manifesto makes it a call to arms too, and it's a plea to improve the state of management in the UK. At the core of Stewart's thinking is an approach that he likes to call "management as if people mattered".

The manifesto rests on 10 points. The first three are critical. Above all, they're about trusting your people. This means that instead of being the one to approve everything, pre-approve what your colleagues want to do and then focus on supporting them.

Your second duty as a manager is to make your people feel good, because if they do they will perform at their best.

The third principle is the hardest to implement. It's about giving freedom within clear guidelines. People want to know what is expected of them, but they want freedom to find the best way to achieve their goals.

Do these, and you're on the path to becoming a great place to work.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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