Jokes that aren't funny
If you don't understand the title of Mark Henry Sebell's book Ban the Humorous Bazooka (and Avoid the Roadblocks and Speed Bumps Along the Innovation Highway), consider the following anecdote. At a company meeting some years back we were discussing names for a new outdoor clothing line that would combine urban design with the latest outdoor sports materials. I tossed out a few suggestions Urbanites, City Slicker, Mountain Threads hoping to start the creative ball rolling. A senior partner looked at me and laughed, "Why don't we just call them "really expensive' and be done with it?" His humorous attempt to tell me my ideas stunk was a "bazooka" that stopped other team members cold. No one wanted to volunteer any names or ideas after his remark. In his new book, Sebell argues that innovation is a cultural component of any organization. If you stop innovation at the company door, by humorous bazooka or any other method, you kill off the lifeblood of your business. Products developed in the past five years generate more than 75 percent of the revenue for top performing companies. That's a powerful reason for learning to develop and reward innovation in any corporation. Ban the Humorous Bazooka is a realistic guide to developing an innovative culture in any environment. Needless to say, I'm thinking about sending this book to a former boss.