Play and Work are Not Mutually Exclusive

by | Sep 18, 2015 | #PlayMoreMN, The Power of Play |

power of play

Photo courtesy @james_airhart

Anyone who wants to get the creative juices flowing at work should quit being so serious all the time.

That’s a pro tip from the CEO of Lego, the toy maker that has turned play into a business empire. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp pushes for more playful workplaces in a recent article by Jo Confino, the impact and innovation editor at The Huffington Post.

Playfulness is at the root of creativity. So why on earth have we created a corporate system where everyone feels the need to be so serious?

I see time and again that injecting a sense of fun into work situations gives everyone permission to be more authentic and to take risks. Out of that comes greater innovation, more collaboration and richer learning.

The CEO of Lego, the world’s most successful toy company, agrees. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp says it’s time to end the mistaken belief that being playful and being serious are at odds with each other. Just watch children, and you realize that play is a very serious business.

Knudstorp says one of the biggest mistakes companies can make is to think that sticking a foosball or pingpong table in the office equates to playfulness.

“It goes a lot deeper than that, and play offers a lot of promise for businesses,” he says. “Creative companies create inspiring environments. Tim Brown of innovation and design company Ideo says play creates a risk-free environment that encourages people to experiment, as there is no such thing as failure. It is much more conducive to problem solving than the traditional ‘I am right and you are wrong and there is only one way of doing things.'”

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