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Why Fun is Good for your Company's Bottom Line [Podcast]

Episode 141: Michael and Kathryn talk about why having fun in your business is one of the best things you can do to improve your bottom line. Discover how fun builds community, trust, and improves employee engagement. If you're skeptical as to how fun can solve business problems, or if you're just curious how to inject a little extra fun into your organization, then give this episode a listen.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how fun increases productivity and lowers costs.
  • Find out how Michael and Kathryn prioritize fun in their own company.
  • Get tips on how to strategically use fun to improve retention and reduce disengagement.
“Fun is an incredible antidote to disengagement."
-Michael K. Redman

Resiliency Quiz

References:

The Speed of Trust (by Steven M.R. Covey)

For the Love of Physics (by Walter Lewin)

 

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Michael:
              Hello everyone and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast, I'm Michael Redmond.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redmond.


Michael:
              And this is the podcast to help business leaders be encouraged, equipped, and trained to build Passion and Provision companies filled with profit, purpose, and legacy that you can control. Because everybody's got a legacy, it's going to come, whether it's going to be a wave of wreckage behind you or a blanket of blessing.


Kathryn:
               Oh, I see what you did there.


Michael:
              How you like what I did there?


Kathryn:
               Wow. That's a whole new term.


Michael:
              Today, we're going to talk about why fun is good for your company's bottom line. Why fun is good for your company's bottom line.


Kathryn:
               Okay. So fun is one of our values, and like people go, "fun, really, a value?"


Michael:
              Fun. It doesn't sound fun. Fun's got a bad rap in this world.


Kathryn:
               Well, it sounds-


Michael:
              Except to SPs. [crosstalk 00:00:49]


Kathryn:
               ... un-actionable, it sounds like-


Michael:
              It doesn't have any result.


Kathryn:
               Girls just want to have fun.


Michael:
              What are you going to do with fun once it's over? It gets burnt up.


Kathryn:
               I just want to have fun.


Michael:
              You do.


Kathryn:
               But we're going to talk about why fun is good for the bottom line of work because here's the thing. There are at least three core pieces of why we believe that fun makes a huge impact with your team, with your customers, with everything.


Michael:
              Yeah. So let's talk about three reasons today why we think that. This is our treatise, our treatise on fun.


Kathryn:
               Our treatise on fun.


Michael:
              Okay. So the first one is it builds community.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So I'm going to just tell you that part of the reason we're talking about this today is Michael and I were with some folks that we were working with over the weekend and-


Michael:
              We traveled on an airplane.


Kathryn:
               We traveled on an airplane with masks, [crosstalk 00:01:35] to see some folks that are doing some strategy work for us. We're the client, we're the customer.


Michael:
              We hired them as consultants to help us in a specific area.


Kathryn:
               Yep. So we spent a very solid seven hours working on a Saturday because that's when it worked out for us to be together.


Michael:
              It was enjoyable.


Kathryn:
               It was enjoyable.


Michael:
              Because it was productive and they're good to work with.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So we had a great work day and when it was over, we all went out to dinner, which was a completely different thing, sharing a meal together, but then afterwards we-


Michael:
              And you know what's interesting on that?


Kathryn:
               Tell me.


Michael:
              We had a working lunch and we got some lunch brought in, but dinner was a totally different, it was that-


Kathryn:
               We weren't working anymore.


Michael:
              It was much more relationship building and we'd worked all day together. There's something powerful. I'll just say this right now in the midst of it, when you're releasing fun to work together, to labor together, and then to play together, it's different than just playing together, I think. And eating meals and stuff like that with people that you've been working with as opposed to all going away to your separate places, another justification for the village. Okay. Go ahead.


Kathryn:
               He's noodling this morning. So let me finish that piece of it. So after we were done with dinner, we had the option of just going back to where we were staying or coming back to their house and they had a pool table and a ping pong table and that cool Colorado basement. And so we made the decision to go back to the house and spent some time. We thought we'd play a couple of pool games, we'd be done by nine or something, and we played. We played. I played ping pong.


Michael:
              We laughed a lot.


Kathryn:
               I played ping pong for two hours. I was exhausted.


Michael:
              I played pool for at least an hour and a half.


Kathryn:
               In fact, that might be why my shoulder hurts. It was a freaking workout for two solid hours.


Michael:
              Oh, yeah.


