During my Price Waterhouse days, I was privileged to work with many talented people, and some incredibly gifted managers. Nonetheless, to this day, one truly exceptional management team stands out above all others, where both the client manager and our own were incredibly gifted.
I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.
~ Thomas Edison
What I remember most vividly is an early project meeting where our client manager talked about key goals for the project. One of those—to my great surprise—was that we have fun. Given how hard I usually worked, this seemed like a pretty radical concept, very un-business-like. But you know what? We did have fun, loads of it. Somehow all this fun brought us closer together as a team, and it made us incredibly productive, too.
As a business owner, it’s easy to focus on metrics. Billable hours, utilization, ticket volume, actuals vs. budget, etc. Those are important, but I’ve noticed that they all improve dramatically when the team is happy and work well together.
I’d like to propose a new business metric: team fun quotient, which would be the total fun had by all divided by the effort it takes to make work fun. Then we can track and trend happiness levels as well as what activities have the most and best impact. Sometimes even the smallest gestures can make a huge impact, and if we’re going to be smart managers, we need to pay attention to how we can build a great environment for our staff.
The only thing I can’t figure out: how do you measure fun? Send me your ideas and I’ll send you a fun toy!