Joy on Purpose: Building a Culture of Happiness for Personal and Professional Success with Rich Sheridan & James Goebel

Original Air Date Wednesday, June 24, 2020 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with purpose or to gain joy from your work? What if you felt a deep sense of transparency, valued communication, and trust with the people you work with? How would your home life change if you came home from work not needing to get a day’s worth of frustration off of your chest? To discover the benefits of creating and working in a joyful work environment with culture of happiness, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two men who have first-hand experience with it, the founders of Menlo Innovations, James Goebel and Rich Sheridan. James and Rich describe the unique environment they have created at Menlo Innovations and why other companies tour their basement office for ideas and inspiration. The software company has a non-traditional workplace structure where team members work in pairs, projects are peer-reviewed, and the responsibility of human resources belongs to everyone. It is sophisticatedly simple.

Rich Sheridan & James Goebel — Integrating Human Nature and Culture of Happiness into the Workplace:

  • How problems are embraced and solved at Menlo. [2:18]
  • Bring your baby to work day is every day at Menlo Innovations. [5:41]
  • Creating a culture of joy in the workplace and how Human Resources work at Menlo. [9:23]
  • How the Menlo model transforms a workplace into a ‘humanplace’. [16:07]
  • Communication skills practiced during the workday permeate into employee’s relationships at home. [19:29]
  • Team members have a vested interest in each other’s challenges and joy. [22:42]
  • Allowing the natural rhythm of life and human flow to take precedent in an office environment. [24:57]
  • The Menlo office exudes an element of trust and a strong feminine energy. [31:02]
  • Rich and James created the company because they want to work with purpose, not win the lottery. [43:34]
  • What it is like working in an environment where help comes to find you before you ask for it. [49:28]


Rich Sheridan & James Goebel, guests of podcast about joy on Purpose: Building a Culture of Happiness for Personal and Professional Success

James Goebel and Rich Sheridan

Richard Sheridan is CEO and co-founder of Menlo Innovations, which has won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for six straight years and five revenue awards from Inc. magazine. He frequently speaks at business conferences and to major corporations such as Mercedes-Benz, Nike, and 3M. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Book: Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love and Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear

James Goebel is a founding partner of Menlo Innovations. He holds a master’s in business administration from Eastern Michigan University, is a certified Project Management Professional, a certified Scrum Master, and enjoys speaking at conferences, teaching classes, and speaking to small local groups to share the lessons he has learned.


Menlo Innovations Website

@menloprez on Twitter

@menlojames on Twitter





This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life — A guidebook for learning how to harvest happiness through self-mastery. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?


“Ultimately we are hardwired for connection.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Have you ever tried to fight on a text? It doesn’t work.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“In other companies, you work all by yourself, at Menlo when there is a problem it is shared and we try to solve it together.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Our version of normal is what we have convinced ourselves it is.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Our culture of joy is only perceived as crazy and different because people have not experienced it before.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Humans want to know that their effort matters.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When you trust somebody you are willing to bring up crazy and possibly dumb ideas that may lead to a solution.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We use high-speed voice technology. Meaning, we talk to each other to solve problems.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“An introvert wants to talk, they just don't want to have idle chat.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Trust is a place where you are vulnerable and share your weaknesses and strengths.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“It's very hard to do something all by yourself here at Menlo.” @menloprez on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Humans are very expressive throughout an entire sentence, a device can't interpret that.” @menlojames on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Our work is hard, it doesn't look like traditional hard work because we are working in joy.” @menlojames on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet