Welcome to Peppercomm's Laughing Matters! A podcast that explores how great minds from the world of business, journalism and beyond are using the incredible power of humor to boost morale, engagement and productivity. Hosted by CEO Steve Cody and Senior Vice President Paul Merchan.
Episode 15 – Don’t worry, be happy… two years later
A recent Oracle survey found that nearly half of participants haven’t felt happiness for more than two years! People want to smile and laugh, but the survey also found 95% of business leaders fear using humor with customers. Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden joins Laughing Matters to talk happiness, while also expounding on the following:
- Her examples of leaders and brands that incorporate humor.
- How her dad, David Finn, one of the founding fathers of PR, kept his employees on their toes while having a little fun.
- Her main method of decompressing: honing her language skills with the help of Mandarin soap operas!
- Her super awkward interaction at the World Economic Forum in Davos that taught her a valuable lesson to always dress for the weather!
Episode 14 - How Southwest keeps it funny at 30,000 feet
Riding for hours in a constricted, highly pressurized cylinder with a bunch of total strangers can be tough, especially if you don't have a sense of humor. Luckily, the airline industry has Linda Rutherford, executive vice president of people & communications and chief communications officer at Southwest Airlines. She joins Laughing Matters to discuss:
- Their history of having a humorous culture, starting with founder Herb Kelleher, who used to hide in the overhead bins to surprise passengers.
- SWA's creative and highly energetic in-flight staff, and how the company approaches training to support employees and find their strengths.
- Her cringeworthy moment early in her career as a journalist when she felt under the weather and left an unexpected gift for a potential source.
Episode 13 - Life got you down? Reframe it!
Comedian David Horning joins Laughing Matters and teaches us a fresh take on how to reframe even the most difficult situations (hint: make a conscious choice to poke fun at yourself). In this podcast, you'll learn:
How he went from trying to be a lawyer with a political science degree to waiting tables at New York's finest comedy clubsHow one improv course where participants were initially resistant turned out to be a huge successOvercoming the fear of comedy/humor still present in many organizations (don't say the "C" word)His take on the "slap heard 'round the world" at the Oscars earlier this year and its impact on how we perceive humor
Episode 12 – How to decompress: the “Coach” dishes on his game plan.
Teaching business execs how to be leaders is no small feat. Our latest Laughing Matters episode features renown executive coach Ken Jacobs, who talks about critical ways for leaders to blow off steam. His insights include:
The identity of one exec from a major U.S. airline who brings tremendous humanity and humorAn experience from early in his career when one executive leader would literally roll out into staff meetings on a giant adult tricycle How empathy plays a key role in managing one particular up and coming generational workplace groupWhat he hopes will be the Ken Jacobs legacy after he hangs up the metaphorical coaching jersey
Episode 11 - Putting smiles back on people’s faces
Listen to our insightful discussion with renowned comedian Clayton Fletcher, as he weighs in on how the business world has gone from looking at comedy and humor as a “nice to have” to a necessity that helps solve different challenges and pain points with their employees and client interactions. Clayton also discusses:
What has changed in how businesses approach humor in his last 13 years as Chief Comedy Officer for PeppercommHow he identifies the innate qualities each person has that makes them funny as storytellersThe ways in which teaching humor in business has changed with a more politically divisive environment. The increasing need for comedy service offerings such as the ones Peppercomm offers
Episode 10 – Share your whole weird self
We’re joined by Liz Joynt Sandberg, who talks about her role as Head of Comedy Arts at the Theatre School at DePaul University and how helps students and businesses bring their most unique, “weird” parts of themselves to the performing arts. Liz also shares:
How she uses humor to motivate her students and artists she works with to take a break from the anxieties of the world. How comedy “ate” her life after taking a class with Second City in ChicagoHer experience explaining a comedy exercise to a prestigious academic institution that thought it wasn’t ready