Kathryn:
               For two solid hours I played ping pong and it was so much fun. And so we're having completely different conversations, we're having a really good time, so there's this sense of this fun time together after this great day of work.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               It really allows you to build community. It lets people see more of who you are. Like I learned that my friend that we're working with is pretty competitive.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               I beat him at pool and he turned around about an hour and a half later and came back and walloped me at ping pong. Like just destroyed, no mercy.


Michael:
              Well, and it seems to accelerate the process of building community.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              I mean, when you're having fun together, but I think it's like a recipe. Fun's great, but I actually think fun with the people you're working with and actually working on projects and working as a team together, when you're doing that kind of stuff, and this community aspect is all about that. But I think it deepens it faster. It's like how to be doing that.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Well, and you end up with these really positive shared memories. Like when we look back on Saturday, we're going to say, you know what? We had a great work day.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               And then we just had fun building relationships and hanging out.


Michael:
              So how do you think it affects the bottom line?


Kathryn:
               Are we already there? Oh my gosh.


Michael:
              Well, we're going to swing it around because I'm in the mindset right now where like I could live here for a long time, but I can just hear that person sitting there in the car, running, or something like that, like, "Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it builds community. How does it affect the bottom line? How does community affect the bottom line?"


Kathryn:
               Well, I think it helps your communication and the easier your communication is, the better everything flows. So there's that piece. It bonds your team together, bonds your people together. So these positive shared memories, you have all of this stuff that ultimately means that you work together more effectively. It takes some of the barriers away. It allows you to kind of understand the person that you're working alongside in a completely different way. And folks have known this, right? There's a reason that there's corporate retreats with trust falls and rope courses and things like that. Because that team building, that having fun together, is really critical for doing effective work within your company.


Michael:
              You know what's interesting to me is that's a full industry. I mean, pre-COVID, it's a full industry.


Kathryn:
               Yes, it used to be.


Michael:
              And every other movie about a company makes a joke about we don't do trust falls, which comes from those things. But what's interesting to me also is that even though that's a full industry, there's a lot of companies that just do not do it. They can't see the value of investing in anything like that.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So the first thing is it builds community. And the second thing is-


Michael:
              And community allows, I just want to reinforce, community affects the bottom line because it actually increases productivity. It increases the speed of communication. When you have a strong community, one of the things that happens is less definitions, less descriptions have to happen. People are catching pieces of the story that's going on. Like the project that Jane is working on and the project that Bill are working on and Steve's overhearing these conversations because they're in community, that you don't have to explain as much over. So you speed up things. You also have so much more trust and benefit of the doubt in a strong community and we'll talk about trust in a minute because that's a big thing, but this community part, all these aspects, because all of these reasons that we're talking about this morning kind of blend together. They cross over.


Kathryn:
               Well, it's an interesting thing because when you have that fun together, part of what happens is that you see different pieces of people.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Right? So how they play, how they interact, being sarcastic, being funny, kind of letting their guard down. It allows you just to begin to get a much more fully orbed understanding of how-


Michael:
              I like that. I like that.


Kathryn:
               ... how they're put together as human beings, right? Is this person, the person who you have to really force to engage? Like you have to be like, "Okay, get over here. Let's go." Is the person like fighting for their chance to play? How do they interact? And you just learn so much more. You see so many more angles of how people are put together and their personalities.


Michael:
              Yeah. It's really fun. And you also catch the unhealthy things too. So I mean, yeah, you're going to run some risk here. There's risk in exploring and building relationships. So, that's the first one, building community.


Michael:
              And we talked about when projects are working well and everything else, if you've got higher efficiency, better communication, more trust. We've done podcasts on this before and just that value of how profit goes up and the cost to do business goes down and speed increases. So projects get done faster, there's less cost for the project, so our cost goes down and our profits go up. There's so much there. So one, building community. Now you might be saying, I don't want to build community. I hate community. I don't want to do that, or I hate this stuff.


Michael:
              You know what? I get it. And sometimes in business, we've just got to do some things that we don't like. For those of you who really struggle with this, if you're good on your own, you'd prefer everybody were just introverted, there's a level at which there needs to be healthy community. And it's going to look different in different companies with different groups of people, but there's always a need for community.


Michael:
              All right, number two, it builds.


Kathryn:
               It builds trust.


Michael:
              It builds trust.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              Speed Of Trust is our favorite book. It talks about it a lot.


Kathryn:
               It does.


