Creative Doldrums

August 14, 2012

We've all experienced the creative doldrums… those times when the sails of our imagination droop and our ideas just can’t seem to find any forward motion. Having to come up with an idea can make the stagnation feel even more frustrating. If you can manage to stop beating your head against the wall long enough to try it, there’s actually a very simple remedy. The link between imagination and productivity is often bridged when we engage in play.

Much research has been done to support the physiological benefits of laughter. Unlike reactive “fight or flight” survival responses, laughter encourages us to take a long-term, big picture approach to things and invites both interaction and involvement. Laughter encourages us to use motivating words like “let's”, and invites us to interact and enjoy what other people have to say. This playful interaction often re-ignites the spark of creativity.

Maybe the voice in your head is already squelching this idea. “Who has time to play when there’s work that needs to get done?” Believe it or not, work and play can co-exist. One example of a company who took this idea seriously is The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, which based its whole business model on mixing work and play. The young owner transformed a small fish vending business in Seattle from a business on the verge of bankruptcy to a “world famous” retail destination. How? He recruited staff who knew how to have fun and interact with customers, toss fish to each other, and crack plenty of fish jokes. WestJet is another company that incorporated a similar strategy. As the cheeky new kid on the block, WestJet hired upbeat flight attendants who playfully informed and entertained their passengers to make their flight memorable and get the public talking about their company.

True, not all businesses can make humour a part of their day-to-day business model, but if you're someone who takes productivity seriously, inviting laughter into your company culture is something to consider. Starting the day with humour sets the tone for positive productive relationships, and who doesn't benefit from a little more of that? Speaking of humour, have you seen our latest promotional video?
 



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