What Can Comedy Teach Us About The Future of Employment?

Posted in The Screening Room by - May 12, 2016

Humanity is undergoing an unprecedented era in its history, as technology continues to evolve, creating novel experiences and opportunities. The consequence of a digital society is a world where facts, tendencies and popular culture can change in the blink of an eye. Throughout the new millennium, the increasingly fast pace in which changes started to occur has also altered the competencies required for one to succeed in life. Nowadays, professionals need to think out of the box, in order to adapt in an environment of constant alterations. To thrive, being innovative and creative is the key and you may find the inspiration to do so in places you have not thought of.

Considering the aforementioned scenario, the Brazilian comedian Murilo Gun (above), who graduated from Singularity University in the Silicon Valley in 2014, developed a novel technique to aid professionals to keep up with the constant changes technology is bringing to the job market. The concept he carved, which he calls “Comedy Thinking”, abdicates that every worker should aspire to become more creative and innovative, through the adoption of the reasoning of a comedian. “This is a theory of mine, created to prove that comedy and innovation are very close”, he states and justifies his claim using a thought that any good comedy show gets into the head of its audience.

Murilo claims that one of the most compelling techniques used in comedy is approaching a topic that is familiar to the members of the audience, in order to forge a proximity between the people watching the show and the comedian. The difficult task, however, is avoiding the obvious, by thinking about a mundane situation, but in a manner no one else would and presenting the topic through different lenses, in order to surprise the audience. Hence the reason why the “it is funny because it is true” feeling is recurrent when watching a quality show. Therefore, the role of the comedian often consists of thinking about facts that are obvious, however most people have not though of them yet.

If you use this reasoning, regardless of your profession, to spot facts and opportunities most would otherwise miss, rather than following the path everyone else is taking, you gain an advantage in the market. Having said that, Murilo states that, in order for people to adapt to the new demands technology will force upon future workers, they shall think as comedians. Observing the world in a way no one else would and attempting to see opportunities whenever possible are two characteristics that employers will demand from the workers of tomorrow, for the market already impose them on many today and comedians worldwide having been applying them with mastery for decades.

As the world continues to crave for innovation, you can find inspiration to achieve it nearly anywhere, which leads to the final lesson of Comedy Thinking. Trying new experiences has become mundane, therefore, one must have an open mind concerning the changes he or she will experience through the course of a professional career, after all, as Murilo claims, “everyone has something to teach”, and we just must be willing to listen. Learning innovation through comedy is a mere example and it also is a combination many people would deem as unlikely, but above all it proves that in order to innovate and thrive in a modern society, you must move away from the comfort zone and avoid the obvious.

For more information on Murilo’s “Comedy Thinking”, you can watch his TED Talk on the topic. Subtitles in English are available.

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