My TED talk just went live. In October, I spoke at the TED headquarters in New York on how humor can be a vehicle to talk about things that are otherwise hard to talk about.
At work, humor is often overlooked or discouraged, but it can be one of the most powerful communication tools. Humor brings people a sense of belonging, humor is disarming, and humor lets us be vulnerable.
One lesson comes from Hiroki Asai, former Apple executive: “Fear kills creativity and humor is our most powerful tool to drive fear out of the system.”
Big thanks to everyone at TED (especially Alex and Crawford) for helping shape my talk. But especially to my wife Tallie who has been there every step of the way. The TED event marked 8 years since I left my day job to focus on Marketoonist with Tallie full-time, and none of this would have been possible without her.
5 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Kitty Kilian says
Yes, you are so right! Humor is another way of solving problems. I had not heard of the benign violation theory – makes sense.
Pravin Rangnekar says
I enjoyed this talk thoroughly. I also agree that many business ventures go over the budget simply because the apprehension felt by the middle management when asking for the right amount during budget approvals.
BTW, the punishment of holding ears and squatting in front of a group is also there in Indian schools. Alternatively, teachers also used to twist the ear lobe. It had both good intentions and bad. Good one were that the ear lobes are considered as pressure points for generating energy and getting focused. Bad one was that it was very embarrassing in front of a class. Repeating such a thing in the corporate world was never heard of. Punishing in front of your peers definitely raises fear, and stymies the innovation and progress.
Marijke van Veldhoven says
Great talk. I love your cartoons and how you use them for companies. Keep the jokes coming.
Deepa M Bhatnagar says
Great concept! Also very good presentation assisted by wonderful cartoons. We could certainly use some of them in our organization.
Cris Setuain says
Tom! so nice to keep track of your achievements since skydeck!
I love your cartoons and specially your insights. Excellent talk.
Your cartoons make my monday inbox a delight!