This past month I attended a book discussion put on by MAGNET
and we discussed the book
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins
The event was intended for people who have read all of the book, some of the book, or even none of the book. Feedback was mixed from those that read it since some of the companies mentioned as great companies are now gone, or bankrupt or are receiving bailout money. Many that read it were looking for what companies did to move from good to great, but the book doesn’t detail it. That being said I didn’t feel the need to run out and purchase the book.
Recently, I purchased the book 301 ways to have fun at work by Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes.
The book is broken down into 6 parts: Work Environment, Communication, Training, Meetings, Recognition and Team Building. The book was written in 1996, and certain parts of it are dated, but it has spurred a few ideas for me to try in my current organization and helped me remember some things I have experienced at a previous organization….
At a previous organization we had just been bought out and rumors started flying about pink-slips. Our site director then started to write up a newsletter to keep everyone updated on what was happening. As weeks turned into months the site director asked each department to come up with skits. Every 2 weeks a department would give a skit to the entire organization. This helped everyone focus on some fun for a short time instead of uncertainty. We also had BINGO over the PA; reading numbers at 10AM and 2PM. Yell out BINGO and win a gift card to a local restaurant.
Then the ball dropped. Pink-slips for everyone, but not for two months! So our future was set, but we needed to transition our knowledge to the new buyers. At this time there was still one department left to complete their skit (which was suppose to happen the day the bad news came out) and that was the Project Management department.
After this event we did a complete re-write of our script and presented it a couple weeks later. We went with Saturday Night Live skits (The Church Lady, Wayne’s World, and Weekend Update). The skit was a huge success and everyone had a great time.
One final hurrah! Our last day ended with a pig roast at a local outdoor brewery and everyone received custom made trophies using 1 part of our medical delivery device we created. I still have this in my office today to reflect on that part of my past.
Humor consultant and bestselling author C.W. Metcalf wrote in HR Focus (February 1993) that, “humor is a vital, critical element for human survival, and we often forget about it, and set it aside. We are told that laughter, fun, and play are unadult, unintelligent, and nonprofessional. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the first indicators of the onset of most mental illness is a loss of the sense of joy in being alive.”