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Humor at Work: Reward Failure to Boost Creativity at Work

Okay folks, I hate to tell you this because I don’t want
anyone using this as an excuse for bad behavior, but today
just happens to be National Grouch Day, which (and I’m sure
this is just a bizarre coincidence) is followed up tomorrow
by Boss Day.
1. Rewarding Failure Intuitive at Intuit

This may seem counterintuitive, but the software company Intuit
actually rewards employees’ failures with an award known as the
“Swing for the Fence Award.” The award helps foster a culture
of innovation, creativity and experimentation, which you can only
do if you encourage people to continually step up to the plate
and keep swinging for new ideas (for the Canadians, that’s like
shooting the puck) until you hit a home run.
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Here’s a good one for the winter season: 90octane, a marketing
agency based in Denver, Colorado, has held mustache-growing
contests for both the employees and customers. And, not to
fear, the women are included: they get to watch the progress
tracked on their website, offering an endless source of laughs.
3. Deep Thought of the Week

“Reverence and irreverence are really the same thing.”
– Groucho Marx
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World

The annual Ig Nobel prizes were recently doled out for zany
contributions to science. This year’s winners included a team
of biologists who discovered dog fleas jump farther than cat
fleas, physicists who discovered that anything that CAN tangle
WILL tangle and, last but not least, scientists who discovered
that people will continue to eat stale chips quite happily so long
as they crunch loudly. (By the way, the scientists who receive
these honors always do so with a good, self-deprecating dose of
humor – a good lesson for all of us wanting to up the fun in our
work lives.)

Happy Hump Day one and all. Keep laughing.
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2008.

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