Happiness as a desirable and measurable goal of public policy in the UK and worldwide.

What is the role of Finance in Society, how Happiness and Finance can live together?

My inspiration is Robert J. Shiller’s "Finance and the Good Society": “What I want most for my students - he writes, – near and far, young and old – to know, is that finance truly has the potential to offer hope for a more fair, just - and Happy I add - world, and that their energy and intelligence are needed to help serve this goal.” 

Charles Murray - In Pursuit of Happiness and Good government

Charles Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He has written numerous books, including Coming Apart, Losing Ground, Real Education, and Human Accomplishment. He is perhaps best known for coauthoring the 1994 New York Times bestseller The Bell Curve with the late Richard J. Hernstein.

"In Pursuit" begins by examining James Madison's statement: "A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can best be attained."

Drawing from his minimalist-government viewpoint, Murray proposes that government not try to force happiness on the people with federal policies or programs but, rather, that it provide conditions that enable people to pursue happiness on their own.

Charles Murray, looking 400 years from now to future human society, thinks that unless human beings have not been monumentally stupid and wealth has continued to increase, the way to run societies will be without these huge bureacracies filled with people telling each other how to live.

Everyone will be rich enough to live a meaningful life earning success, overcoming challenges as humanity is evolutionary hard wired and wants to exercise personality.

😀 HAPPINESS 101 with Harvard Positive Psychology Expert

If you’ve ever wanted to get happier, be happier, or find more happiness in your life, then do we have the Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment show for you.

The job of Happiness? The CFO. Marco Venturelli’s promise

by Filippo Poletti – on Bi MAG 21 June 2017

Be a CFO, and you can help make the world Happy. Marco Venturelli, Regional Europe Oncology CFO in Novartis is sure he can. So sure, he set up a dedicated blog, the happy cfo: «Companies – the manager says during 


Adam Smith’s Underappreciated Wisdom on Benevolence, Happiness, and Kindness

The great Scottish moral philosopher, political economy pioneer, and Enlightenment maven Adam Smith (June 16, 1723–July 17, 1790) is best known for authoring the 1776 masterwork The Wealth of Nations — a foundational text of behavioral economics two centuries before behavioral economics existed. It originated the famous “invisible hand” metaphor for how socially beneficial outcomes can be traced back to the self-interested actions of individuals. True to our modern incapacity for nuance, Smith’s “invisible hand” has come to symbolize a rather bleak view of the human spirit as bedeviled by inescapable selfishness. And yet Smith’s own views were more generous and elevating — something he explored in his eclipsed but excellent earlier work, the 1759 treatise The Theory of Moral Sentiments, full of timeless wisdom on ambition, success, good personhood, the far-from-linear relationship between money and happiness, and that wonderfully old-fashioned notion of “benevolence,” so urgently needed in our divisive world today.

What we can learn from Warren Gatland when setting Budget targets

The iPhone was ringing. Warren Gatland, trainer of the British and Irish Lions, was sipping a cup of tea in the BA lounge of Terminal 5, while waiting for the flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Theresa May was calling. After the ritual wishes for his team’s Test matches against the All Blacks, Theresa asked a difficult question: “What are the probability to win the Test Matches?”

How many times as CFOs we ask for probabilised Risk and Opportunities to understand what is the likelihood of a certain objective to be achieved, what are the actions in place to reach the objective. We help our CEO to make sure that “the Budget Control Game” as well described and analysed by G.H. Hofstede, generates that spirit that will drive teams to act and pursue the objective that has been set. Says Hofstede: “The decisive factor in creating the game spirit in budget control is the attitude of the boss. I have met managers in this study who were radiating enthusiasm towards their subordinates. They were the most successful in creating the game spirit”

Warren looked at the statistics his preparation staff has worked out, while trying to find a way to answer to Theresa’s question:

-      An average team in the last 107 games played by the All Blacks had only 7% chances to win

-      The British and Irish Lions in the last 6 test matches had only a 15% opportunity to beat them

-      More recently, the Lions Irish contingent, who went from beating New Zealand in Chicago to losing to the same opponents in a rugged encounter in Dublin a fortnight later, have been giving advice to their colleagues about what to expect. “Rory Best spoke earlier in the week about how the Irish felt they didn’t handle the physicality the All Blacks brought, even though they’d spoken about it,” Lions Irish won one game against AB: was that enough to call for a trend change?

