February 2019

Jeff Speaking at Book Passage in Marin in 2019
Jeff Raz speaking about ‘The Snow Clown’ at Book Passage in Marin County


Dear Friends and Family,

It’s surprising, and somewhat disconcerting, when other people understand my books better than I do.

Chris Ertel, author of the national bestseller ‘Moments of Impact; How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change‘, told me that ‘The Secret Life of Clowns‘ addressed corporate “learning and development” in “a vivid and universal way.” Not what I was thinking when I wrote it. At recent Snow Clown readings, I’ve been getting questions about how the culture clashes in Eskimo villages might relate to cultural tensions in corporate villages; or how the techniques for building trust that I examine in stories from Alaska and Nebraska might translate into a workplace in, say, Silicon Valley. Again, not where I thought I was going in the book.

Brad Post, an old friend from Circus Center, wrote this in a recent blog post for Shield AI, “Trust is the glue that holds together a team and makes teamwork possible…An organization can either build up these foundations of trust, or tear them down.”

Some ideas for creating trust that surface in ‘The Snow Clown‘ are sharing personal stories, trying to laugh together and being humble and curious when you are clumsy or offensive. Other clown techniques that I’ve found work well in corporate villages are finding moments, however small, for human connection (live, on the phone, in an email) and being fully present (as opposed to multi-tasking or even thinking ahead to your next smart idea or urgent task). These skills will make or break a performing career; they can do the same for an organization.

Audience discussion at 'The Snow Clown' presentation
Jeff finds interesting ways to get people talking to each other and connecting at his ‘Snow Clown’ interactive events, like this recent program at Book Passage in
Corte Madera.