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Will this give “Happy New Year” a new meaning?

Laughter as a metric? We’ll admit when we first read an article proposing companies include it as an indicator to track progress in the new year, we didn’t think much about it. After all, plotting business goals and KPIs for a fresh year is serious stuff.  No, really. Isn’t it? Then, almost as quickly, we thought again: Isn’t Maestro the group that takes pride in not taking itself too seriously?

Yup. Guilty as charged. This is the same crew who made chair racing a signature event in the Maestro Olympics. And come to think of it, wasn’t our Chief Maestronaut caught yellow-handed in a banana suit not long ago? Come on. A nerf gun arsenal and a ping pong table within spitting distance of the conference room. Who are we kidding? Okay, so we already laugh a lot. But perhaps making laughter a metric is different than having a good time at work. Perhaps not.

The reason we deliberately blurred the line between work and play in the first place is that we’ve found over and over that the former is a lot more productive when it includes a little of the latter. Informality lets creativity and innovation bubble to the surface naturally, easily. Loosely connected, we’ve found, is a more prolific way to hold things together than straight-laced.

Laughter is our gift to one another, and the edgy, provocative work produced in its presence is our gift to clients. That’s why working together to create—and sustain—an environment where laughter and the work it inspires may flourish is nothing short of an obsession for each and every Maestronaut.

How do you make laughter a metric? No, we’re not talking about inventing some kind of device to measure mirth. So you can put Laughometers, Guffaw Gauges and similar silliness out of your head. In their place, you might try something as simple as staying in the moment—being present in mind and spirit. And more to the point: Being open to what the moment may suggest.

Such openness, such vulnerability (courageous transparency), it seems to us, is the heart of soul of letting laughter happen when and where it will. Just as we don’t think we can engineer fun and make it happen on cue, we can’t see how we can manipulate laughter, or the will to laugh. In our house wanting it to occur is enough to make it so. Indeed, we think we have a shared responsibility to be ready to laugh. To be willing to give in to that very natural reaction, no matter the subject or occasion (within the confines of good taste and sensitivity, of course). To do less is to forget one of the guiding tenets of Maestro, the central core belief that underpins all that we say we do and are.

Life is meant to be lived. When it comes to work and life, balance is the goal. Taking care of ourselves and each other is as important as taking care of business. Yes, there is work to be done. Deadlines demand our respect, and clients deserve our attention. But there is also laughter to be shared and small things to be remembered. Health and relationships to be protected, nurtured. Renew. Refresh. Refocus. These are how we make sure work completes but does not consume us.

We’re tempted to throw down a “’nuff said” on the heels of that sentiment and call it quits right here. But we’ll go on long enough to tell you that we’re not too worried about making laughter a measure of our corporate success and personal happiness and contentment.  In fact, we’ll let you in on a giggly little secret—at Maestro, it always has been.

Jen Randall

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