Why Funny Is The Future of Business—Featuring Steve Cody

By Skyler Inman, Inc.Magazine

More and more companies are injecting humor into their brands and office cultures. Here’s why—and how you can adapt.

Earlier this month, Facebook quietly recruited a new employee. Ricky Van Veen, co-founder of the popular comedy website CollegeHumor, moved into an entirely new position in the company’s corporate hierarchy: head of global creative strategy.

Van Veen is far from the first comedian—or plain old funny guy—to apply his talents to business, but his hire is indicative of a growing trend—that is, prioritizing humor. Companies are starting to realize how much of an asset humor can be, especially when it comes to creating content for millennials.

Just ask Inc.com columnist Steve Cody. Outside of his job co-founder and CEO of the PR firm Peppercomm, Cody does monthly stand-up routines in New York City comedy clubs. Humor and business go hand-in-hand, he says, so much so that all of Cody’s employees are required to learn how to deliver a good comedy routine.

Internally, he says, comedy can shape office culture, forging personal bonds between employees that foster teamwork and collaboration; it can lead to the kind of creative, cooperative thinking that pushes a company forward. Externally, humor is a great way to set a company apart from the competition, especially as young consumers turn increasingly to humorous sources like The Daily Show, Steven Colbert, or The Onion for entertainment and commentary. The market’s appetite for laughter has never been bigger.

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