-      Gatland and his Lions were fully aware the All Blacks have not lost a Test at Eden Park (AB Stadium) since 1994

How many times, in budget discussions teams come with apparently reasonable analogues, with trends readjusted to the most favourable, for the scope, interval, with lists of risks? Analogues and statistical information are very useful to give a base of reference and help in the probabilisation but this is not the way a successful company should approach the discussion. Teams lists lots of risks, odds, potential adverse circumstances, so to agree on an easy target. “What we would suggest Warren to answer? How Warren’s answer would influence the attitude of the team towards implementing their past performance, finding ways to over achieve. How recognising risks plays an important role but only if it is used to find alternatives and build countermeasures in advance.

Warren put statistics in his bag. Took a breath and said: “We’re ready for it,” “Physically I don’t think we’ve disappointed so far. Will we need to up our game? Certainly. We’re going to have to take ourselves to a place that individually we’ve not been to before. The All Blacks have certainly got better over the last four years and are reigning supreme at this moment in time, but the boys realise that and are excited by that challenge. Our squad is full of winners, it’s full of guys who are used to winning and know how to win. We’re going to be a hell of a side. We’ll go down to Auckland and there’s a sea of red there. The strength of the group is phenomenal and everything is building up:

Dear Theresa, we play to win!

Every game has its own independent probability and though history was against them Warren’s team lost one, won the other and drawn the third.

British and Irish Lions and All Blacks tie the Series.

Each of us in business can draw their conclusions on this nice sport story.

By the way, I am not sure if the call really happened …..

More on Finance at The Happy CFO



Il Mestiere della Felicità. Il CFO

the Happy CFO is able to optimize use of financial resources and drive the economic growth


 CFO’s scope is the optimization of resources to favor economic growth

Venturelli changed the current game: contrary to the CFO with cold analyzer glasses – often unsatisfied for the many requests and the few available resources – the Happy CFO is able to optimize use of financial resources and drive the economic growth. One of the measures of happiness: «At the end of 2016 – he says – my division reached exceptional results in terms of growth, profitability, return on investment and market share. All the objectives were reached and overcame. Then I thought to thank the team with a card signed: “The happy CFO”». 


According to Thomas Jefferson, third American president, happiness is the objective of a good government

Venturelli knows that well: according to the proverb, “money does not buy happiness”. However they contribute to create it: «While it is true that economic growth alone does not generate happiness, according to UN Happiness report, we notice how the GDP per capita and life expectancy explain 30% of a Country happiness».Also included in the last ‘Documento di Programmazione Finanziaria’ of the Italian Government – Venturelli suggests–, «environmental sustainability, quality of work, health and level of education concur to the societies well being». That Happiness, as suggested by Thomas Jefferson, third American President, should be the objective of a good government.  



 Is it possible during years of economic and financial crisis, to mend the trust between the civil society, companies and more in general Finance? According to Venturelli – expert of Francesco Morace’ s theories included in the book Crescita felice – says the answer is yes: «If we want our companies keep their success, we should listen to consumers and investors more and more carefully about the results reached in terms of sustainability and reputation».

The Happy CFO’s recipe is simple and, at the same time, very challenging: «Our companies will continue to be profitable and generate work for our great-grandchildren, if the CFOs convince their CEOs that short term orientation, not balanced with objectives of environmental and social sustainability, will not last long.». Like in the Movies, “a happy ending”; a Happy CFO.



Il mestiere della felicità? Quello del CFO. Parola di Marco Venturelli di Filippo Poletti – 12 giugno 2017



Compito del CFO
 è l'ottimizzazione dell’uso delle risorse finanziarie per favorire la crescita economica

Compito del CFO è l’ottimizzazione dell’uso delle risorse finanziarie per favorire la crescita economica

Venturelli spariglia le carte: al CFO dai freddi occhiali dell’analizzatore – spesso insoddisfatto per le troppe richieste e le poche risorse disponibili in azienda – oppone l’immagine del felice CFO, capace di ottimizzare l’uso delle risorse finanziarie e indirizzare la crescita economica, uno dei parametri di misurazione della felicità: «Alla fine del 2016 – racconta – la mia divisione ha raggiunto risultati eccezionali per quanto riguarda la crescita, la redditività e il successo sul mercato. Tutti gli obiettivi sono stati raggiunti e superati. Pensai, dunque, di ringraziare tutta il team con un biglietto augurale firmato “The happy CFO”».



