Fear can be a huge stumbling block when it comes to embracing
change or being creative at work. But it can help to identify
what exactly it is you are scared of. There are three common
types of fears associated with trying a new idea:
– Fear of the unknown
– Fear of failure
– Fear of looking stupid
If you are going to foster a fun, innovative workplace, then
address these fears head on. Talk about them openly. What
information will help you and your team reduce the unknowns?
What if you DO fail? Do you have a backup plan? Or, like the
software company Intuit, a system that actually rewards smart
failures to encourage people to try new things? And what can
you do to minimize the fear of anyone feeling stupid? Are
you creating the kind of culture that supports each other’s
ideas, that embraces a sense of self-effacing humor, and that
laughs in the face of new challenges?
Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
During breakfast at a conference I spoke at a while back, I
noticed that in addition to the usual serving staff, there
were people in red vests serving coffee to everyone. Turns out
the red-vested folks were new employees and members of the
association taking part in their tradition that got all new
people involved and meeting everyone in a fun, relaxed way. So
create a ritual in your workplace that gets your new employees
engaged with everyone, or consider having the newbies wear
something unique for the first month (perhaps a funny badge)
so everyone knows to make an extra effort to make them feel
Deep Thought of the Week
“A person who smiles in the face of adversity already has a
scapegoat picked out.” Anonymous
It’s a Wacky World
Today is “Ask a Stupid Question” day. So here are a few more
questions I was asked back in my park ranger days:
– Does your beautiful Canadian flag come in other colors?
– What’s the distance of the three mile hike?
– How long does the three-hour hike take to do?
– How many undiscovered lakes do you have around here?
– How do the elk know to cross at the elk crossing sign?
– How did I get here?
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics