Insights from Peppercomm’s CEO Steve Cody and Chief Comedy Officer Clayton Fletcher empower organizations to embrace humor and unlock growth potential.
OCTOBER 17, 2023 – NEW YORK, NY – HarperCollins Leadership today announced the release of The ROI OF LOL: How Laughter Breaks Down Walls, Drives Compelling Storytelling, and Creates a Healthy Workplace. The book, which is available at retailers and online nationwide, is co-authored by Peppercomm founder and CEO Steve Cody and professional comedian Clayton Fletcher, who have helped countless organizations embrace the tenets of humor to break down barriers, enhance collaboration, and improve performance.
The myriad of challenges businesses face today are nothing to laugh at. Yet Cody and Fletcher have proven how humor can be a powerful tool for organizations to survive and thrive in turbulent times. In fact, organizations where humor is part of the culture showed increased shareholder returns of 19%, according to a Hewitt & Associates study.
“The pandemic ushered in a whole host of challenges for organizations already in need of a culture reset — from widespread reports of employees expressing fear, anxiety, and isolation to the endless stream of negative news that’s become our new normal,” says Cody. “There’s no question: laughter and humor in the workplace are now mission critical to engaging with not only employees, but all external stakeholders, as well.”
The ROI of LOL explains the neuroscientific benefits of laughter (it triggers “feel good” chemicals in the brain) and lays out the value of creating a workplace culture in which laughter is not only allowed but encouraged. Readers will discover new and unexpected ways to connect with stakeholders and drive business growth by harnessing their own unique brand of humor, as well as:
- Learn the role laughter plays in the five critical elements of a strong corporate culture: Trust, Openness, Authenticity, Storytelling, and Teamwork.
- Understand how the skills learned by stand-up comics — like reading a room, being vulnerable or self-deprecating, listening, and overcoming objections — are critical to leaders in today’s business climate.
- See how improv fosters teamwork and can be a unifying force in any organization.
- Gain insights into how other kinds of comedy, such as sketch comedy and creative collaboration, can be applied in a business setting to build critical skill sets.
- Discover how to apply humor to stimulate alpha brainwaves to unlock creativity and change old ways of thinking, behaving, and innovating.
The book features a foreword authored by Linda Rutherford, CAO and CCO of Southwest Airlines, and a special afterword on the role of comedy in DEI strategy by Dr. Malcolm Frierson, author and award-winning professor at Loyola Marymount College. A range of top executives also provided insightful observations on the power of laughter in business.
Steve Cody is the founder and CEO of Peppercomm, an award-winning, fully integrated communications and marketing agency based in New York City. It was through the discovery of his own personal passion for stand-up comedy that he first met co-author and professional comedian Clayton Fletcher. Together, Cody and Fletcher (who now bears the title of Chief Comedy Officer at Peppercomm) recognized an opportunity to apply principles of comedy and humor in a corporate setting. For more than 15 years the two have collaborated to develop, test, embed, and prove the value of humor-based programs to unlock creativity, transform culture, and boost business results.
“We’ve seen so many organizations where trust is low between leaders and employees, which absolutely stifles innovation and collaboration. We wrote The ROI of LOL to help leaders apply what we’ve learned about embracing humor to change that ‘Yes, but…’ mindset into a ‘Yes, and…’ mindset,” says Cody. “Embracing humor also means embracing vulnerability, demonstrating and earning the trust of your employees and outside stakeholders by daring to be self-deprecating and letting your walls down.”
“There are things that we comedians know that businesspeople should learn. Developing personal charisma, reading a room, and active listening all come naturally to me as a result of the decades I’ve spent performing comedy,” reveals Fletcher. “Now more than ever, business leaders need to be dynamic, authentic, and compelling. This book is designed to help you learn how comedic performing artists achieve results so that you can apply the same skills at work. Oh, and also, we’re funny.”