VP OF HAPPINESS

WHO Donna DeGrande Dixon
COMPANY FutureNext Consulting Inc.
AGE 49
HAS HELD TITLE FOR 1.5 years
PREVIOUS TITLE VP of organizational development

It’s no joke that new-economy workers are a little nervous these days. Still, at Future-Next, a 400-person e-business consulting firm, folks can’t help but smile when they see Donna DeGrande Dixon.

C’mon, why are you so damn happy?
I ask people, “What would make you smile inside?” And they tell me what they need to make their jobs better. They tend to be surprised that I asked. It makes employees smile to know that I’m really there to help them. And that makes me smile.

Doesn’t your face get tired?
My job can get overwhelming because I can’t please everyone all of the time. And people’s job expectations are higher now. So the difference has to be in the organization’s culture.