On the 16th of June 2017, Michaéla Schippers, Endowed Professor of Behaviour and Performance Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) presented her inaugural address entitled ‘IKIGAI: Reflection on Life Goals Optimizes Performance and Happiness’.
In her inaugural address, Michaéla discussed the role of self-regulatory behaviors that people can employ in order to live a full-filling life. These behaviors include reflection and personal goal setting, in order to formulate a direction or purpose in life (Ikigai). In the inaugural address, an evidence-based goal-setting intervention is discussed. This relatively brief intervention has shown to have lasting results: not only does it increase well-being of students, the intervention also boosted academic performance of students by over 20%. Moreover, the intervention significantly decreased the gender and ethnic minority performance gap. The goal setting is shown in a broader perspective with examples in education, business and operations management. The perspective presented in this address emphasizes taking control of one’s life in order to optimize performance and happiness.