Consider the FONT

Font Bureau002

Do you recall when you first learnt to hand write at school with a pencil, pen, or even a fountain pen?

I can recall spending many hours practicing to get the lettering perfect with the right loop, size, angle, colour, all of which lead to the formation of a unique writing style which became a part of my character and personality.

However, these days we all write our E-mails, presentations and documents on the computer with a common font, colour and format. This might be fine for business consistency, but why not elect to explore some different and unusual fonts which you change on a regular basis? Those reading your correspondence will notice the difference, it may also result in them thinking just that little bit differently themselves and they may even adopt your creative approach in communication?

So before you start your next E-mail…..first consider the FONT and claim your own little bit of creativity rebellion!

Change your Label

Shoebox with Business Cards

When you meet someone new in the work environment there is usually an exchange of business cards.

On the presentation of this card, your eyes immediately glance at the person’s name and their job title where you typically place a “label” on their rank in the organization, their skill set and their personality traits.

The person portrayed on the business card also tends to accept this “label” and modifies their personal behavior to be consistent with their job title.

Why not change the “label” and therefore allow the person to be more innovative and creative in their behavior and in the way that they perform their job role?

Let’s explore some examples:

Accountant:  “Numerical Creativity Genius”
Personal Assistant:  “Controller of the Individual”
HR:  “Body Optimization Expert”
Engineer:  “Process Enhancement Consolidator”
Marketer:  “Idea Instigator”

Why not get some new business cards printed with your “alternative job title” and see the effect on your new business acquaintances, and how it influences your persona? It could be rather interesting…..?


The GPS Business Mentor

Mario Kart Icon on TomTom GPS

There is a unique business mentor for a person starting a new job role…it is called the “GPS navigational system”!

When you think about it, the correlation and learnings are quite staggering and provide a useful insight for the new employee and their manager.

1. Starting
When you start a new job, you have minimal idea what to do, or how to go about things. You are looking for leadership and guidance as you commence your new career in the right direction.
When you turn on your GPS, it is also “lost” for the first few minutes whilst it establishes its position coordinates with the satellites.

2. The Planning
In the early stages of your new role, you and your manager discuss your learning program for the first few weeks/months.
The GPS plans your travel route.

3. The Journey Begins
The new employee and driver (user of the GPS) both follow directions as provided without straying from the chosen path.

4. Experience
With time, both the new employee and the driver become less dependent on instructions and start to experiment and explore new paths.

5. Next Steps
The manager should start to provide some “new maps” for the employee so they can obtain new and challenging experiences and expand their knowledge, skills and business horizons.

With time…”You will reach your destination”

The Benefits of Fog in the Office

Late night fog

It’s a marvelous experience going for a walk in the early hours of the morning when it’s dark and more importantly when there is a fog.

The fog provides an eerie and very different environment for us to appreciate as we reconcile our senses with the noticeable changes in our limited ability to see and hear.

One morning whilst recently relishing my morning fog perambulation, I recognized that many sounds that I would normally hear quite distinctly had a rather muffled tone, in fact, it was as if I was walking in a sound vacuum.

This was a “eureka moment” for solving one of the biggest issues in the open plan office, that of the “private conversation”!

The innovative solution is to have an array of fine water mist nozzles strategically placed above each employee’s workstation. When they want to have a conversation which they don’t want to share with their surrounding work colleagues, a button would be pressed on their desk that would initiate the release of the mist that would encapsulate the employee and muffle their voice. It would be just like having your own fog!

For those who want a personalized fog, a distinctive colour or scent, could be added to the mist to provide a tailored signature above their workstation.

This unique “private conversation” solution would also have the additional benefit of limiting the time spent in idle chit-chat because if one talks for too long a duration, the speaker would become rather wet with the continued exposure to the mist (unless they resort to using an umbrella).

The Regular “Dental Check”


When you go to the Dentist there is typically a check up where each of your teeth is individually examined for any detrimental effects which may impact their short and longer term performance.

A tooth that is identified as having an issue (eg decay, excessive wear, stress, etc) is targeted with an immediate corrective action to ensure its longevity with your other teeth. For those really problem teeth, a planned removal is initiated to make sure there is no negative influence on those remaining.

In the workforce, the role of a manger is a bit like a Dentist, particularly at performance appraisal time. The manager also needs to conduct regular reviews with their staff to ensure that no potentials issues arise, if one is determined, it should be quickly addressed so as to not impact the employee’s individual and overall business success.

The key is “regular brushing” and the occasional use of “dental floss”!

The Corporate DJ

Vintage Radio

Each city in the world has a variety of radio stations blurting out their own unique brand of sound.

As a listener, we tend to move between these radio stations depending on our mood, interest and other personal needs or community objectives.

The common factor with all these radio stations is communication and the desire to be heard or listened to by an individual.

So why is it that most businesses communicate to their employees using the same repetitive “radio station” which after a while most listeners tune out from, or decide to turn off? Why don’t they mix it up and provide a variety of “radio frequencies” that suit the various listeners in their business?

