We’ve begun a series on ‘happiness.’ Happiness, to me, is quite elusive, and it always trips me up when someone asks, “Jayme, are you happy?”
How about you? Are you happy?
At the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, administrators decided the students weren’t happy at all. They were kinda mopey and unexcited about being accepted to a prestigious B-school. So, in 2008, the leaders at Wharton School decided to go out on a limb and hire a dean of students to party things up a bit.
Creating Happiness at Wharton School
Kembrel Jones became Wharton’s new dean of students, and he was charged with adding some light and smiles to the tone of the stodgy, elite business school. One of the things Mr. Jones saw right away was that the students were low key. Campus was dull, and none of the students showed much pride in school spirit. Maybe because there wasn’t anything to be happy about? After all, they were spending a pretty penny to attend an elite school, but the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE was terrible!
Mr. Jones saw immediate opportunity to switch it up and create some happiness on campus. He did…this, and he did…that (you’re going to need to listen in to John Gregory Olson and me tosee what ‘this and that’ is all about!), and he slowly was able to adjust the tone from boring and dull to freaky Friday.
There was a method to the administrators’ madness. Are you an alum of a university or college? Were you bombarded with fund-raising calls after you graduated? Think about it a moment. If a Wharton School grad had a horrible and unmemorable customer experience, why would he or she open his or her wallet to donate to the endowment? Without happiness on campus, wallets would stay closed after graduation.
Mr. Jones is doing a fantastic job. We learned of this Dean of Happiness right here in Bloomberg Businessweek. He is probably owns the coolest brand in Pennsylvania to 1600 Wharton School of Business graduates. Listen in to see how he did it and then you can read all about it right here in Businessweek.