Stuck on a problem? Learn to laugh

Sydney, 4 December 2019: McCabe Curwood hosts ‘Leading with Laughter’ event facilitated by scientist and neuro-leadership expert Silvia Damiano.


Identifying and solving problems is an everyday requirement when working within the legal industry. Contrary to how lawyers may have been trained to think, it is often done most effectively when approached with a creative, relaxed and happy mindset – the message encompassed at the ‘Leading with Laughter’ event hosted for all members of McCabe Curwood.

Facilitated by Silvia Damiano – founder and CEO of About My Brain Institute, the staff-wide event used an evidence-based approach, presenting world-renowned studies, including an article published by the World Economic Forum, which ranked creativity as the third most important workplace skill for 2020 to “survive the rise of automation”.

Ms Damiano encouraged staff to implement various tactics to improve creativity. This included the use of mindfulness, humour and laughter, and simply taking time out to do something creative and apply themselves to different types of work.

Managing Principal Andrew Lacey said that the leading with laughter event was designed to encourage a new way of thinking and problem solving, as creativity is a vital skill in the business environment.

“Silvia Damiano is a brilliant presenter and leader in the field of neuroleadership, I am thrilled that we were able to present her techniques to the broader firm,” said Lacey

“We are encouraging an environment where individuals are able to be the best versions of themselves and are also able to grow into leadership positions within the firm. We want leaders who are courageous and are able to take responsibility for building a career and the work-life that they want. To be able to achieve this we need creative thinkers and creative thinking skills are just like any other skill – they need to be practiced,”continued Andrew Lacey.

McCabe Curwood’s Head of Knowledge, Natalie Rubinstein, was a driver of the event, and a believer in using both sides of the brain to solve complex issues.

“No-one really gives people the evidence as to why mindfulness and taking time for yourself is so important and what it can do for a person professionally and personally. And the fact that we were able to go through all that, people were able to join those dots,” she said.

“It’s also hard to work creatively when we’re sitting in an environment which can often be very high pressured, it can be quite stressful, and we’re bogged down in very granular tasks. We felt that it was really important for people to realise that, and to work out how to be able to tap into their creativity.”

To set the three tactics outlined by Ms Damiano in motion, staff took part in light-hearted activities which included painting a brief and a mindfulness exercise. A comedian also took over the event for half-an-hour with a mini-gig, with a dinner concluding the evening.

“It was fun. It was really fun,” said Ms Rubinstein. “I had Principals that were staying for five minutes stay for two hours. I’ve had dozens of people come up to me saying how grateful they were that they were given opportunities like that. It was really successful.

For more information about the Leading with Laughter event at McCabe Curwood, or if you would like to know more about our growing firm, please contact Marc Walker on