The Speed of Laughter

john_sweeney.jpgThe other day John Sweeney came down to the studio and shared his wit and energy. He has applied his remarkable presence and sincerity to help people and organizations accelerate their innovation by bringing the philosophies and creativity of theater to the workplace. With his wife, he owns and operates the oldest running comedy workshop in the nation in Minneapolis.

As you might imagine companies can learn quite a bit by employing the ideas and energy that thespians use every day. If you have ever done theater you know the strength of a scene hinges on the interaction and support from all players on stage. Each moment presents new opportunities for new and dynamic synergies to emerge – but it all hangs on the presence and engagement of the players. One key lesson John reminded me of is the stifling effect status can have in a creative process. When status walks in the room, people get quiet, ideas diminish, and energy dies. So remember, as a leader you have to check your ego and status at the door if you expect rich interactions.