Separating ‘Business Heresy’ From Reality: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Crystal Miller on MonsterThinking Blog

It’s something we’ve probably all heard at some point in our lives, one of those aphorisms that’s morphed into a truth: “It’s not supposed to be fun; if it were fun, it wouldn’t be called work.”

But are the concepts of work and fun truly mutually exclusive?  For those of us lucky enough to be practitioners of our passion, we know that work, fundamentally, can be fun, and that when it comes to business and pleasure, it’s not an either/or.

After all, satisfying both interests comes down to personal edification and fulfillment, but is the onus for making work fun really up to the individual?  Or is it the company, or job function, or maybe a little of both?

To try to disprove that age old maxim and find out how it can be work if it’s also fun, I thought I’d ask the experts from the #TChat and 12Most communities to weigh in.  Here’s what they had to say:

“It may be the word work that throws things off.  Your career should be fun and you should be working towards something meaningful … the bottom line is you should pursue passion.  If you are working towards a goal and doing something you are passionate about, changes are more times than not you will be enjoying what you do.”

Dan Newman, Co-Founder of 12most and CEO of United Visual

“The most important question in business is ‘who does it serve?’  Obviously, companies have a responsibility to their shareholders…and they know it.  Economists Michael Jensen and William Meckling kicked this off back in 1976, and Jack Welch ultimately decided you can’t just seek to serve shareholders – it’s a flawed strategy.

On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.  Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy … your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.”

Ted Coine, author, blogger & leadership expert

“The challenge is developing a culture that fosters that kind of interaction where new ideas are developed and engaged in the spirit of greater innovation, greater efficiency and (ultimately) greater profitability.”

Chris Westfall, Business Category Editor, 12Most

But the larger question remains: if driving culture is the challenge for leadership today, what’s the answer?  How can we create a workplace and work-life that’s not only fun, but also rewarding – to shareholders, employees and our clients and customers?

We’ll be exploring these questions and more Wednesday at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT for our monthly #TChat radio series, sponsored by Focus.  To find out more or to register, check out the event site on Focus and let us know you’re listening.

As always, we’ll still be continuing the conversation on Twitter using the #TChat hashtag; if you’re new to #TChat or want more information, check out “What is #TChat” from our partners @TalentCulture.

#TChat Questions & Recommended Reading (08.31.11)

To help prepare, and inform, your participation in this week’s #TChat dialogue, here are the questions we’ll be covering this week, along with some recommended reading that, while not required to participate in #TChat, will help you prepare for this week’s topic: “The Realities of Business Heresy.”

Hope you can tune in at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT as we kick off the discussion with the thought leaders and influencers behind 12most.

Here’s what we’ll be talking about:

Q1: Is it true if work isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong? Why or why not?

Read: Why Fun at Work Matters by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher

Q2: Who does your business really serve and why?

Read: The Lifeblood of Your Business by Chris Westfall

Q3: Should the leader steer company culture or should the culture steer leaders?

Read: 7 Critical Leadership Lessons by Daniel Newman

Q4: It’s important to act with certainty in business, but is it okay to laugh sometimes as well?

Read: 10 Tips for Using Humor in the Workplace by Drew Tarvin

Q5: In business, should you surround yourself with diverse opinions? Why or why not?

Read: The 12 Most Irrefutable Laws of Business Heresy by Ted Coine

Q6: If you really want the best talent, do you have to always pay for it? What else is there?

Read: The 12 Effective Morale Builders that Don’t Cost a Cent by Mike Lehr

Visit for more great information on #TChat, as well as other great resources on careers and hiring.

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation at our new time this Wednesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareers and @Monster_Works.