December 19, 2013 by smallarmyjeff
About a year ago, I was in a client meeting, preparing to present a bunch of “storytelling approaches” for their brand. There were about fifteen people in the meeting, so we thought we’d open up with some quick introductions.
To get everyone in the mood for a fun presentation, we asked each person to state his/her name, role in the organization, and favorite holiday food (seemed like a safe enough opener). We started to my left, and all was going well. Lots of laughs, and some interesting choices from everyone — until we got to the person to my right (the head of the organization), who by this point was clearly frustrated, and stated “I don’t participate in these types of things.” I then ended the session with my favorite – potato latkes with apple sauce and sour cream.
While I did my best to lighten the mood, we knew this would not be the “fun” meeting we had expected, hoped for and typically have when we present creative. The mood was killed. Instead, it seemed more like a meeting about how to handle a foreign hostage crisis than a discussion around storytelling. We no longer work with this client.
When I wake up in the morning, I look forward to going into work. It’s a place where I can be myself. Where I can have open debate and dialogue with my colleagues and clients. Where all opinions will be heard. And, yes, a place where I can have fun. I hope that others at Small Army feel the same.
At the end of the day, we are all human. Regardless of what you do for a living, your work is important. And there is definitely time for seriousness. But, it’s OK to laugh every one once in a while too. In fact, without it, work is often compromised. Fun clears your head. Fun opens your mind. And, fun makes it much easier to work with others.
So, as my 6 year old son likes to say, “lighten up, people.” Have some fun.
OK. Now get back to work before this fun thing gets out of hand. (Actually, wait. Hold on. Not too fast. Before getting back to work, please take a moment to share any thoughts or comments below. I’d love to hear from you.)
I wish you and your families a very happy holiday and New Year. Here’s to a great 2014.
PS. In the spirit of “fun,” please enjoy Small Army’s special “Stocking Stuffers” website, full of highly sought-after, royalty-free stock photography that everyone can surely use in 2014. You can even personalize them to make them your own and share them with your friends.