Joking and relaxing at work can open up your mind – especially for Japanese workers for whom this may be an unfamiliar idea.
Example: Miyamoto, the father of Mario Brothers encourages joking around at work “we place a lot of emphasis on jokes – they’re a great source of new ideas.”
Example: Joking around during brainstorming sessions (then almost unknown in Japan) led i-mode lead manager Mari Matsunaga to note that “joking, then returning to serious discussion, I could feel my brain coming alive.”
Source: Beck, J. and Wade, M. (2003). DoCoMo: Japan’s Wireless Tsunami. ; Katayama, O. (1996). Japanese business into the 21st Century: strategies for success.