The solution is the “corporate DJ” who plays a range of different music styles that are constantly changing to meet the needs of all their employees. Each “tune” can have a consistent corporate message, but the tone is different and audibly appealing to the listener.

This sounds good to me!

The Key to the Orchestra

Jan 3: Music manuscripts

As the conductor faces the orchestra, the most important item is the music manuscript which drives every musician on the stage. Each musician has a customized version of the master manuscript that is tailored to optimize their instruments output and to achieve a consistent and structured approach so the entire orchestra is unified.

This is a powerful business analogy:

1. The Music Manuscript
This is the strategy for the business and outlines the resources required, together with the timing needed to achieve the desired outcome. To write this manuscript, the composer needs a comprehensive appreciation of the instruments required to deliver the result, together with the expectations of the audience.

2. The Conductor
This is the CEO of the business who is in control of the total orchestral experience. A strong CEO motivates the players and keeps the orchestra on track. If necessary, the CEO will improvise and make changes to the manuscript based on the required needs of the audience or the experience and capability of the musicians.

3. The Musicians
Musicians are the functional departments within the business (eg Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Finance, HR, etc). Each function makes a different sound which is emphasized within the business when required. Some sounds are the backbone of the business (eg the string section = manufacturing), other sounds make a big impact to make a statement (eg the brass section = marketing).
If one musician is playing out of key or is not in rhythm with the orchestra, this is noticed and a correction is applied.

4. The Audience
The audience is the customer who pays to hear the orchestra play.

5. The Music Critics
These are the shareholders. A bad review can lead to the sacking of the CEO and a change in music manuscript for the musicians.

The primary key to the success of all those in the orchestra is the manuscript. Get this right and everything leads to harmony!

Mood Glasses


I’ve always been of the opinion that it would be brilliant to have some glasses that change colour to reflect your mood. But, what if we reversed this idea so the colour of the glasses dictated how we felt and thought? Now this would be interesting!

To achieve the following states of thinking, let’s consider some examples of the coloured glasses that could be used:

BLUE: Innovation and Creativity
RED: Critical Thinking
GREEN: Sustainability and the Environment
PURPLE: Romantic
YELLOW: Assertive
ORANGE: Physical strength
CRACKS in the glasses: Danger and warning
OTHER COLOUR VARIATIONS: Endless possibilities!

When the wearer takes off the glasses they go back to their usual state of thinking so the effect is only temporary.

Some potential scenarios for using these coloured glasses:

Scenario 1: Blue Glasses
The objective is to initiate a brainstorming session. Those participating would all wear their BLUE glasses. All participants would be really creative…..even those who are typically rather boring!

Scenario 2: Red Glasses
The output of the brainstorming session needs to be reviewed by the team.

Scenario 3: Yellow Glasses
It is appraisal time at work and you need that extra confidence to tackle a few issues with your boss. Putting on the YELLOW glasses gives you that extra assertiveness and self belief.

Scenario 4: Orange Glasses
You are about to start a game of football and you are a little out of physical shape. You put on the ORANGE glasses and you become a peak athlete!

The next thought then becomes, what if you had RAINBOW glasses???

An improved CV

Caught in the Cube

I don’t think that the traditional Curriculum Vitae (CV) does justice for the person it is trying to represent, I believe that it is time for an improved version that I will call the “Creative Visualization”. So what is this new “CV” you may ask?

This “CV” would be interactive and would provide the following key attributes:

– A 3D representation of the person. The reader could see their face, facial expressions, head, body and how they would look in various clothing (eg suit, work uniform, etc)

– Conversation. The reader could ask a limited range of questions and get answers on the person’s work experience and other qualifications. Similarly, the person could ask the reader a selection of basic questions about their organisation and management style so see how this would suit their work style.

– References. These would be visual testimonials from other employers or key people that would provide real situational examples to support the person’s work style and experience.

– Next steps. There would be links to both the reader and the person’s diaries to lock in a meeting date which could be done via Skype, FaceTime, or in person.

Now this to me is a much better “CV”!

Ingredients for the Corporate Cake


There is an endless variety of cakes available which encapsulates a huge spectrum of taste, appearance, texture and occasion….which I think is absolutely brilliant! After all, who would want to have just one type of cake, it would get boring very quickly.

Most organisations are differentiated by their corporate culture which uniquely defines them within the business world.

However, like a cake recipe, if the organisation doesn’t keep up with the changing tastes of their customers, shareholders and employees, the cake can become rather tired looking, uninspiring and rather passé.

The solution…..organisations need to keep improving their cake recipe. This change should not be too extreme, otherwise the original essence of the organisation is lost, but it needs to continually review it’s ingredients and keep pace with their environment.

These ingredients, whether their staff, products, patents, manufacturing location, or other key flavours, should be regularly reviewed for their potency and influence in the overall organisation. Over time, some ingredients can become too powerful in flavour and can lead to the cake being unpalatable.

Everyone relishes a good cake so why not make sure that your organisation maintains its position in the business recipe book!

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