Pedro Galván (MBA 98), Founder and CEO of Awards of Happiness and President of the Miami Chapter

December 21, 2020 9:15 am

Pedro Galván has a purpose: to get companies and people to embrace organisational happiness and its multiple benefits. In addition to writing for and working as founder and CEO of Awards of Happiness, in his free time he serves as President of the Miami Chapter.


Why be happy at work?

-Why did you create Awards of Happiness?

The Awards of Happiness are the greatest international recognition for companies and professionals that maximise their profits on the basis of organizational happiness. Our objective is to make companies more productive and employees more engaged and motivated.

-How do you think we can be happier at work?

By aligning personal purpose with organisational purpose, and by listening more and better. By putting aside our egos and power, which tends to corrupt. By forgetting about titles and focusing on leaving a legacy, fostering team spirit, and being direct and clear; on the flow of information, on understanding the “new normal” and on demanding that we be the best at what we do. There is no point in being relentless if, when we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, we want the product, service and delivery of our purchases to be excellent, but then when we put ourselves in the employee’s shoes, we do not demand the same of ourselves.

-How does happiness empower employees?

In every way. People make a lot of disparaging remarks about the notion of organisational happiness, with ideas that are straight out of the 20th century: “Happiness is doing nothing”; “Get paid a lot and work as little as possible”; “Work and shut up, that’s what we pay you for,” etc. Let’s not lose the fundamental focus and the axiom we started with when we created Awards of Happiness: all studies of organisational and positive psychology show that companies that make their employees happy are more productive and obtain the greatest competitive advantage over their competitors. They attract and retain the best talent, and they work more efficiently and with greater engagement.

Let me give you an example. Imagine that you want to hire a 25-year-old woman who is an IT specialist. She’s one of the best in her class and she has three job offers on her desk. So asks you: “Why should I go to work for your company? The other offers aren’t bad. In fact, the salaries are similar. Some of them have offered me training, others a quick promotion. Why should I accept your offer?” The answer could not be clearer or more convincing: “Here, we will do everything possible to make you happy. To convince you, I’ve brought along this binder containing all the projects we lead – do you want to see them?” This is the only way forward. Some companies and professionals are still afraid to call this happiness. They prefer to call it well-being or other similar terms, but here’s the thing: What do we want outside of work? Happiness, right? Well, the same goes for work.

How did you discover that organisational happiness was your calling?
By constantly making mistakes and listening to the problems people had in organisations. Almost all strategies and operations fail, not because they are poorly thought out, but because leadership, team spirit and motivation are at rock bottom. When we analyse the responses we receive every day, we see that there are women who feel mistreated in their organisations. We discover that there is a lack of leadership. We see that there is no acceptance of cultural, racial or religious diversity. We know that we are doing our job by specifying areas for improvement that organisations and individuals need to pay attention to in order to become more competitive.


Spirit of continuous improvement

-You are the President of the Miami Chapter. What do you get out of this responsibility?

The responsibility of transmitting Esade’s values, which in my mind are innovating, creating and not being satisfied with the status quo. I started my degree at Esade in 1993 and had great professors like Mr. Angrill. What I remember most is that he told us: “Never be a conformist. What characterises us is that we are revolutionaries and we always want to improve.”

What is the Miami alumni community like?
Until you’ve lived in Miami, you don’t understand what goes on in this city. I’ve been here for a few years now, and I’m impressed by the idiosyncrasy and the mixing of cultures. I try, as best I can, to create events that allow the members of the board and the club to help each other, share information and grow.

What do you think an alumni chapter should offer?
Knowledge, networking, support, camaraderie and fun.

What are your goals in this “new normal” created by the pandemic? How do you cultivate connections nowadays?
The fundamental objective is to leave 2020 behind as soon as possible and embrace 2021, in the hope that this nightmare will never return. The main thing is to wear a mask and wait for the vaccine. After that, we can spread our wings and create wealth in every possible way. That’s what Esade taught us.