I’ve been writing about fun at work (vs. fun work, which is different . . . ) courtesy of author and consultant Leslie Yerkes. Last week, I shared some of the principles she sets forth in her book, Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.). This week, we get to hear from Leslie (I know: great name, right?) herself. Here is part one of a Q&A:
Q: Leslie (oh, and great first name, by the way), let‚s start with the wonderful cover of your book Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work. You’ve got a man with an interesting hair style juggling three balls while riding a unicycle. I feel like that sometimes, including the hair part. What was the thinking behind the cover art?
A: Writing a second edition provides the opportunity for a new look to a book. The challenge was to capture the essence of the importance of mastering both doing the right ‘what’ in an organization and also understanding that the ‘how’ we do ‘what’ we do has everything to do with our long term success. Juggling is a perfect metaphor for embracing the balance of right and responsible work and a joyful culture for work. The motivation behind the cover art was to convey that we should take our work seriously but to also lighten up on life.
Q: I know it‚s possible to have fun at work, but what if some people just refuse to allow that aspect into their jobs? How can they be persuaded to be more open-minded without forcing fun into their cubicles?
A: The use of force and fear will drive fun out of any activity. It is in the giving permission for the best of the whole person to be brought to his or her work the the fun emerges. We don’t all define or experience fun at work in the same way…so there is no right way, no rules, no guidelines. Just allow individuals to explore what about ‘how’ they do their work and engage in working relationships that can bring more positivity, energy and connection to the endeavor. Fun is not a destination but a result of allowing individuals to find joy in their work.