Project Everest

Increasing Group Productivity... One Gag at a Time

Ben Disher
Ben Disher | Dec 20, 2017 | in Ideas Box

Getting your team dynamics right is a vital part of a productive workplace. Not every day is going to go smoothly and you’re going to hit plenty of rough patches. There will be days where everybody is low on energy. Maybe there was a disagreement yesterday and there’s some tension in the group. Raising team morale consistently is the perfect cure.


One of my own personal creations is the Gag List. Born from a long overnight stopover at Darwin Airport, the Gag List is a record of all the best jokes said throughout the month. There is no better and more coveted feeling in Timor than making a joke and getting praise by your peers with a simple “put it on the list!” Not just any gag can make the list. It must be a joke that can be read back later in the month and everyone still laugh at. If you repeat a gag within the first day of its creation and it doesn’t get a good response, then it probably doesn’t belong on the list. Bear in mind not all gags go down well and often they get met with stone-cold reactions. This gag has been a victim of the law of conservation of gags. Like Newton’s 3rd law: “For every great gag, there is an equal and opposite poor gag.” Just remember that every time someone makes a bad joke that it’s not their fault, it’s just the law of conservation. The Gag List is an ideal method of reminiscing with your team about past jokes to lift team spirit.


There is nothing better than having a successful meeting or pitch. All you want to do is tell everyone about the positive effect you’ve just had on your team achieving their goals. But here arises a minor problem. It’s a bit rude to walk up to another group and show off how great you’re doing. From here, the high-five circle was created. A quick lap around the table (preferably to the tune of a banger) is completed with high-fives given to each passing member. It is quite the experience to complete one of these circles, each team in Timor knows. It is something to aspire to each time you come back from a hard day’s work. I wish I could tell you the science behind it but for some reason a high-five circle is the most efficient and enjoyable method of celebrating a victory in the field with all members of your team.


You’ve pushed through and finished another day of work and now it’s time to relax. But pull out a deck of cards and suddenly, people arise from their rooms to see what action is about to go down. The more that play the merrier. It’s a perfect way to connect the entire team. Playing Mafia will get even the most uncompetitive people out of their chairs. When you live in such close proximity with the same group, getting everyone laughing and enjoying their downtime together is something I could not recommend more.


I know that the bonds I have with each member of the Timor team has had a positive influence from something I have just mentioned. A close and enthusiastic team strives to work hard and do the best for each other. I have seen the way each team has worked and how much they have achieved. I’ve learnt throughout the month that if you keep your team dynamics and positivity high, watch how more efficiently people work and ideas flow.


edited on 20th December 2017, 06:12 by Ben Disher
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