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Little Find

Laugh at your problems

We don’t have to reach a point of no return to laugh at our misfortunes great and small. In fact, humor can even help us overcome our problems, including in a professional context.

Imagine if, to solve a problem, you had to start by laughing at it. That’s the view held by certain experts and researchers who suggest that humor generates cognitive processes that promote conceptualization and creativity. In addition, they argue, humor helps us come up with original solutions to complex issues.

Karuna Subramaniam, a researcher at the University of California, claims that humor and the positive emotions it produces boosts activity in that part of the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex) where associations of ideas and words are created. Another study found that improvisational comedy techniques greatly increased the number of ideas generated during a brainstorming session.

Some companies have even decided to consciously use humor to drive their development. Southwest Airlines pursues the art of joking not just in its relations with its customers but also internally. The company has gone so far as to include a sense of humor in its flagship recruitment criteria, which has proved to be a far-reaching decision: the airline has occupied the top spot in US customer relations rankings while posting solid growth.


Find out moreLhumour, un catalyseur de créativité by Vanessa Marcié (Harvard Business Review FranceMarch2020):

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.