Humour, Seriously


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Humour is a superpower in business. If you're not using it, the joke's on you!

About the Author

Dr Jennifer Aaker is a behavioural psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on the psychology of time and money and the choices driving lasting happiness. She teaches courses on innovation, the power of storytelling and purpose.

Naomi Bagdonas is a Stanford lecturer, a strategy and media consultant and a professionally trained comedian. Naomi has designed and facilitated innovation workshops and strategy offsites for the boards and leadership teams of Fortune 100 companies. She performs improv and sketch comedy in Los Angeles.


Humour is magical. It can make fear and pomposity vanish and creativity and resilience appear in their place. The ultimate guide to using the magical power of funny as a tool for leadership and a force for good, Humour, Seriously is an intoxicating mix of science, strategy, and slapstick - a knee-slapping, mind-expanding tour de force
*Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of When,, Drive, and A Whole Mind*

A smart, funny, brilliant book on how to be smart about being funny, brilliantly. And I'm not just saying that because they say I am smart, funny, and brilliant in it. Buy it
*Sarah Cooper, Comedian and author of 100 Tricks To Appear Smart In Meetings*

I've learned (often the hard way) that the best way to be taken seriously is to not take yourself too seriously. My teams are always at their best when approaching problems with levity, which entails both humility and optimism and always engenders trust. Plus, it's more fun - like this book!
*Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Executive Chair of Google (Alphabet)*

A sharp, incisive, and genuinely funny read. Humour, Seriously translates the knowledge of the world of comedy to tools that actually work in the world of business
*Anne Libera, Director of Comedy Studies at The Second City*

If you think your workplace would work better if everyone laughed more, this is your playbook
*Chip Heath, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Power of Moments*

I've always used humour as a secret weapon at Spanx. Jennifer and Naomi make a scientific case for the importance of humour and show it's an incredible way to connect with customers and build culture. This book will help anyone embrace the power of laughter
*Sara Blakley, Founder and CEO of Spanx*

Humour is an act of social courage that, when used correctly, has a transformative effect. Humour, Seriously gives us the tools we need to deploy humour expertly in any environment
*Susan Cain, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Quiet*

Eye-opening, hilarious, and absolutely original, Humour, Seriously will change the way you think on the job, about the world, and in your life
*Leslie Blodgett, Founder and former CEO of Bare Essentials*

Of all the known ways to ruin humour, the most common start with the words 'research,' 'analyze,' and 'professor.' The bad news is that this book features all of those words. Prominently. The good news is that against all odds, you'll actually have fun reading it. It probably won't turn you into Ali Wong, Dave Chappelle, or Hannah Gadsby, but it will give you a much deeper appreciation of how they think-and teach you some new ways to make people laugh
*Adam Grant, New York Times-bestselling author of Originals and Give And Take, host of the TED podcast WorkLife*

In this eye-opening, important and utterly enjoyable book, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas use science to explain how humour at work (and in life) helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and burnout. Come for the humour, stay for the insights
*Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post and CEO of Thrive Global*

If this book and Brad Pitt walked into a bar, and I could only pick one, I'd take the book home with me
*Nancy Lublin, Former CEO, Crisis TextLine and DoSomething.Org *

Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas have written a remarkable book for a remarkable moment in history. I long ago learned that when weighed down by serious matters, one may best be taken seriously by seeking out a certain light-heartedness as an expression of humility, optimism and confidence on the road to the serious business of nurturing trust and leading others
*Joel Peterson, Chairman of Jetblue Airways*

This myth-busting, grin-inducing, data-driven humdinger of a book simply nails what I've clung on to for years: that humour can be more than ephemeral entertainment. When appropriately curated, it creates the right culture for success. In fact, its absence should be a cause for concern. You may eat your five a day and walk ten thousand steps but when did you last check if there was enough laughter in your life, in your team, in your business? If you had a centuries-old tried and tested tool that enhances rapport, creativity, collaboration, resilience, leadership, mental and physical health, sales and more - why wouldn't you use it?
*Neil Mullarkey Author, speaker, improviser and Co-founder, London’s Comedy Store Players*

I've been a comedian for ages, and this book has finally convinced me that joking around can actually be important and helpful.

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