Festival in the workplace

What can your workplace learn from this guy?

Business is about results, processes, achievement, success, goals and profits.

Festivals, such as the carnivals in Rio and the Caribbean and other celebrations worldwide, are about music, dance, arts, self-expression, roots, traditions and fun.

So businesses couldn’t possibly learn anything from festivals, could they?

My Bahamian friend Roosevelt Finlayson is here to tell you that not only can workplaces learn from festivals and carnivals – it’s also good for innovation, team work and the bottom line. He’s been studying carnivals for a long time and, yes, his job does involve going to places like Rio, New Orleans, Barbados, Trinidad and cologne to study and participate in their festivals. The lucky bastard :o)

He’s also been applying those insights to various organizations, and now The Global Intelligencer has picked up on it and written an article about his work. From the article:

“Finally there is a philosophy that can be used in the workplace that brings together productivity, a positive work ethic and an environment that the associates will enjoy. Festival in the Workplace has brought together the need to blend the personal needs of employees to attain self-satisfaction as well as the critical activity to achieve excellence for the employer and the customer.”

Check the article out – it’s good reading.

In my opinion, there are many aspects of carnivals that we could introduce in our workplaces that would create more happiness at work. And no, I’m not talking about making ugly co-workers wear masks :o)

What people often forget about carnivals is, that while the actual parade or performance looks fun, a lot of very hard work goes into it. In fact, Roosevelt started his work when he noticed that while many Bahamians seem to dislike their jobs and always do as little as possible, they would work very hard to prepare for the annual Junkanoo celebration.

And according to Roosevelt, this work goes so well because in a festival:

  • Everyone is equal
  • Everyone learns from everyone else
  • People want to be there
  • People work hard without being told
  • People care about the end result

Doesn’t that sound like a fairly good work culture to you?

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