The Orange Frog is an educational program based on the work of Harvard University-trained researcher and New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor

Positive Environments Enhance Performance

The Happiness Advantage | Orange Frog Workshop™ provides a blueprint for increasing staff and student engagement, enhancing SEL, and tapping into people's intrinsic motivations.

Based on the works of positive psychology researcher, Shawn Achor, and taught in Harvard’s famed happiness course, this experiential workshop provides a sustainable approach to enhancing productivity and improving culture at the district, school, staff, and classroom levels.

The workshop uses metaphor and narrative as a way to make happiness advantage research come to life. In The Orange Frog, the main character is a frog named Spark who turns “orange” among an island of green frogs. Spark is a positive outlier, adaptive with an optimistic mindset open to change. Spark provides social support for the rest of the team — not causing transformation per se, but through inspiring and influencing it.

After learning to embrace the benefits of The Happiness Advantage, workshop participants are encouraged to share these benefits with others leading to a positive “ripple effect” that spreads throughout the district. Participants develop new positive habits and learn how-to incorporate the practices of resilient leaders, becoming more adaptable and capable of capitalizing on opportunities and growing through challenges and adversity.

Watch: How to Spark Happiness and Increase Positivity in Education

Watch: Social and Emotional Learning

The Orange Frog by Shawn Achor

Watch: Who is Spark?

An engaging parable that illustrates the journey to creating a happier, more productive, more satisfying life and workplace.

Caught between two worlds, Spark was exactly like every other frog in his pond with one notable exception. Spark emerges from a tadpole with a slight but noticeable orange spot. And this orange spot makes Spark feel uncomfortably different. What’s more, Spark begins to make a disconcerting observation; when he does things that make him feel better (and produce more positive results) the orange spots increase. Spark is left with a difficult decision; be normal, which makes him less conspicuous, or continue doing those things that make him happier, more productive and… more orange.

So begins the parable of The Orange Frog, a disarming tale that serves as the starting point for the Happiness Advantage | Orange Frog Workshop™.

By the end of the story, readers see and feel pressures they recognize in their day-to-day life.

They also witness a most remarkable transformation when Spark finally chooses to adopt an orange way of life. Not only does his own engagement, personal satisfaction and productivity increase, these same results slowly start to ripple out to the other frogs in the pond.

This parable along with The Happiness Advantage | Orange Frog Workshop™ impacts every dimension of human potential – performance, intelligence, creativity, leadership ability and health – in an increasingly interconnected world where our biggest potential lies in our ability positivity to influence others.

Being orange is open to us all, not just based on our environments, but also based on voluntary activities and mindsets we cultivate within our environment. New habits and mindset can transform us. But we often need help — positive outliers like Spark that signal the path forward and reinforce our new beliefs in the face of uncertainty.