Think like a Comedian to be innovative
I've had this thought for a while but never really broken it down or started to make notes on it until this week - Think like a Comedian and you will thrive in business.
Comedians are amazing, well the good ones are anyway. How many people genuinely think that they would make a great comedian? Very few. The thought of being on stage and trying to make people laugh whilst maintaining complete confidence and composure is scary for a lot of us.
What makes them amazing?
A comedian must have their own content. They can't just come on stage and reel off jokes that have been heard before or copy another comedian.
A comedian has to add something new for every performance. Sure, they may have a few gags from a previous show but the general performance differs and they bring in new content all the time.
A comedian is attuned and can react to their current situation. A heckler can throw them off track and the reaction has to be on-point, relevant and close the situation down.
A comedian has to always be prepared. They plan their set, they practice and they leave room for every occasion that may come up.
A comedian is always on the lookout for new content, new stories, new jokes, new directions.
A comedian needs to be paying absolute attention to more than one thing at a time. They don't just walk on stage, say a few jokes and walk off. The setting must be right, they are engaged on the audience whilst being on track with their timings, script and backstage crew.
A comedian will turn any situation into an opportunity. Most of the very best jokes are off the back of the worst situations either to them or others.
A comedian can communicate a message with absolute clarity. A good comedian will draw out the punchline and tell a story to build the anticipation. A skill that takes some doing.
A comedian needs to adapt to their environment - the same set in UK won't work in USA nor may it be culturally appropriate in Middle East or Asia so they need to modify and plan for every scenario.
A Comedian needs to be self-motivated. Typically a Comedian is a solo performer who doesn't work as part of a group. They tour, perform, tour, perform with a small network around them but they are primarily alone, not just on the stage but off it too.
So how can 'Thinking like a Comedian' help you in your business or career?
Have your own content - sure, you can be inspired by another business, product or service but to be great you need to be delivering something that is yours and make it truly yours.
Small changes can make a difference - don't be afraid to make small changes where they need to be changed. Look at your performance and assess where a small change can freshen up how you perform.
Be attuned and able to react - this is vital in times like now where things aren't going as you may want. How do you react? Create a model that is nimble enough to pivot.
Always be prepared - the saying goes "if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail" and it's true. Take notes, plan your day, week, month or year and be meticulous.
Be looking for new ideas - always be on the lookout for new ideas, new innovation, new skills, new products, new services. Think disruptively.
Pay attention - things can change quickly so be aware of how the changes can impact you. Focus on your performance, service, product and targets.
Turn a situation into an opportunity - look for the opportunities and see how you can offer a solution to the problem. Either commercially or just showing support.
Communicate with clarity - if your business has a vision, values and culture ensure that it is communicated clearly for all to embrace and understand.
Adapt to the environment - know where you are and the differences in expectations. We are in a diverse World so as a leader, ensure that you are able to adapt to the needs around you.
Be self-motivated - whether you run your business or work in a business you should be able to function by yourself. Set your own goals and make yourself accountable.
And lastly, have fun and put a smile on your face, it's infectious.