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25th Annual

April 16-17, 2008

Concurrent Speaker


Leslie Yerkes, President/CEO, Catalyst Consulting
Fun Works and the Soft Science for Creating Places Where People Love to Work

My original research showed that this thing called fun was not merely simple activities applied to the work situation, but rather a way of being. That fun, when it was most effective, was not input, but rather output. That fun did not create a good work place so much as a good work place created fun. I have come to reframe my discussion of fun/work fusion, after updating my research, to talk about the culture of a company. Creating places where people love to work is about creating a culture where individuals can freely bring the best of their whole selves to work each day.

These findings followed after revisiting eleven case companies six years after the first round of research. These eleven case companies have demonstrated considerable the resiliency and sustainability over the last six years that I believe can be attributed to the successful interactions of these two things: business smarts and a positive culture. I call two things hard science and soft science, and think of them as the Yin and Yang of sustainable organizations.

Soft science is about the people and their interactions with and relationship to their individual work and to each other -- the culture of the organization. People make the hard science work or not work; shine or simply get by. To be successful, an organization must first have powerful hard science. To be sustainable, the organization’s hard science must be supported by effective soft science. Both hard and soft science are equal in importance – they must both exist if success is to be the result. Yet it is the soft science that ultimately differentiates and contributes to the long-term, sustainable success.

This seminar is an experiential introduction to fun at work and the soft science that supports high performance, positive work culture, and aims to provide you with the principles that will help you integrate your work with fun, sustain an engaging culture, and develop effective soft science.

When fun and work are once again fully integrated in your organization, you will work enthusiastically, enjoy the process, and recover more fully during your time away from work.

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