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Amy Poehler one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business

Oct 27, 2015

UCB founder Amy Poehler is an actress, comedian, producer, and a multimedia entrepreneur whose background in improv and willingness to "make herself uncomfortable" by taking risks has earned her a place in Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business, alongside other creative luminaries and CEOs of the world's most influential companies.

While many creative people in Hollywood are floundering in the media sea change, Poehler is surfing-which is what she's been doing her entire career, starting with her earliest days as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the comedy troupe she helped form in Chicago in the 1990s. "It all goes back to improv," she says. "It's all about flexibility, about not knowing what's going to happen next. You have to listen and stay in the moment. You have to play with people who will support you. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable." And, of course, you have to be willing to risk it all.
And what about when those risks fail? "I've failed a million times," Amy says in Fast Company. "The question you have to ask yourself is: How do you want to fail? Do you want to fail in a way that feels like it respects your tastes and value system?"
Read the full article here.
creativity ucbworkplace improv for business professional development brain research

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What's the Point of Creativity?

Oct 27, 2015

We talk a lot about creativity. What is it, exactly? How do we foster it? Who does it best? In last week's Harvard Business Review, social entrepreneur Dan Polleta shifts the conversation by asking, "Why Creativity?" His answer:

I believe that the best creativity comes from a much deeper place than the desire to win. It comes from a desire to contribute to the lives of others, either by introducing something new that improves the quality of their lives or by showing people that something thought to be impossible is in fact possible. When you change people's perceptions about what can be accomplished or achieved, you contribute to their humanity in the richest possible way.
Polleta argues that most contemporary writing about innovation is missing the point, which is to make life better. Is there a place for unbridled creativity, that is - innovation without pragmatism?
creativity ucbworkplace hbr.org

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Secrets of Effective Office Humor

Oct 27, 2015

A well-timed joke can diffuse tension, facilitate honest feedback, and foster loyalty. But the wrong comment can flop. So how do you refine your comedic instincts for a professional audience? The Wall Street Journal's "Secrets of Effective Office Humor" shares simple tips to help you hone your humor for the office, along with compelling research indicating comedy's hardcore benefits to the work world. Here's a sampling:

Employers like to hire people with a sense of humor, research shows. And mixing laughter and fun into a company culture can attract skilled workers, according to a study last year in the journal Human Relations. A 2011 study at Pennsylvania State University found that a good laugh activates the same regions of the brain that light up over a fat bonus check.
Read the article in its entirety here.
comedy office humour ucbworkplace wall street journal research

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