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ZURÜCK

HUMOR: SERIOUS BUSINESS

Unlocking Authenticity, Creativity, and Purpose in Business (and the World)

by Aaker, JenniferBagdonas, Naomi

Humor is a superpower and very few leaders and organizations take advantage of it. This is a serious book by two seriously intelligent and funny women who are dedicated to exploring why and how humor works, in order to provide people with the habits, skills and confidence to use humor more fluidly in their work.

Four years ago, Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker invited Naomi Bagdonas to guest lecture at her "Power of Story" class. Bagdonas' unusually hilarious guest lecture blended story with data in such a way that, not only did students measurably apply the material throughout the rest of the course, but Aaker found them vividly recalling details from the lecture eight weeks later. When Jennifer and Naomi hopped on the phone to"quickly"debrief the night of the lecture, they ended up spending hours talking about their shared philosophy that humor could be applied to make teaching better, to make leaders more authentic, toimprove corporate America.

Fueled with conviction (and laughter induced-endorphins), they pitched the Dean at Stanford Graduate School of Business the idea for a new course on the dynamics of humor at work.It was accepted, and much to their disbelief (but not really), it has become one of the most over-subscribed classes ever among Stanford MBA students (note: students get the same amount of credit for taking the humor course as they do for "Advanced Accounting"- now that's funny). In tandem with teaching the class, the professors began collaborating with researchers across the country and running large-scale studies with a goal of understanding and harnessing the power of humor in business.

HUMOR: SERIOUS BUSINESS is a serious book by two seriously intelligent and funny women who are dedicated to exploring why and how humor works, in order to provide people with the habits, skills and confidence to use humor more fluidly in their work. They also want to use humor to change the world (no joke- see chapter 8). By combining behavioral science and working with some of the best comedy writers and comedians around, they have developed an unparalleled understanding, as well as a set of practices, that allow people to not only learn (or re-learn) how to be funny, but also how to be more authentic and effective in any organizational capacity. Beyond helping people thrive in their careers, Aaker and Bagdonas want to use this book to share what they've learned about how humor can also help heal divisions, anger and frustration by building empathy, optimism and love. And who doesn't need a little bit of that stuff right now?

Jennifer Aakeris a behavioral psychologist and tenured professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has been widely recognized for her work as a researcher and professor. She's been published in countless publications and was the co-author ofThe Dragonfly Effect(Wiley). She is also the funniest person in her house no matter what you're told.

Naomi Bagdonasis a Stanford Lecturer and a sought-after strategy and media consultant, as well as a professionally trained comedian. She has worked as part of Deloitte Greenhouse, as part of Upright Citizens Brigade, and also teaches improv to inmates in the SF County Jail. She is highly adaptable!

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