The False Fight Between Fun and Business

You don’t have to work hard to work well. You don’t need sinister eyebrows or only 4-hour sleeps or a booked calendar to be serious. But somehow that image sticks so bad that we tend to view fun as the opposite of Serious Business Stuff(TM).

It’s a false choice, not a real fight. And you accept its premise at your own peril. Fun is all about creativity, innovation, play, experimentation, progress, and seeing real things come to life. If you make fun an enemy of business, you’re judging all these desirable concepts by association.

Having fake fun outlets won’t help either. Goofy Friday outfits or a monthly karaoke night are not a suitable substitutes for letting fun be a part of every day work.

So enough with the bashing of fun in business. Instead, go out of your way to introduce and nourish fun and its friends passion and motivation. That crew is the true silver bullet in the new world order.


from the comments:

“During the Renaissance, when everything, including life itself, was subjected to analysis, life itself was disassembled into what were considered fundamental but independent activities: work, play, learning, and inspiration.

Institutions were created in which each activity could be carried out independently. Factories were designed for work, not play, learning, or inspiration. Theaters and arenas were designed for play, not work, learning, or inspiration. Schools were designed for learning, not work, play, or inspiration. Museums and churches were designed to provide inspiration, not for work, play, or learning.

However, the transformation to systemic thinking has brought with it a growing awareness of the fact that the effectiveness with which any of these activities can be carried out depends on the extent to which they are integrated. Therefore, it has become apparent that a transformational leader must be able to integrate the various aspects of life in order to effectively pursue development. The transformational leader is one who can create an organization that reunifies life, who integrates work, play, learning, and inspiration.”

Russell Ackoff, Re-Creating the Corporation