Why Humor and Creativity Are Two Peas in the Same Pod

If Einstein would have had crowdsource software, who knows what the world would have looked like right now? We all know that he was one inventive person, after all. But did you know that Einstein was also a bit of a class clown? Indeed, it was this humorous part of his brain that enabled him to come up with the idea that if a man is able to drive a car and kiss a girl at the same time, they clearly need to put more attention into the kiss! It was also this humorous part of his brain that developed his less famous equation A = X+Y+Z, in which A is success and therefore the sum of work (X), play (Y), and keep your mouth shut (Z)! So why does it matter at all that Einstein was also funny? Basically, Israeli researchers have now shown us that people who laugh more, are also more likely to be creative.

The Israeli Research

As part of the research, two groups of people were asked to complete a task relating to idea generation. In group A, participants were first asked to listen to the works of an Israeli comedian who was very popular at the time. In group B, participants had to jump straight into completing the task. It might amuse you to hear that group A did far better in the test than group B!

Researchers concluded that humor requires absurdity and novelty and that, for the brain to grasp it, it must first be freed of conventional thought. Once it is free from these constraints, it will be better able to become creative as well. So, if you find yourself not moving forward with your creative ideas, if your idea management software is not yielding any results, or if you brainstorming sessions seems like a tumbleweed going past, then maybe you should consider telling a joke!

The Problem with the Research

There is one issue with the research, or particularly with the application of the research, however, and that is that it is hard to quantify a sense of humor. What you might find hilarious may seem corny to someone else, and they could end up sighing and rolling their eyes instead of laughing with you. After all, there is nothing worse than a good joke falling on deaf ears. This is preventable, however, by letting the laughter be taken care of by the experts.

As a manager, the worst thing you can do is come in with a joke book, or your personal arsenal of jokes, and hope that other people will find you funny. The only way that could possibly work is by making yourself a laughing stock, and that isn’t conducive to operations either. Instead, do what the Israeli researchers did, therefore, and bring in a short tape or video of a popular comedian and play one of their sketches. Stick to stand up comedy or cabaret, rather than one liners or a comedy film, and you should be good to go.

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