While at this year’s Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando, I spent my nights at the hotel bar, drinking milk and eating cookies. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. During that time I sat and talked with lots of attendees, speakers, and other near-do-wells (kidding).
In all seriousness, one of the conversations that came up was lean jokes, a topic that seems close to the heart of Mark Graban (@markgraban). Everyone was trying to come up with one that was funny, but nothing resulted in more than a pity laugh. I know pity laughs when I hear them… I’m married.
A trick that I’ve learned at work is to add humor whenever and wherever possible, particularly in communication. It’s a great way to build morale and if you’re sending email, a great way to tell if someone actually read what you wrote. The laugh you hear across the office, or the smirk you get when you walk by—it gets remembered.
Not everyone is funny, I get that. And I’m not saying we should all hire joke writers to motivate our teams. But adding some emotion, levity, something besides the work at hand, helps create an environment for good communication. Just make sure you listen twice as much as you speak (I don’t know the ratio of humor to listening yet).
So here is my challenge to you, the lean community at large… Share a lean joke that will actually make us laugh. Please note we need to keep this clean and puns are a crime against humanity. They’re just awful.
For extra points, tell us a funny or memorable moment from your experience doing Lean.