Are we having fun yet? A brand lesson from a figure skater.

Today’s blog nugget is inspired by a game designer, an early-90s rapper and a figure skater. (Really.)

Every time I turn around lately it seems there is a debate going on about the value of fun in the workplace. Is it important? How important is it? Does it hurt or help productivity? What I believe to be true is this: nobody is excited to wake up each morning and go to a job that promisees to be “just another day” day after day after day. Everybody wants to feel that their role in the process is valued and important — and that in some way, whatever it may be, they’re making the world a better place.

Falling somewhere in the agnostic middle ground between pragmatism vs. idealism, I realize that 100% of  workdays are not going to be 100% fun 100% of the time. (If they were, we’d all be exhausted and sleeping like a pile of puppies in the middle of the day instead of getting stuff done.) But I also realize that fun has the power to keep us excited about what we’re doing. Fun inspires creative thinking and innovation. When you’re having fun on the inside, you’re growing a happy brand…and THAT is something  people want to be a part of.

I could go on, but I’ll let this video make the point for itself.

Watching that gives me goosebumps – and not just because Jason Brown has awesome moves (set to a song that triggers my childhood nostalgia). It’s the reaction of that audience that gets me. It’s more than cheers from your typical figure skating fans. For 2:38…his fun becomes everybody’s fun…and they are in it with him. 

Shouldn’t that be the goal for all brands? Cheers are great, but true greatness is what happens when we’re all in it together.

“You can only have fun helping other people have fun if you’re having fun doing it.” -Bernie DeKoven

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