How Nudity And Alcohol Can Fuel Better Office Innovation

JapanBeer.jpg The closing keynote at Cisco's video-chat heavy Networkers Conference was given by innovation expert Charles Leadbeater. Along with covering how innovation and collaboration need to work hand in hand — the theme of his recent book We Think — Leadbeater also made an interesting point regarding how Japanese business, often regarded as particularly convention-driven, ensures a productive workplace environment:

I went to Japan in the early 1990s to discover how Japanese companies collaborate and I met a guy who told me: 'Once every three months we got away to a hot springs hotel, we get completely naked and we get completely drunk. If we didn't go away get naked and get drunk, we'd never come up with any ideas.'

Lest you think that's a wildly unprofessional concept, Leadbetter pointed out that extreme ideas are often the only way to implement radical change: "If people don't think you're completely bonkers, then actually you're not challenging the status quo." In Australia, heading off to a hot spring is probably a tad unlikely, but the Friday-night post-work drink is well-established. Do you find that helps in keeping the office humming, or does it just lead to needing a Bloody Mary the next morning? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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