Michael:
              And this whole idea of efficiency goes up, things speed. It takes less time to do something and profits are up. They talk about that a lot in the book. And then they talk about the lack of trust being attacks.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              So go ahead and explain that a little bit.


Kathryn:
               So if you don't trust somebody, if you are questioning their motives, if you're questioning their every word, think about negotiating a contract with somebody that you don't completely trust, right?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               You are reading every word. You are pretty sure that they're going to screw you over and you are being very careful. And if you're a larger company, the less you trust, the more lawyers have to be involved. I mean, you've got these expenses that come and a long, hard negotiation is very expensive. So if you have like deep trust, then yeah, you need a contract because that's a smart thing to do, but your ability to move through it faster is really intact. And that makes a huge difference. It saves you time, it saves you money, it saves you resources because you're not expecting and thinking that that person's going to injure you.


Kathryn:
               So the trust building is really, really critical for any company. And fun is one of those interesting things that allows all of us to let our guard down a little bit. And when we let our guard down and people see more of who we are and there's a little bit of vulnerability involved, it builds trust.


Michael:
              So when it comes to that kind of stuff affecting the bottom line, we talked about speed. You're talking about contracts. That makes me think about the Warren Buffet story.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And for those of you don't know, the Warren Buffett story, actually Covey talks about it in Speed of Trust. And it's where he came together, I forget the name of the other company, but it was a very large company.


Kathryn:
               Berkshire Hathaway?


Michael:
              No, he started Berkshire Hathaway.


Kathryn:
               Oh, he owns that and he was going into that [crosstalk 00:10:45]


Michael:
              And they were sitting down, he was going to buy another company, a large organization. And what happened was, is they actually sat down and they said, look, this could be a protracted process that could take nine months to a year to sell the company with the lawyers, the contracts, the reviews, the other reviews, then other reviews and the changes and all of that kind of stuff. The bottom line, when you have all that stuff, you're doing everything you can to buy something and not get screwed on the deal.


Michael:
              Right? You want to make sure because it's buyer beware.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, you've got to do your due diligence.


Michael:
              Especially in those things. And really what those guys did is came together, said, "This is what I want." "This is what I want." "I want to sell the company for this." "I want it buy it for this." This is what I'm thinking." Within a day, they basically sent all the lawyers away and everything else and they hammered the deal out and shook hands on that. And literally the sale was accomplished within, I want to say it was a month? I mean, it was that fast. It was literally like, they did that. Now, why could they do that? Because the two gentlemen had a high degree of trust between them. Part of that trust was believing that what they saw and what they said they were offering was real. I'm really going to give you this much money. You're really going to give me this company in this kind of shape.


Michael:
              And my experiences in those kinds of negotiations, I'm willing to give it a little bit of trust in the front end if I believe that no matter what, you're good for it on the back end. And what I mean by that is if we get into it and something doesn't seem right, like we buy this and you're like, "Yeah, everything works." And you get in, and you go, you know what? This was broke, and instead of them saying, "Oh, well, you bought it. That's tough, you got it." They would go, "Oh, I'm going to take care of that. I didn't sell you something that I knew or I thought was broke. And if you had discovered that beforehand, I would have fixed it before selling it." When I know somebody is going to take care of that, when I know they're going to make good if something doesn't go quite right...


Michael:
              We're in a contract right now. Matter of fact, we're in a contract with another company who I will not mention at the moment, not because they're violating it, they're doing an amazing job, but we subcontracted some work out. It was supposed to take nine weeks. It's actually taken-


Kathryn:
               16?


Michael:
              Yeah. September, October, November, December, January, we're at five months, now we're pushing six months and that's a bummer, but it is COVID. There's some grace there, but what they have done, and this will make me want to continue to do business with them, is he's gone, "How do I make this right? How do I sweeten the pot?" And he's adding things like, "Well, we'll take care of this." In the midst of the process, "Well, we'll take care of this." Stuff that we would have to do in this project or not do it all and just let it sit there and be old. They're willing to do all these extra things. They're trying really hard in the midst of it. Fantastic. Because those kinds of behaviors, this is the second contract we've signed with them, we signed the second one because the first one went well. I will talk to him more about timing in the next contract, but I can imagine signing a third contract with them because even though he blew it, he built trust.


Michael:
              So this fun really impacts because also this guy and his company, this guy I've had a lot of fun with. I've spent time with over the last three years.


