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The Hump Day Humor-Gram April 7, 2004 Issue #84

In this issue . . .

1. Stuck for a New Idea?
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
3. Quote of the Week
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World
1. Stuck for a New Idea?

Road blocked? Stuck in mind goo and spinning your neurons
over and over in the same direction?

Sometimes we need a little help to force our brain to look at a
challenge or problem with a different perspective, for if we are
truly going to come up with an innovative idea, then we need to
stop looking at a problem the same way we have always looked at it.

Here are 5 simple ways of reframing a problem to help you or
your team come up with some new ideas.

1. Brainstorm the opposite of the problem. How can you
turn your customers away or de-motivate staff? Forcing this
perspective, as silly as it seems, can help you see things you
might not have otherwise.

2. Ask someone with an outside perspective, whether it be
a customer, a five year old or someone from another department.
Adding diversity to your team is tone of the easiest and proven
ways to increase creativity.

3. Randomly pick an occupation out the Yellow Pages, then
force yourself to look at the issue from that profession’s
perspective. How would a dentist solve your budgeting challenge?
What would a kindergarten teacher do to motivate employees?

4. Brainstorm standing up and literally throw ideas around the
group with your hands as you say them, passing the “idea ball”
from one another. This not only gets people laughing, it
encourages spontaneity, which in turn helps generate truly
novel ideas because it forces people to say things before
they have a chance to pre-censor them.

5. Watch a funny video or play a game. Humour is a major catalyst
for creative thinking. In studies, when people watch a stand-up
comedian before brainstorming ideas, they come up with more ideas
than the folks who didn’t watch humour beforehand.

Remember, as we have so often said here at the old Hump Day:
Ha + Ha = AHA!
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Force yourself to look at the upside of a downside, by creating
a top ten list of the Top Ten GREAT Things About _______, and
then pick something that you find stressful, such as . . .

The Top Ten GREAT Things About Working in an Open Office

The Top Ten GREAT Things About Monday Mornings!

The Top Reasons I Love My Commute

And you can turn it into a team event by passing the list around,
having each person add one new idea to the list.
3. Quote of the Week

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
Sam Goldwyn
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World

In yet another astonishing, yet wacky, scientific breakthrough,
researchers at a St. Louis technology company are working on
a project that could one day very soon see your lap top computer
and cell phone batteries fuelled with, yes, beer. Or vodka.
Take your pick. Perhaps a couple of dry martinis for those after
lunch phone calls, or maybe your computer would enjoy a refreshing
pina colada for this trips down south?

Happy hump day everyone!
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2004

Back issues of the Hump Day Express can be
found at

International speaker Michael Kerr, “The Workplace Energizer” is
the author of five books, including When Do You Let the Animals
Out? and You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work. Michael
delivers keynote talks and workshops on humor in the workplace,
business creativity and public speaking skills.

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