In my scrapbook I already made many different references to how we best can implement knowledge sharing and learning initiatives. I have mentioned the role of leadership, self-organizing, storytelling and so on. However, I just read the newest blogpost from Chris Rodgers on Informal Coalitions (a really interesting work of reference) about the significance of humour in organizational learning.
Often, Chris Rodgers is referring to the work of Edward de Bono (so also in this blogpost). De Bono argues that humour is the most significant behaviour of the human mind, because it is a pattern-switching process. On top of this, Chris Ridgers gives an example of how such a pattern-switching process works:
Regardless of the subject-matter, the 'set-up' (of a joke)leads the listener down a familiar, 'reasonable' pathway. When this pattern has been established (whether as part of a “one-liner” or a longer, “shaggy dog” story) the punch line suddenly shifts their attention 'laterally' into a different, hitherto unseen track.
Thus, humour is delibrately triggering the natural patterns by introducing new and unexpected patterns that otherwise would not have emerged. It is being argued by many researchers that introducing new and unexpected patterns should happen in order to be innovate by thinking out-of-the-box (sorry, I do not have a better description).
So, I believe that humour is indeed a powerful technique within the art of storytelling. It is not something that stands on itself as a particular tool. It should be grasp through storytelling. However, should we encourage staff members to use humour in order to introduce latertal thinking? I believe we should not! Humour is a gift or a talent, a talent that cannot be taught through organizational initiatives. Humour is something that will be created from the inside, from the heart. It is nearly impossible to engage the audience with humour which is written down on a single-paper. Remember Bob Saget and his show 'Americas Funniest Home-Videos'? I tell you, he was not funny by telling prepared humour through the auto-cue. However, in order to use the power of humour in organizations, organizations should think about how to create a team (in which someone should have the natural capacity of using his or her humour).