Kathryn:
               We've had some great meals.


Michael:
              Had some great meals, laughed, talked, in different cities.


Kathryn:
               Irish pubs.


Michael:
              Yep.


Kathryn:
               In Orlando, now's a good time.


Michael:
              Which is a strange thing.


Kathryn:
               There's Irish pubs everywhere.


Michael:
              Well, that's true.


Kathryn:
               It's closer to Ireland than the Irish pub here in California.


Michael:
              I mean, I can't argue with that.


Kathryn:
               Okay.


Michael:
              Okay. So those kinds of things are like just enjoying it, and I know his character more. I know who he is more. Yes, it's been time, but there've been laughter and joy and all that kind of stuff. And even in the midst of that, it freed it up for him to feel safer, to have deeper conversations at certain times. And we've talked about some pretty serious stuff that's just life. And so now the trust has been deepened and I spend way less time in that process. It's better for my bottom line because I can spend more time doing other things. Even though it's taking longer to do the project, I can spend time doing other things that if I was trying to babysit him, because I didn't trust him, then I wouldn't be doing it.


Michael:
              And right there, there's a direct correlation to, I'm making more money for the company and better use of my time because of trust in that relationship, even though something took a left turn in the midst of it all. And COVID really was the problem for it, all of us haven't figured out how to exactly compensate for it because it's a bit of a rollercoaster ride.


Kathryn:
               Definitely. Because when your critical person gets sick, it's a bit rough.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, you've got to deal with it.


Michael:
              All right.


Kathryn:
               So the other piece that I think is worth mentioning that we talked about yesterday-


Michael:
              Are we going to the third one where we talk about trust?


Kathryn:
               Not yet. Is that fun is actually critical to some personalities. You're going to have personalities on your team.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               Michael has one sitting in front of him. Where fun is kind of a critical thing. Like if you know the Myers-Briggs, I'm an SP, which is the spontaneous. I'm not an extreme SP.


Michael:
              Nope.


Kathryn:
               But an SP is the person on your team who they want to get stuff done. They want to get it done right now. They don't love sitting in meetings and they want stuff to be fun. Like if it's not enjoyable, it's really hard to push through.


Michael:
              Yeah, the SP talks about fun, more upfront. As you're talking, I'm thinking that most people, everybody wants to have enjoyment and fun.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              We don't all talk about it the same and SPS are way more about group activities and sports and all of that kind of stuff. As opposed to sometimes I think reading a business book is really fun. And I think it's fun.


Kathryn:
               Well, and what's interesting is that for somebody like me, and I'm not saying that every SP is like me, but for me, if somebody doesn't have fun, if they have a personality that's really super, super introverted, they're super serious all the time. I am not inclined to trust. Like it takes me longer to learn to trust somebody if they aren't personality wise in a place where they can have a sense of humor and have a good time. So part of why it's important to play sometimes together as a team is because it allows you to see those personalities that aren't naturally sort of gregarious. They're a little more serious or whatever.


Kathryn:
               It allows you to see them in a context where you can actually access that part.


Michael:
              Oh, you're a real person.


Kathryn:
               Oh, you actually, you do laugh. Oh, you make jokes.


Michael:
              Oh yeah.


Kathryn:
               I mean, we have a guy on our team that it took like a year in, before we ever heard him crack a joke, and he's super funny.


Michael:
              He can be really dry.


Kathryn:
               Really dry, but very funny.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So there's a trust that builds when you're having fun with people that's very important for some personalities, but I think it's important for everyone.


Michael:
              So the reason you trusted me quick in our early on relationship is because I'm never serious?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Something like that.


Michael:
              Okay.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Yeah.


Michael:
              That's what I thought.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Just, whatever.


Michael:
              All right. Okay. Moving on. I was having fun inside my own little mind right there.


Kathryn:
               Well, part of the reason we work together well is because we can laugh a lot together.


Michael:
              We do laugh a lot.


Kathryn:
               That's a whole another subject.


Michael:
              We laugh a lot at our office and laughter and fun go hand in hand most of the time. It builds the bottom line.


Michael:
              Okay. So it builds community, builds trust. It builds the bottom line. I'm looping it back to the title, but when we're talking about fun, I do fun at business because I need to. I don't want a company that I don't enjoy. That's the whole point behind Passion and Provision is to figure out how do you have that kind of fulfillment? And part of fulfillment is financial fulfillment. It's purpose, and am I doing something that's worthwhile fulfillment, and do I enjoy it? In its original context, I believe work was meant to be hard, but good and rewarding on a regular basis because you just knew.


