• Humor at Work: Encouraging Conversations in the Workplace

    Given that 50% of all e-mails supposedly have a tonal issue

    (as in the recipient is unsure how to read your tone), coupled

    with a study by the University of Western Ontario which found

    that water cooler conversations at work improve productivity,

    what are you doing to encourage more face-to-face time, less

    face-to-computer time? How about a technology-free day or a

    technology-free hour once a day? …

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  • Bombing Joke Bombs for Former Politician

    Former cabinet minister and current Newfoundland and Labrador Lt.-Gov. John Crosby got roasted this week after making an offensive joke during a speech.

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  • Boost Creativity, Destroy Silos with Job Swap Days

    Southwest Airlines has a “Walk-a-Mile” program where employees

    can sign up to work a day in a totally different department.

    Many organizations have such programs, and find tremendous value

    in them.

    Not only do swap days help employees develop new skills and

    clarify different career path options, they also help break

    down barriers, build trust, foster new relationships, and

    improve communication. What’s not to love about this …

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  • Humor at Work: Fun Promotional Events Generate FREE Publicity!

    Here’s another example of a business capitalizing on a little

    creativity and fun to get some free publicity. The Lower

    Mainland Eccotique Spa is offering a “confess and de-stress”

    spa package for Vancouver Stanley Cup riot suspects. Any

    suspected hooligans can turn themselves in, get their

    fingerprints taken, and receive a relaxing spa treatment.

    Are any of the rioters going to take them up on the …

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  • Can Sarcasm Boost Creative Thinking? Seriously?

    Since the root meaning of the term sarcasm is to “tear at the

    flesh like a dog,” and because there are a few studies

    that suggest that a high use of sarcastic humor correlates to

    higher levels of stress and possibly even heart disease, then

    I usually suggest that people try to minimize their use of

    sarcasm at work. Sarcasm can also create misunderstanding and

    conflict, …

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  • Humor at Work: What if It’s You Who’s Driving People Crazy at Work?

    Are you inadvertently driving your co-workers nuts? Chances are,

    most people don’t realize when their behavior is annoying the

    heck out of everyone. A LinkedIn survey of 17,000 professionals

    found that the top U.S. annoyance is having your food taken

    from the office fridge;83% of Brazilians ranked office gossip

    as the top pet peeve; 74% of workers from India cited annoying

    cell phone ringtones; 40% of …

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  • A Lesson from “The Office” on the Power of Fun Incentives

    The last episode of one of my favorite sitcoms, The Office, highlighted how crazy incentives can sometimes be powerfully motivating. 

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  • Humor at Work: Happy Customers and Spending Customers!

    A recent Consumer Reports survey suggests 64% of Americans have

    walked out of a store because of poor service. A study in the

    Journal of Service Research found that incivility by customer

    service employees is on the rise, and that this is costing

    companies dearly. Conversely, a study reported in the Journal

    of Marketing Research found that people who feel relaxed spend

    far more freely than …

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  • Humor at Work: Fighting a Fear of Creativity and New Ideas

    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 …

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  • Are you measuring the right stuff?

    One of the reasons Zappos excels at business and with their customer service is that they measure

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