YOU, oh fearless leader of the future (and maybe present), are very important. You will go on to make critical and far-reaching economic, political, and social decisions in your quest to change lives, organizations, and the world. That’s serious stuff.

So, why humour? The late journalist Eric Sevareid said, “Next to power without honour, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humour.” Our goal is to pin you down and not let you leave Stanford without a healthy dose of humanity, humility, and intellectual perspective that only humour can bring, This class is about the power (and importance) of humour to make and scale positive change in the world, and also– surprise! – to achieve business objectives, build more effective and innovative organisations, cultivate stronger bonds, and capture more lasting memories. We will explore various aspects of humor creation, reveal insights into what makes people laugh, and provide tools to harness humor safely and effectively in business.

By the end of class, you should:
 • Discover your own humor style and the styles of others, as well as understand strategic uses of humour in business
• Learn techniques for crafting your funny, and experiment with different humour mediums
• Understand how to make humour a cultural and organisational practice, as well as how to embed humor into your leadership style
• Leave with tools to reinforce and amplify cultures of levity

Jennifer Aaker is a social psychologist and marketer and the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on time, money, and happiness. Unanimously voted the least funny person in her family, Jennifer is definitely not teaching this class out of spite. ( Jennifer along with her co-lecturer, Naomi Bagdonas Lecturer in Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business with tremendous experience in designing and facilitating immersive workshops for groups of executives are the Producers of this Programme.

WHEN Spring 2017 (4/10-6/5), Mondays, 3:00 – 5:50 PM
WHERE CoLab (@ the GSB) aka McClelland 101

1. Discover - Tapping into your humour

Understand your unique style of humour and the styles of others; notice moments when you laugh and make others laugh. Dive into the risks and power dynamics of using humor in business. Begin to catalogue your signature stories and why you use them.

2. Play - Crafting your humour

Learn techniques for crafting (and even monetizing) your funny, and experiment with humour creation. Observe elements of organizational design that nurture humour (and those that decidedly don’t). Practice bringing humour into otherwise unfunny environments.

3. Embed -- Leading with humour

Understand how to embed and amplify humour in your teams and organizations, and how to nurture humour in others. Practice pitching ideas with humour, and learn how to embed humour into your leadership style.

4. Amplify: Scaling humour

Memories fade, quickly. How do we ensure that moments of levity linger over time? Explore how to capture moments of humour to create lasting bonds and memories – and of equal importance, to reinforce and amplify cultures of levity.

The Laugh Track: Creating a Culture of Levity (and Rigor)

This class is unique in at least two regards: First, we aim to flip the classroom experience. What that means is that many of the exercises will be done outside of class so as to create more time within the class for interactive activities and amazing guest speakers. Second, the class is pass/fail. Yet, we have high expectations for you and the class – so wanted to outline them here:

Discover: What’s My Style During

Most people have at least one humorous “signature story” that they’ve told many times over the years and that kills every time. What is yours? Now, try and think of 5-6 more. Write down the titles below, in six words or less.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

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