Michael:
              If you've ever met somebody or maybe you've done this, you're working on something and somebody comes out and you've had a Saturday or whatever your day off, you're not getting paid for this. And you've been busy all day doing something, whether it's gardening or whether it's woodworking or whether it's going out and playing a sport, at the end of the day, if somebody called that work and said, you'd been working hard all day, it's not the right word for it. But you've been working hard all day.


Michael:
              You've been exerting energy and excessive amounts of energy whether you're playing a game of soccer, whether you're building a bunch of stuff in the wood shop, gardening all day and pruning and trimming, but you're just like, "Oh, it's so invigorating." And we have been taught that that can't be work. So we all have that place where it was like, I can find work, something that requires me to exert and think and problem solve and maybe overcome even mistakes and it's invigorating at the end of it. Well, that's what we talk about when we talk about the kind of work we call labor, not toil in Passion Provision. And most people in our world have believed that work is always toil.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              And if it is enjoyable, you can't make enough money from it. So our daughter is doing a side hustle and one of the gals she was working with, she was talking to me about her boss this morning. And so she works full-time for us at our agency and with our team, and then she's doing this other thing. And it's cool, it's putting a little extra cash in her pocket. The woman that she's dealing with, which is her boss is in graduate school. I don't know if you've heard this story or not?


Kathryn:
               I have not.


Michael:
              She's in graduate school and she's studying social work because she really likes to help people. And she really wants to do social work, but she knows that in the social work world you can really burn yourself out and learn to hate it, partly because your workload is so difficult. And especially it doesn't pay real high, so it's on the lower end of pay scales. So you end up trying to make ends meet or get ahead or plan for a trip or, or whatever, you end up working extra hard to try and make a buck.


Michael:
              And so she started this other thing. She was working at Nordstrom's while she was going to school, and then she got laid off at Nordstrom's and then started this other company. And she's actually doing well. I'm impressed with how well she's leading Jenna and how well Jenna's leading other people, but it's an additional income stream. It may never become a main income stream and she doesn't want to not do social work. What she wants is she wants a second income stream that will help her do social work and have a longer career without getting burned out while still being able to afford the things she needs to afford in her life.


Kathryn:
               And how does that tie back to fun and building the bottom line?


Michael:
              Well, it's talking about that whole idea of labor versus toil because fun comes in different packages, right? That's a good question. And it's not as easy in that illustration, but fun comes back to do I enjoy what I do? Sometimes fun is just a lot of exuberant laughter and games and everything else. Sometimes fun is just engaging and interesting. I've got this book in front of me that I pulled off our bookshelf today. It's For the Love of Physics. Now some of you just cringed.


Kathryn:
               Me included.


Michael:
              It was like-


Kathryn:
               I never loved physics. That was my worst class. Thank you for bringing that pain up.


Michael:
              Your eye is twitching now and everything else? Here's what. I don't necessarily love academic physics. I am totally intrigued by physics, conceptually and the higher level. I don't want to do the math to figure out, I don't want to learn calculus. I've tried to figure it out, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And I don't want to do the things that require me to really learn it well. But this guy, Walter Lewin, I don't even know if he's still alive anymore, but Walter's got videos all over YouTube of him in his classroom. And this is some things that are said about him on the back of the book that I really thought were cool. "A delightful scientific memoir combined with a memorable introduction to physics. Walter Lewin's unabashed passion for physics shines through on every page of this colorful, largely autobiographical tour of science. The excitement of discovery is infectious. In this fun, emerging and accessible book, Walter Lewin, a superhero of the classroom, uses his powers for good. Ours. The authors share the of learning that the world is a knowable place."


Michael:
              I mean, this is a man who took something that most people would consider, like taking bad medicine and something they have to take for some reason or another in school. And when given the choice of taking a science, it's either chemistry or physics, the people who went into physics more often than not said, I hate chemistry more.


Kathryn:
               I thought I would like physics more. I wish I'd taken chemistry. I hated physics.


