We're all for smiling at work—that is, until we start losing.
Just watch what happened when the Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson was caught smiling and laughing during the Cardinals 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night football. A short video clip of the lighthearted moment has triggered a bit of a frenzy. Post-game questions about the incident resulted in a tirade from Anderson and set off a storm of discussion in locker rooms and sports talk radio shows all over the country.
Here is a NY Times blog post. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard spoofed the Anderson episode here . Criticism from former Laker’s star Magic Johnson on Jimmy Kimmel here . Here is Cardinals coach Ken Wisenhunt’s press conference. The Arizona Republic reporter who asked the question, Kent Somers, has a blog here
It raises an interesting question for the Take the Work out of Work Moonshot...
Is it OK to have fun, play, and enjoy the work you’re doing if the business results are less than favorable? In other words, is smiling only allowed when...
For the last six months, I’ve been working closely with The Redwoods Group , an innovative B Corp here in North Carolina. For those not familiar with B Corps, they are a new type of for-profit corporation looking beyond the bottom line and using the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems.
I thought I’d share a recent story from Redwoods showcasing what can happen when you’ve enabled a thriving community of passion in your organization.
When Alexi Paraschos, 23, joined The Redwoods Group earlier this year for a post-graduate internship, he had no idea what to expect. In school, he’d always avoided business classes, yet he was the only one in his internship group to end up working at a for-profit corporation.
Alexi had never really thought of himself as the corporate type and the environment was new, different, and somewhat uncomfortable for him. He certainly didn’t go into the internship with the expectation that work would be fun, but he still struggled to acclimatize to the new environment, including cubicles, meetings, and other traditional trappings of business.
Alexi attended one company meeting where Kevin Trapani, President...
One of my roles as a MIX Guide is to point out great stories that help us learn through example how we can enable communities of passion in and around organizations. The description for the "Enable communities of passion" moonshot reads as follows:
-- “Passion is a multiplier of human effort, but it can’t be manufactured. It’s present only when people get the chance to work on what they truly care about.” --
Deborah tells the story of Runa , a fair trade tea company founded by three 24-year-old graduates of Brown University. Tyler Gage, Runa's CEO, spent five years working on fair trade and cultural preservation efforts with indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest and he had developed a deep appreciation and love for the region.
In Deborah's story, it becomes clear that three smart young businesspeople have figured out a way to work on something they are truly passionate about, helping people and communities they care for...
In 1961, Martin Graetz, Stephen Russell, and Wayne Wiitanen wrote a PDP-1 program to create a game they called SpaceWar! – oft-cited as the first video game. In 1972, Nolan Bushnell famously created PONG to rock our world. Space Invaders showed up in 1977. PacMan entered the lexicon in 1980, about ten years before a couple plumbers named Mario and Luigi became famous in Donkey Kong . My personal fave, Robotron 2084 arrived in 1982, just before another great one - Madden football - in 1984. Many people may remember playing DOOM (at work!) in 1993, Tony Hawk Pro Skater in 1999, and the more than 5 billion online matches have taken place since Halo stepped up in 2001. These old school games are all great – and there are thousands more that literally changed the way we enjoy life – and collectively, they have shaped our world and clearly, made it more fun!
11 million people a day now play Farmville . More people have downloaded Bejeweled than lived in Europe when King Henry VIII was...
-- "The reality is, however, that organizations need to do more than just unleash their subject matter experts en masse. They need to activate them in multiple channels at once and equip them in how to create a compelling narrative – an emerging set of skills called Transmedia Storytelling .
Transmedia Storytelling doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be executed with low budget tools. However, it does need to be thought through. It requires that a business’ subject matter experts know how to simultaneously tell good stories and to do so using text, video, audio and images depending on the venue." --
Now the term “transmedia storytelling” sounds a little too grandiose for my liking, but the thought behind it, that organizations need people who can tell interesting stories in any medium at very low cost, is one I agree...
Sir Alexander Fleming won a Nobel Prize for his work in discovering Penicillin, perhaps one of the most important discoveries in history. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1943, knighted by King George VI in 1944 and shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1945. And he loved to play games!
In 1900, when the Boer War broke out between the United Kingdom and its colonies in southern Africa, Alexander and two brothers joined a Scottish regiment. This turned out to be as much a sporting club as anything—they honed their shooting, swimming, and even water polo skills. Ultimately chose to become a surgeon to follow his brother Tom. Fleming took top scores in the qualifying examinations, and had his choice of medical schools. He lived equally close to three different schools, and knowing little about them, chose St. Mary's because he had played water polo against them.
Since he had very good grades, he had the option to become a surgeon. But, as luck would have it, since he was a member of the rifle club, the captain of the club wanted to retain...
As I've browsed the MIX over the past months, I've noticed a few regular contributors whose hacks , stories , and barriers always blow me away. Over the coming months, I hope to highlight some of these people and their ideas here in my role as a Moonshot Guide.
The first post of Aaron's that I stumbled upon was this hack , where he painted a dream for a new type of graduate business curriculum that teaches business by (gasp) creating an actual, viable business in addition to teaching business theory. But that's not the coolest part-- after a student graduates, the university would continue to incubate the business for years in return for partial ownership of the company, which would be distributed to not just the university, but also directly to faculty members who helped the student. Everybody--the student, the faculty members, the university--all win when the businesses succeed, so everyone is deeply invested in the company's (and student's) success.
Human beings are most productive when work feels like play. Enthusiasm, imagination and resourcefulness--the critical ingredients for success in the creative economy--are unleashed when people are having fun. Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called it flow - "the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity".
As we envision the future of work, the most successful organizations will be the ones that have figured out how to blur the lines between vocation and avocation. The efficacious organization of the future will display, among other things - a close alignment of personal interests and professional responsibilities; an ability to eliminate drudgery from the work, and a philosophy of autonomy, where workers display greater control over their work.
The prevailing school of thought these days seems to be one of hardship. No doubt, it is difficult to devote time to having fun in the midst of an economic crisis. Why is anyone thinking about playing around when we have real business problems on our hands? "We don't have time for games here -...
Open Management: The idea of our time depends on the most eternal values. "Open" just might be one of the most crucial ideas for the future of business. This is very evident with the focus (not to mention, hype) on open innovation in which companies in a systematic way combine internal and external resources in order to get more diversity and speed in their innovation process.
As companies really begin to embrace this new paradigm shift, we will see that the idea of open will spread to all business functions and thus "infect" the entire organization.
The paradigm shift is led by fast moving consumer good companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Unilever, but everyone seems to be going open today and this will change the basis of doing business and making innovation happen from transactions to relationships.
Such relationships require trust, but unfortunately trust is a word a lot of people throw around but few people deserve or cultivate (much less organizations). This has to change.
I hope we can have a great MIX discussion on this topic and I can start by stating that trust is first and...