Management by laughter

Management by laughter

Every organisation has a different objective. Unfortunately, many organisations, especially companies, do not know what their objective or purpose is. If a group of people do not know what their purpose is they will fail. Failure is no laughing matter.
To avoid it everyone needs to know what the purpose of the organisation is. Businesses have the objective of making money by providing goods and services. But if their objective is only to make money it will not work. Money is a consequence of good business, not a purpose.

Good management is getting people to do their best to make an organisation succeed.
Voluntary organizations or charities have the objective of providing deserving people with products or services they need but cannot afford. Government has the objective of making the lives of the governed secure, productive and fulfilled.

Each person within an organisation has his or her own objective. This is a combination of the job for which they are employed and their own wishes and aspirations. People’s ambitions and dreams are the source of their fulfilment. When realizing them they work well; when they are frustrated and disappointed they work reluctantly and badly.

Some managers think that the best way to motivate people is to threaten them. Other managers think that the way to get people on side is to bribe them. Good managers do not employ these tactics, but they remember the better points of them. They want results, but not at any price. A faster production line does not justify a trench full of corpses. Survival is worth only so many scalps. Progress is not real unless the majority of people think it is.

Human beings have rights these days. Not, it must be admitted, as many as most animals but rights nevertheless. It is right that they should. They know about their rights. Media find the denial of them good stuff. So people are more aware than they used to be that they cannot be shot for arriving late at work, that they are entitled to rest periods, that they can take the odd holiday without incurring the wrath of shareholders and that their day’s work is worth a day’s pay, or something that passes for it. Cajoling people to work for you never has been a good idea. Now it is an impractical one.

Not much to laugh at so far, then. That is the problem. Everyone thinks they are only convincing when they are serious. There’s even a word for it “gravitas”. It means dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner. You can spell that as pompous or boring if you like. We don’t have to be pompous to impress, nor do we have to be clowns to connect with others. We need laughter in management – about once every eight minutes in meetings.

What is the source of that management laughter? Why, creatively seeing what turns others on, what motivates them, what stirs them to action. The stick stirs people to the wrong kind of action, sabotage. ‘Loving teasing’ spurs people to try harder to succeed. If you don’t have the wit to see how to make your colleagues laugh their way to success you don’t deserve to run the operation.

Never tried it? Why not do so now?

Go on, have a crack at it.