Michael:
              And it can be taught in a miserable way and it can be taught in a really fun way. And it's very, very interesting how somebody with love and excitement can really change it from boring to fun. From horrible to fun is we're with our friends this weekend that are both teachers in the junior high and elementary school level. They're lamenting. How do you like that word? They're lamenting the lack of fun and how everything is driven towards scores. And it doesn't matter how we get there as opposed to the end justifies the means. And they're like, "The fun has gone out of education." And he's a science teacher, and when we see this builds the bottom line, what starts to happen is an efficiency of learning, an efficiency of safety, an efficiency of when people really enjoy what they're doing, what we're actually fighting against, and if you've been listening to this podcast for very long or fighting against the lack of engagement. The 74% of adults in America are disengaged at work. 74% on average are disengaged at work. And I would hazard to guess that with COVID it's even worse.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              And so all of a sudden what you have is people like, "I just show up and drag." They're way less than 50% effective because they're disengaged and fun is an incredible antidote to disengagement.


Kathryn:
               Yep. It increases engagement, which obviously then leads to higher productivity, and then not surprisingly, the more you're engaged, the more you have higher productivity, the better your retention is, right?


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               So you have employees who want to stay longer. You have employees who enjoy what they're doing, who say great things about working at the company. So they're working better for you, there's better productivity, they're engaged, they're enjoying what they do and who they do it with.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               And there's a higher retention. So we do that at work with things like rap, which we talk about sometimes, right? Every Friday afternoon, four o'clock we stop work, we bring out snacks and-


Michael:
              We hang out and we socialize on the clock.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And even over Zoom, when most of our staff has been away from the office, we have still kept this up.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               They have to provide initially their own wine and cheese, but we get together and we talk and sometimes I send them stuff. Right?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               I'll just send them stuff-


Michael:
              For special raps.


Kathryn:
               ... for special raps. So we do that. That's one of our ways that we do that on a regular basis.


Michael:
              That seems kind of weird. We have normal raps and then we have special raps.


Kathryn:
               Well, yeah.


Michael:
              And a lot of people think that the rap itself is special.


Kathryn:
               We're going to have a special birthday rap for you today.


Michael:
              We are?


Kathryn:
               We are. It's going to be very exciting.


Michael:
              Oh, that's fun. Okay. My birthday.


Kathryn:
               So that's really cool.


Michael:
              My birthday.


Kathryn:
               But Michael, what about if you have a staff where like you don't feel safe?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So tell us about that because that's a real deal.


Michael:
              Yeah, we have client that they have about, I don't know, 25, 30 people on staff. And actually I was one of three leaders, outside consultants, brought in on this project to talk about some challenges in the company at the leadership level. We were with the CEO and the COO and we were trying to figure out a couple of things to help things be more effective and efficient and longevity and profitability in the organization at different levels. And the biggest problem came out that there is a seat person in senior leadership, on the senior leadership team, that is basically miserable to be around. And one of the consultants that I was with, who I know both of them and I've worked with both of them somewhat before, and he says, "I think it'd be great if you guys just made sure that you had fun and especially in the midst of COVID and the stress and everything else that you could figure out a time, once a month, or once a quarter, you're taking a day off and going and doing something together."


Michael:
              Now maybe one day a month is a lot. Then that's kind of expensive and everything else, but I want a quarter or an afternoon a month, or for us, it's a rap a week. I mean, we're dialing up four hours, four and a half hours a month just on that. I think it's a great investment.


Michael:
              So we're talking about that, and as our COO, Chief Operating Officer was thinking about it, she wasn't trying to push back, but she just kind of went into this contemplative look and she thought about it, trying to imagine it. And she said, "It's so miserable with that leadership person, I can't imagine us going away and having a half day of fun if he's involved." Well, that sucks. And it was like a little bomb just went off in the room.


Michael:
              And it was like, Oh, this problem, we'd been spending an hour and a half talking about this problem and trying to figure out how to solve this problem. And all of a sudden I knew it was that bad, but the other two guys, they were like, "Oh, I didn't realize it was that bad." Like you couldn't even go and relieve some time and have fun together with him? No, they can't even imagine having fun because quite frankly, being around him has been so toxic. That sucks. And that right there, that is like dropping vinegar in something sweet and ruining the whole thing. And the rest of the company, here's what could potentially happen, and this is probably the biggest bomb. You need to do activities, you need to do things, you need to be thinking about it once a year, I would say, not once a quarter, once a month is your minimum. And I would say then if you do something significant once a month, maybe a half day or something like that. There's tons of stories of companies that has done this.


