1401 Charlestown Road
Phoenixville, PA 19460
800.432.8322 | 610.935.0450
1401 Charlestown Road | Phoenixville, PA 19460 | 610.935.0450
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"LEGO has announced that they are shutting down their U.S. factory and moving it to Mexico. LEGO employees say it's their fault because they made the factory too easy to take apart and rebuild somewhere else."
Last week we reflected on the subject of "Holy Humor." There certainly are a lot of humorous things that happen in and around church life.
Humor can also enhance the workplace. For traditional companies, having fun can certainly be viewed with great suspicion. Katherine Hudson, President and CEO of the Brady Corporation, observed the role of humor in the marketplace in her article "Transforming a Conservative Company One Laugh at a Time" (Harvard Business Review; July-August 2001).
Without apology she said, "So perhaps it comes as a surprise that, for the past seven years, we've made fun an integral part of the culture at Brady Corporation — not simply as an end in itself but for serious business reasons. We've found that getting people to loosen up and enjoy themselves has numerous benefits."
Prior to Hudson's leadership, coffee was not even allowed at Brady employee's desks until August 1, 1989. Yes, their people remember exactly the date that policy changed.
They were known for their "culture of no," an inclination to deny creative initiative. Today, in the words of their official corporate cheer they have gone "from no to yo."
In Hudson's words, "Having fun wasn't the core idea. Basically, I wanted to promote an open, collaborative, and trusting can-do atmosphere."
As I read her article I pondered the various employment cultures I have encountered over the years. Some have been extremely serious with the sense that everyone was moving tentatively through their assignment, anxious about making one mistake or doing anything to frustrate the "powers that be."
I also remember visiting a college in England where we were on campus for just a few hours. I still can hear their laughter and see the obvious fun they were all having. It really was a refreshing place to experience.
Hudson suggests six principles of serious fun:
Valley Forge Christian College is a private Christian College located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles northwest of downtown Philadelphia. VFCC offers on its sprawling park-like campus, as well as online, 57 undergraduate and six graduate degrees in the Arts, the Sciences and the Professions. The college's mission is to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world.