You can surely remember situations in which a lot of things were achieved. Situations characterized by beaming faces, great atmosphere and a special feeling of community. Often these situations happen in private life (sport, team-oriented hobbies, etc.), but are also common in start-ups or cool companies. In such situations, our brains release happiness hormones. These trigger a positive atmosphere and positive energy. And who doesn’t want to be happy? You included. Especially in change situations which are often characterized by fear, excessive demands and political interests you need a good dose of happiness hormones to put people in a position in which they feel happy. The effect of the four hormones unfolds as follows:

Happiness triggered by exhaustion.
Only if purpose is created on the basis of one’s own values.

Is released when we experience positive feelings of success.
“I have achieved, successfully accomplished something …”

Is released when we receive special appreciation from others, e. g. about our social status or that of a leader.

Is released when we feel like we are part of a group, a tribe which is triggered by positive relationships or when helping others.

These hormones are also strongly responsible for making agile transformations so effective. Sprints and rapid results release dopamine at short intervals. Small, intimate and agile teams live in psychological safety thanks to the ‘snuggling hormone’ oxytocin. Experts that are appreciated as such and don’t serve as mere functionaries, are rewarded serotonin. And special achievements made during the final leg through accomplishing self-determined, challenging goals trigger the release of heaps of endorphins – similar to marathon runners.


  1. Rely on agile teams as the seed of renewal for change initiatives. These teams should be allowed to achieve short-term results on the basis of lots of individual responsibility and a high degree of confidence.
  2. Analyze some of the teams you are familiar with on the basis of the four happiness hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin): are enough happiness hormones released in an existing team setup (order, working principle, team structure…)? What ideas do you have to create more feelings of happiness?
  3. Explore your own self. When are you happy in your professional context? What do you have at your disposal to increase the amount of positive energy? Excuses like ‘those at the top have to provide that’ are invalid.