Whimsy and Why It’s Important in Company Leadership

Whimsy and Why It's Important in Company Leadership

According to the dictionary, here’s what whimsy means:

  1. Capricious humor or extravagant, fanciful or excessively playful expression
  2. An odd or fanciful notion
  3. A product of playful or capricious fancy.

Now, these are quite redundant, but all mean the same to me: Playfulness and Fun.

In one of my past iterations, I had a company called Humor University. We brought FUN to the workplace. It was awesome for us – to teach them how to play at work and provide some FUN experiences for them, until budgets were cut and it was deemed unnecessary. However, if you’re reading this, please know that all the corporate training I do still brings some playfulness with me. You can count on that. Check out my book: Laughing Matters: The Value of Humor in the Workplace. On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ov4uyK

A doctor recently said to me: “What’s life without a glass of wine” in response to my question about whether or not I could drink with a specific medication I was taking.

I feel the same thing … What’s life without a little whimsy? Or laughter, or playfulness?

I’m attaching a couple of pictures to show you an example of how I bring whimsy to my own personal space. One is of a couple of rubber duckies (swimming?) in my soap dish. The other is a little stuffed flamingo who lies on my bed … each day in a different spot (depending on how she feels that day). Yes she “tells” me where to place her when I’m making my bed. Now, before you judge me as c-r-a-z-y …. Ask yourself, why not. It’s my bed … she’s my little stuffed animal. Each day, when I make the bed, I put her in a different place (obviously where I think she looks cute) … but maybe we are connected via the universe. Who knows. I do know, that whenever I enter by bathroom or bedroom though … I laugh.

Whimsy Ann Fry More Whimsy

That’s “why” WHIMSY.

It’s the element of surprise. It’s something to make me smile. It’s the concept of thinking in an odd, yet silly manner. In case you haven’t figured it out, life is serious enough. We can all use a bit of what we call – “Lighten up” Experiences.

So, now, how do we bring this into the C-suite or any other part of the company?

There are many ways.

  • We have little toys on our desk, or pictures or plaques on our walls that remind us that life is not always serious.
  • Some companies actually take short breaks for everyone where they do something unexpected, e.g. have a local ice cream company come in and serve the staff.
  •  Another idea is contests – too many to suggest.
  • Have people bring their baby pictures, put them on a bulletin board and let them guess who is who.

If you want to know more, go here and download my little booklet, Make Work Fun: 139 Ways to Lighten Up Your Workplace.

Whimsy is about the unexpected … in a fun way. You walk in on a surprise, someone plays a fun/nice joke on you or gives you a gift you don’t expect. It’s also an attitude, a sincere desire for people to see the “happy” side.

Give it try. Do something a bit silly, buy someone something cute and “just because”, without reason. Hold a meeting and have an unexpected purpose for the meeting .. one that makes them smile. Example: Tell them NOT to bring their laptops and have an agenda to discuss an unexpected (but positive) idea. Have crayons and koosh balls on the table. See what happens when you bring out the fun. I promise you … it’s a bonding experience.

See the results. You might be pleasantly surprised