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Laughter is the best medicine – Sam Stone

17 January 2012 by admin

A remedy for January blues and a New Year’s Resolution

A recent design industry survey suggested that many agencies feel their clients not only want more work for less money but perhaps more concerning for us creative types is that they also appear to want much safer design solutions as well. These are solutions that won’t cause too many difficult conversations within the business nor do they result in additional challenges over and above those dealt with day to day. We all know that safer solutions will not enhance, our own or indeed our client’s reputations and that ‘safe’ will ultimately not make the world a more interesting place to live.

It all seems a little depressing but it is against this backdrop that I can’t help thinking we all need to dig deeper and push ourselves to create braver, more perception changing work. This in turn will open all of our minds to possibilities, to encourage bravery, freedom of expression and wonder in our everyday work.

At Identica we have recently taken the view that laughter may be the call to action that we all need and of course a really good remedy for our January blues. We recently hosted an Improvised Comedy training session with a well-known scriptwriter and comedian. Improvised Comedy can simply be about making someone laugh, smile, or to stop and notice the world around them. Done well, it can move an audience and change your life.

Our host showed us how to transform daily experiences into amazing stories. Very quickly we were all firing off a rapid series of one-liners that built into totally unpredictable stories with hilarious results. He reminded us how to open our minds and allow the creativity of thought to flow, to think laterally not literally and tosay ‘Yes And’ to each other rather than ‘Yes But’. We were encouraged to use our natural intuitive thinking, to listen, to trust and to allow our imagination to wonder. Most importantly it taught us not to ‘block’. When you censor yourself and others, fresh ideas struggle to happen.

In short, it was brilliant and it was just what we all needed – an enlightening session on communication and ideas through comedy where the original, the stimulating and the memorable happened spontaneously with no constraint or judgment.

And so to our own New Years Resolution, despite the doom and gloom and against the backdrop of uncertain times and decreasing budgets we will continue to push ourselves and challenge our clients to be braver this year, to improvise with our ideas and thinking and make sure we can all having some fun whilst doing it.

So when you next sit down at your Mac remember these wise words from Jean Houston .… ‘At the height of laughter, the universe is flung in to a kaleidoscope of new possibilities’ ….. and boldly go forth into a colourful and fresh 2012.

By Sam Stone- Creative Director

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