Secondo Thomas Jefferson, terzo presidente americano, la felicità è l’obiettivo del buon governo

Secondo Thomas Jefferson, terzo presidente americano, la felicità è l’obiettivo del buon governo

Venturelli lo sa bene: come dice il proverbio, i soldi non fanno la felicità. Contribuiscono, tuttavia, a crearla: «Se è vero che la crescita economica da sola non genera felicità, nell’Happiness report delle Nazioni Unite vediamo come il GDP pro capite e le aspettative di vita siano alla base del 30 per cento di felicità di un paese»

Com’è indicato anche nell’ultimo documento di programmazione finanziaria del Governo italiano – ricorda Venturelli –, «la sostenibilità dell’ambiente, la qualità del lavoro, la salute e il livello di istruzione concorrono al benessere di una società». Quella felicità, appunto, indicata da Thomas Jefferson, terzo presidente americano, come l’obiettivo del buon governo.



Francesco Morace,
 autore del libro "Crescita felice"

Francesco Morace, autore del libro “Crescita felice”

È possibile, in anni di crisi economica e finanziaria, ricucire il legame di fiducia tra la società civile, le imprese e, più in generale, la finanza? Per Venturelli – profondo conoscitore delle teorie di Francesco Morace presentate nel libro Crescita felice – certo che sì: «Se vogliamo che le nostre imprese abbiano ancora successo, dobbiamo ascoltare i consumatori e gli investitori, sempre più attenti ai risultati raggiunti in termini di sostenibilità e di reputazione».

La ricetta del CFO felice è semplice e, allo stesso tempo, impegnativa: «Le nostre imprese continueranno a essere profittevoli e dare lavoro ai nipoti dei nostri nipoti, se i CFO convinceranno i CEO che l’orientamento al breve periodo, non bilanciato da obiettivi di sostenibilità ambientale e sociale, non porta lontano». Come si direbbe al cinema, “lieto fine”. Happy CFO.

  • The Happy CFO

    It is then clear that in a world where human organizations strives to optimize use of scarce resources, including Financial assets, finding many Happy CFOs means improved use of resources and ultimately better outcomes.

  • “A dwarf on a giant's shoulders sees the furthest of the two”

    During a simple and touching ceremony, my current manager and two colleagues handed me a recognition certificate for the 25 years I spent in the same company.

  • The Happy CFO: the Happiness Advantage

    Last post generated quite some buzz, as the topic of Finance and happiness seems really difficult to be combined. The Happy CFO was sharing happiness for the outcome and achievement of his unit.

  • Through Happy Lens

    In these days, when in politics populism is increasingly successful, managers may be tempted to change the way they motivate their teams, moving to a more manipulative communication style, where reality and facts are adapted to the message not viceversa, in order to increase consensus and influence belief.

  • The Art of Measuring Happiness

    The subject of centuries of scrutiny and debate: how to measure happiness solved by the genius of Leonardo. He wasn’t able to measure it but he. …painted it. Stare at Mona Lisa and mirror yourself into Happines

  • What is the Future of Finance?

    Find ideas, links and suggestions on the Future of Finance

  • Ready for the International Day of Happiness?

    What is the International Day of Happiness?

    It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world

  • Italy Sustainability Plan

    Italy is the first among G7 and EU countries to fix its 2020 targets adding non-economic measures combined with GDP growth, country deficit and Debt to GDP ratio.

  • A 7 Days guide for the pursue of Happiness while working in Finance

    While reflecting on how Finance associates can help increasing Happiness in their working environment and companies, I read various blogs and articles on the matter and decided to propose a 7 Days behavioural based approach.

  • Happiness has fallen in America

    The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came 14th. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.

  • Headlines FOR 2017

    * Norway tops the global happiness rankings

    * Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland & Finland complete the top 5

    * Happiness is both social and personal

    * People in China are no happier than 25 years ago

    * Happiness has fallen in America

  • GDP, Money, Companies and Happiness

    Measuring Happiness not only at Country and Society as the World report does but at a Company level could contribute to monitor more frequently this key variable for individual and companies well being.





Test your Happiness level today




Good Government

Thomas Jefferson said that “the care of human life and happiness … is the only legitimate object of good government". American Declaration of independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

I hope you will enjoy reading and sharing on these topics

Marco Venturelli