ABN Amro’s chief inspiration officer Jasper Roos talks about the value of inspiration and humour in keeping organisations at the top of their game.
Roos, who was in Dublin this week for the Open Innovation 2.0 conference at Dublin Castle, is inspiration catalyst of FutureIdeas.eu, the largest European competition of master theses in innovation. The aim is to valorise the knowledge of the hard work of graduates all over Europe.
Roos is also chief inspiration officer for Dialogues Incubator, the ABN Amro Bank’s corporate venturing accelerator for open innovation in the financial industry.
He is part of numerous advisory and executive boards, like Erasmus Medical Center Incubator, FEI EMEA and TEDxBaghdad.
Roos lives by the motto: bring back the fun. He researches the role of humour in organisations to create an innovation culture: the chief humour officer project.
“To inspire and connect people is what it is all about,” Roos explained. “I believe that innovation ranks with experience, but at the top of the pyramid is inspiration and the importance of its impact on people.”
As far as Roos is aware, he is one of only a few people in the banking world to carry the title chief inspiration officer, but he sometimes likes to take on the role of chief humour officer.
Humour as a management tool
Roos said inspiration and humour are inextricably linked and organisations perform at their best when people are having fun.
He said none of the business books or treatise on management talk about the role of humour.
“But humour is very much part of the DNA of everybody. I like to explore elements of humour and everything that inspires creativity and innovation.
“By opening up humour as a management tool, it creates a less formal environment and helps to create an open innovation culture,” Roos said.