Michael:
              Hewlett Packard did it all the time. They would let once a month, Friday afternoon, and people would go to the orchards and pick fruit because Hewlett Packard owned orchards down in those days in Silicon Valley-


Kathryn:
               And picking fruit is so much fun.


Michael:
              Well, families could go out there and there was barbecues-


Kathryn:
               I'm joking.


Michael:
              ... and the hot dogs and hamburgers.


Kathryn:
               And I was like, so they got free workers once a month. [crosstalk 00:30:14].


Michael:
              They got to take everything home.


Kathryn:
               I'm so kidding.


Michael:
              You're not being fun right now.


Kathryn:
               I'm not. I'm not.


Michael:
              You think you're being fun, but I don't-


Kathryn:
               Well, I think I'm being funny.


Michael:
              I'm not perceiving it as fun. Anyway, you're taking this and you're like, look, there are things where you've got to make some changes in your organization because we're talking the whole time here in this podcast about having fun.


Michael:
              But if you are in a situation where you couldn't have fun, you probably have some kind of poison in your organization that is poisoning your culture. And if that's the case, there is the big, like we kind of went down all these little ways you can make money. Folks, this is the big one right here. It's affecting your entire company. It's like driving down the street with your emergency brake on. You can get there. But all of a sudden you're not going fast, things are going to start smoking, and it's going to cost you a lot of money when everything breaks. And guaranteed, you keep driving with that brake on it is going to break. It is going to be very expensive. And if that expensiveness could be in just lack of productivity, because people continue to drag on not being able to hire the talent you need, even worse losing great talent.


Michael:
              Retention is phenomenal. And right now in a lot of places around the country, and definitely in our region, we were just in a meeting with literally nine CEOs of significant companies and some of them very significant national companies just in the last week, and their number one problem right now is recruitment and retention. It's significant, and we've got to fix this. If you're not having fun at work, you're losing the opportunities to inject more efficiency, effectiveness, quality control, and ultimately more profit. But to the bottom line, the biggest one we can think of is you have the potential to lose so much money if you don't get the brake off and start injecting some fun and getting rid of people who cannot have fun, who are toxic to the culture there.


Michael:
              If anything else, get to zero, get away from negative or anti-fun, because anti-fun is no fun.


Kathryn:
               It's no fun at all. It's not funner.


Michael:
              So, we have fun. We laugh and enjoy it, and we have seen the fruit in our company and in other companies.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And for me it was just re- highlighted. And coming back to what kicked this off for us. Right? Fun is obviously a value of ours, but when we had that experience with our consultants on Saturday and we went through the day and then we played, the next day in the car and I wasn't thinking about podcasting, wasn't thinking about anything-


Michael:
              No, we were just talking.


Kathryn:
               All I said was playing last night was priceless. It was priceless to play together. It did change the dynamic.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And so I think for bottom line for us, we believe that fun builds your bottom line. We believe that fun is critical for your team to be engaged and productive and want to stick around. And so we just want to encourage you today to build community, build trust.


Michael:
              We could go on and on and on and talk about scientific research and personal experience, everything else, how it helps all the different areas of your business model from leadership, to the finances, to the culture, to operations and management and so on and so forth. This is a jewel, folks. This is something awesome. So think about it, think about how you can plug in fun into your organization or plug in more fun to your organization, or reinforce the value of fun that you're doing and teach your team that it's not just something that you're just doing your work, and then there's this extra thing of fun, but fun is a strategic action in your organization.


Michael:
              And as you think about that, I think you can dial it up, whether you optimize it a little and refine it because you're already doing it well, or you see huge benefits because you add it to your culture and to your process at work.


Michael:
              So that's our topic today. Fun definitely will affect and improve your bottom line at work.


Kathryn:
               And it was a good time.


Michael:
              And it was a good time, even though we had to talk about some things that were a little rough.


Michael:
              This is the HaBO Village podcast. If you've enjoyed this podcast and you enjoy listening to these types of topics, we really would like you to share this with other people. You can find us on multiple social media sites from Google, to Apple, to Spotify, and just hit Share, hit Like hit whatever is appropriate on those things. And then just tell your friends about it because that's the way we're going to share this idea that Passion and Provision is possible to make successful companies where you have more profit, more purpose and more legacy. Because we want to see you succeed, and we believe it's possible because we've seen it. I'm Michael Redmond.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the HaBO Village podcast. Have a great week. Bye-bye.