Changing through Delight

November 14, 2009
Play is the exultation of the possible — Martin Buber

I’m guessing by now you’ve noticed that in “playing well at work and beyond”, I recommend embracing the “play” portion of that statement. When we do, life can become a game that rewards practice, detachment (“it’s only a game”) and most of all having fun.

Counting calories on stairs in Lisbon

Always looking for back up on my theories, I was thrilled to find Volkswagen’s website, Here you can submit ideas on how to use fun to change people’s behavior for the better and win up to 2,500 Euro! “Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

To combat rising obesity rates, Stockholm’s Odenplan subway station’s staircase was retrofitted with stairs resembling giant piano keys, which “play” to encourage travelers to take the stairs rather than ride the escalator:


And, to encourage park visitors to deposit their garbage in a bin, a sound system was installed within one trash receptacle to fascinate passersby:


So, how might you employ fun this week to create positive shifts in your organization, family and within yourself?

Deidre Combs

Deidre Combs is the author of three books on cross-cultural approaches to resolving conflict and overcoming challenges:  The Way of ConflictWorst Enemy, Best Teacher  and Thriving Through Tough Times. The books integrate perennial wisdom from the world’s lasting cultural traditions with systems theory and brain research.

Dr. Combs is a management consultant, executive coach, mediator and core instructor in Montana State University’s Leadership Fellows Certificate Program and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Global Competence Certificate Program. Since 2007, she has also taught intensive leadership training to State Department-selected students, teachers and professional leaders from throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and Pakistan’s FATA region.

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