The Levity Effect

Mondays. Anyone who has been on Facebook or Twitter knows the inevitable stream of “ugh, Monday” comments, jokes, and pics all moaning over the return to the work week. Monday, dreaded Monday. The fear of returning to the workplace permeates society. But authors Scott Christopher and Adrian Gostick remind us it doesn’t have to be that way.

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In their book, The Levity Effect, Scott and Adrian explain the importance of humor in the work place. How important? In the list of Fortune 100 Greatest Places To Work, an average of 81% of employees polled agreed they worked in a “fun” environment. Let me say that again, to be clear. Across the 100 greatest to work at companies, an average of 81% of their employees said they worked in a fun place. How many of your co-workers would say that about your company?

Throughout the book are examples from corporations demonstrating the success they have achieved by placing a high value of “fun” in the work place. Indeed some companies go so far as to make fun a core value. The case studies in the book, and the companies are all household names, should solidify a definite link in the readers mind between success and fun. But as they say, wait! There’s more!

Once the case has been made for the value of levity in the workplace, both from the perspective of the employee and the company, Scott and Adrian go on to provide methods and suggestions for implementing “fun” in your own work environment. In one section they have well over 100 ideas for getting the fun started, concrete suggestions many at little to no cost.

Now if you are a manager reading this, by now you are thinking the authors are nuts. Next thing they’ll be suggesting the hiring of a stand up comic. Don’t worry, that’s not what they are advising. At least not a full time comic (part time will do fine). Scott and Adrian acknowledge there needs to be a balance between fun and work, and provide useful guidance on how to achieve that balance.

This is not a huge book, which frankly I appreciated. In this day of huge tomes of wisdom, it was nice to have a book I could pickup without breaking my back. Plus the small size makes it an easy weekend read. The book was, as you might expect, full of humor which made it a fun and enjoyable. Frankly probably one of the most enjoyable books on business I’ve ever read!

If you are a electronic geek like me, I would encourage buying both the Kindle book and the Audible book. If you get the Kindle version you can buy the Audible version at a greatly reduced price. Having the “printed” version makes it easy to return to the extensive lists of ideas and suggestions for funning up your work place.

I found the audio though especially entertaining. One of the authors, Scott Christopher, read it and did an outstanding job. But he should, not only is he a writer but an actor. There’s a fun show on BYU called “Granite Flats” (you can watch it on the web or Roku) which takes place in 1962 in a small town just outside an army base / hospital. Scott Christopher plays Frank, a patient in the “psych” ward of the hospital. It’s a role he was born to play.

Mr. Christopher proved to be a natural reader,  his voice was had all the right tones and emphases and other fancy words people like to use in favorable reviews to make a great story. In addition to being an author, actor, and reader, he is also a public speaker and TV / Event host. Clearly this dude has some kind of over-achiever complex. You can find out more about him at his website, http://www.scottchristopher.net/

I give The Levity Effect a full five stars, and unreserved two thumbs up. And if you knew how hard it was to type with both my thumbs up in the air you’d know how special a rating that really is.

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