In The Spotlight: Vadivu Govind, Founder of Joy Works

She has enjoyed work for good causes throughout her career and continues to blossom as she intentionally chooses to see challenges as learning experiences. Vadivu Govind presents a fresh take on what business and the entrepreneurial journey should look like, and how her lifestyle fits perfectly into her business, bringing love into the work equation.

A Spotlight that is sure to refresh and challenge you as you move closer to your own dreams.

Tell us about you and your business/career, and what you were doing before?

I am a catalyst. I enable leadership and staff development that focuses on organisational excellence and the greater good; sustainable high performance, productivity and profit co-exist with human flourishing.

I create transformational learning experiences through positive psychology coaching, experiential workshops and fieldtrips.  My approach is positive, human-centred and research-based. It is influenced by positive organisational development, servant leadership and other wisdom sources.

This is my second work-related calling. I have been active in social change since the 1990s and this is a continuation of that journey, just in a different form.

Accidents Can Spur New Journeys

My current work is the result of a major accident – both literal and metaphorical. A road accident, which killed four migrant workers, set me on an unexpected journey to learn about the lives of migrant workers in Singapore. This led me to realise that while people are struggling in their own lives, it is difficult for them to care about those on the margins of society. I learned to be less judgmental and developed greater love towards people, including those who may treat others with little love and dignity. This brought me a level of joy I had never experienced, and made me curious and want to find answers to questions such as: What leads to true joy? What makes work fulfilling, meaningful and joyful?

I began to see important interconnections between leaders, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers and consumers. This led me to my current work, which aims to enable individual, organisational and community flourishing and prevent social problems.

Who You Become Along The Entrepreneurial Journey

With Aikido Master George Sensei, a collaborator to bring lessons from Aikido into the workplace

My biggest lesson is that, more important than what I achieve (even if they are noble goals), is who I am being and becoming through that process. Growing, especially in love, wisdom and courage is most important to me. This helps me get through all kinds of challenges so I get better, not bitter.

What am I learning? How can I grow from this? Because I have gained so much from these two questions, I offer them to clients too. One client said she would print and paste them in her cubicle. Instead of complaining, she found this to be a fresh approach to challenging situations. I believe this mind-set can strengthen resilience, especially during the economically challenging times that seem to be emerging.

Seeing Business Through New Eyes

Love heals, transforms, liberates.

There is a common misconception that love is weak; that it doesn’t belong in the workspace or marketplace. Yet wise leaders know that we need to urgently shift towards a paradigm of love. Love is what will encourage moral courage, integrity, wise decision-making, and good conscience. These are much needed in the workplace, marketplace and policy-making arenas.

Grow With Adversity

Dance with the rhythm of the season.

Build inner resources and resilience during times of economic adversity with a customised organisational resilience programme by Joy Works.




Edited by Nedda Chaplin

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Vadivu Govind

Vadivu Govind is a facilitator and positive psychology coach. She focuses on leadership and staff development that catalyses positively deviant results for organisations. At the same time, Vadivu's intention is for people to experience the workplace as an inspiring place to grow, serve, connect, play and flourish. She enables leaders to experience leadership as a meaningful and fulfilling vocation.

Vadivu is a certified strengths practitioner (R2 Strengths Profiler), licensed Science of Happiness at Work™ practitioner, Appreciation at Work facilitator and Drake P3 Associate using the P3 personality assessment tool.

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