Oh, it’s been so long when I’ve last written anything here. I’ve spent the whole autumn by writing my thesis that has a topic: The testing and practical development of a brainstorming method utilizing the principles of improvisation. It’s been very interesting to search information about improvisation, old innovation methods and researches, and try to put them together in order to form something new.
However, I have to admit I’ve worked quite alone all the time. Well… that’s part of the process, I know, but anyway. I think the true reason is that the topic is rather new and deals with things that are not so commonly related to traditional engineering fields (which are mainly taught in our school).
During the journey there has been a lot of interesting discussion, though. Those have carried me forward and given motivation to work on with the topic. I’ve realised that fun and humor (that are related to improvisation, and more specific, to improv theatre) are quite difficult topics in engineering and business fields. It’s not easy to think that something fun, or something that includes so humoristic elements, can be productive.
Actually the behaviour of the people has been partly funny. Namely, it seems that engineers and business people are probably interested in the topic of mine, but they feel they are not supposed, or allowed, to talk of it. That’s reasonable because at work there is no time for such foolery? So the funny thing is that, even people might have a look they are not interested, there is a tiny spark of interest in their eyes…
I think that working and generating ideas can be fun, creative and productive at the same time. But it’s not an easy task to put all of those things together and bring them into organization culture. It’s more reasonable to spend time staring at productivity numbers than playing silly group games. It’s easier to focus on the results instead of the working methods and processes, and believe the results will come naturally when considering on the latter ones. And even if the focus is on the methods and processes, it’s easier to keep faces dead serious than have a bit of a smile in the game.
I’ve seen that within a younger generations (younger companies) there are more open working cultures. That’s because younger people want flexibility and more possibilities at their work. The same goes when comparing small and big organizations. The smaller the company the more flexible and more open for new things it is. So in the future the topic of having fun and respecting workers at the work place becomes more and more crucial I think.
There’s a lot to talk about the topic, but for now it’s no use if I’m pondering all of these things on my own. So I’m asking from you that, what do you (people with more experience from real work life) think? Is there any possibility that humor, and atmosphere of having fun, could exist in work places? And more importantly, do you think those things could bring some productivity into business or are those purely waste of time? I want some real answers, be them for or against!