Monday, August 29, 2005


Here’s a really good idea for the office from Chris Moerdyk , pisof means Promotion Involving Selective Offensive Factors it’s a marketing tool that uses the Michael Extraction factor to promote a company or a person by encouraging employees to make jokes about him. Whaaaa, I like this already. Apparently being ragged rotten by underlings and taking it with good grace makes the boss more likeable and accessible, and surprise surprise, it’s good for staff morale.

I like the idea of a corporate jester, because I think every office should have a comedian, like the fool in Shakespeare’s plays, the trickster, the joker, the one person who is allowed to cut to the heart of the matter and say it like it is. Instead of a mediator you’d bring in the fool, who will listen to both sides and make jokes about everybody including the latter day version of the king, the CEO.

It's not a new idea, British Airways had their own corporate jester, Paul Birch, whose job it was to ’swan around, stick your nose in and be a pain in the arse - as long as it’s all measurable’. He’s now doing the same for Lucent and the BBC. It’s lucrative too, Dick Steiner from Baltimore is paid $1500 an hour to make jokes at company parties.

Not only would a corporate jester liven things up all round by pricking the bubbles of dignity and ego that pervade the office, but save the company money by ridiculing the kind of foolish schemes that companies indulge in when they take themselves too seriously. In a medical sense, laughter reduces stress and has a desirable effect on workplace health, maybe Discovery can be persuaded that laughter is the best medicine and pay for it, would spice up boardroom life no end.

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