How Fun Drives Change

Would you drink pickle juice? Incur rope burn in a game of tug of war? I just spent more than two hours of my core productive time at a party. Was it worth it???
I’m currently working on a culture improvement initiative with a client. They mentioned that they were running a company picnic and asked if I would like to attend. YES! Parties are a great opportunity to observe how people interact. Who hangs out with whom? Are they willing to accept an outsider like me?
But more importantly, done right, parties and celebrations create goodwill in the organization. Goodwill is the sense of positivity we have towards a person or organization. It fosters trust and resilience. 
Employees want to preserve what is positive. When a leader asks them to do something, goodwill encourages them to step up and embrace the direction, to sustain the great interactions they’ve had in the past.
It’s easy to look at parties, celebrations, and awards as another expense to be cut when times get cut, but the intangible benefit reveals itself when we ask people to go the extra mile. To the extent we can create experiences with positive emotions – whether just hanging out at a bar or throwing pies at the executive team, good vibes create goodwill, and that’s a powerful motivator when we’re leading change.
I am now accepting invites to all of your parties!
Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper
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