What the humble Hacky Sack can teach us about being happy at work

Here’s a great little meme you can start today which will make your workplace just that little bit happier. Thanks to Tom Bailey who told me about it over a cuppa the other day.

You know those times when someone makes a mistake and goes overboard with “sorry, sorry, I’m really sorry, arrrgh, my fault, I’m sorry!” Or conversely, when someone points the finger of blame at someone else for a mistake? The next time one of those things happens, simply say the words “Hacky Sack.” This, of course will be met with complete bewilderment the first time they hear it, giving you the opportunity to explain something wonderful about the simple game of Hacky Sack.

In a game of Hacky Sack, failure is part of the process. At some point, the Hacky Sack will dropped. Probably many times in a session. This is just the nature of the game. And if it’s just the nature of the game then there’s no need to go overboard with an apology when it happens, and no need to chastise anyone for screwing up. So in Hacky Sack, the etiquette is to just pick it up and carry on. No apology expected; no blaming allowed.

This sounds a lot like how workplaces should be. At work too, failure is just part of the process. It’s not something we need to go over the top with apologies or blame for. Hell, it’s even something to celebrate at times.

OK, I’m sure there are exceptions like where you’ve broken trust or failed to respect someone and a sorry can go a long way towards repairing a relationship. And perhaps it might not apply quite so well where lives are at stake, but that’s a tiny minority of workplaces. But for 99% of the everyday failures and mistakes that are made at work, make Hacky Sack the rule in your office.

My new gig: Curating a creative & tech start-ups programme

I’ve just started a new project with Wired Sussex to curate the start-ups programme for creative and tech entrepreneurs in The FuseBoxThere’s more background and info about what I’m working on right now over on the Wired Sussex blog.

It’s very exciting for me personally having started, grown and left a company myself here in Brighton and experienced first hand the vibrancy of this part of the economy. I also believe that the creative and digital industries have huge potential to solve some of the big problems that the world faces today and enrich life for everyone. So it’s a real honour to play a part in setting up something new to deliver on this.

I’m going to be spending about two and a half days per week on this for about six months so I still have time for event speaking, mentoring and running The Brightoneers.