peak: how great companies get their mojo from maslow

After his budding company was turned upside down by a post-dotcom, post-9/11 economy, CEO and boutique hotelier Chip Conley faced a “thrive-or-dive” dilemma. To revitalize Joie de Vivre Hospitality, he sought inspiration from psychologist Abraham Maslow’s principles of self-actualization, peak experiences, and the iconic Hierarchy of Needs.

Combining his avant-garde spirit with an unconventional business model, Conley developed a creative management theory focused on climbing the Hierarchy of Needs, a theory based on Maslow’s observations of human motivation. Conley adapts this pyramid to what he identifies as “Relationship Truths” in business, applying them to employees, customers, and investors. Mutual respect and recognition are essential in the pursuit of happiness for all stakeholders.

By emphasizing the value of sustainable relationships between people, Peak shows companies how to give life and vitality to organizations through real world examples. From Google’s creation of a meaningful workplace for its employees to Whole Foods’ mission to create an emotional connection with investors, Conley provides role models of businesses that create peak experiences by focusing on motivation.

This transformational perspective, focusing on human potential and possibility, is what empowers companies to change the world, from the humble internet start-up to the largest Fortune 500 corporation. In a world where profit is too often emphasized over people, Conley’s candid philosophy is truly rebellious.

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