Time Travel in the Present?


How brilliant it would be if we could travel in time! By doing so, we could gain experiences from the past which we could utilize in the present and in the future.

Well, believe it or not, we do have this ability! We can all travel back in time for approximately 100 years! The process is quite simple. It involves us talking, listening and observing those people around us who cover a broad range in age from those who have just been born, to those in their later years of life. This time period is…..about 100 years!!

The key is to learn from others and utilize their experiences in our own lives.

From a business perspective, diversity of age and experience in the workplace provides a rich environment of ideas, we just have to tap into it and encourage and facilitate this innovative version of time travel.

The need for plant diversity in the corporate garden

A mowed lawn

In most organisations there is a corporate identity that defines the culture of the employees and the way that they think. This has its benefits, but it may also limit innovation and creativity.

Let’s consider the analogy of a green lawn. The identity is all “one team” with a large number of identical green blades of grass (the individual employees). Each single blade of grass reacts in a standard way to the same sunlight, water and fertilizer, even when you mow it, it all grows back with uniformity awaiting the next scheduled gardening session.

But what if you introduce some strategically placed coloured flowers into the lawn? Visually, they would make a significant difference, but they would not disturb the overall functioning of the lawn.

However, these coloured additions also attract other plant life, insects, birds and other creatures that would contribute to the overall functioning and diversity of the lawn.

So let’s go and plant some flowers in the corporate garden and cultivate some innovation and creativity!

Where will I sit today?


Why is it that we always sit in the same desk when at work and mix with the same work colleagues?

It’s a bit boring isn’t it!

It also doesn’t help with the generation of new and innovative ideas.

What about if seating location in the office changed daily? One approach could be to determine it based on the time that you arrived at work? As you arrive, you are ushered to a seat and your neighbour for that day is the next one that walks through the office door? It would certainly mix things up a little and provide an ever changing work environment. You would encounter different conversations and potentially learn something new about your business?

I’m sure that there are many other seating arrangement opportunities, the key is to actual do something different!

A better measure of Time


In the office environment the traditional time measurement devices I believe are no longer appropriate.
It is time (no pun intended) to replace all watches and clocks with a much more practical measuring device…..yes, it is the “coffee break”!

Lets think about the advantages of this new system of measurement:

  1. The espresso: as the name suggests, a quick meeting where all participants get straight to the point, no mucking around….this is a serious discussion
  2. The long black: as this drink has additional volume, and is quite hot, it cannot be consumed quickly. It is perfect for those longer meetings where cooperation and engagement is required.
  3. The “large mug”: this is a serious meeting that cannot be rushed, typically an all day activity.

I’m sure you can think of many other coffee variations, but for me, this is the perfect time solution…….cheers!

The Corporate Costume

With Eyes as Dark as his Soul

Actors have brilliant costumes that assist them in getting their character…..just right. They can spend hours sourcing their clothes, make-up, supporting props to that required level of perfection.

What about the humble business person? Here the imagination is quite limited with the standard suit, shirt, tie, cuff-links and of course those well polished shiny black shoes.

But what if we considered ourselves actors working in a corporate environment? Now this gets interesting!

Why not have a business wardrobe that includes:

  1. Facial hair additions: moustache, beard, bushy eyebrows, long side buns?
  2. Hair additions: different hair colours, a pony-tail?
  3. Facial accessories: glasses, monocle, coloured contacts, scars?
  4. Clothes: cravat, bow-tie, scarf, braces, kilt?
  5. Accent: Italian, Greek, French, Irish?

Now that would be fun…..it would certainly make business a lot more interesting!

The Voice in the Elevator

Elevator buttons

Yes, that voice in the elevator….the one that speaks to you in a monotone voice….”second floor”, “third floor”…..what a wasted motivational opportunity!

Why not customize that voice to suit the days of the week? For example, first thing Monday morning, the “voice” could be perky and welcoming to the office (eg: “yes, it’s Monday morning, may you have a great week as you exit at the second floor”). On Friday it could change to…”It’s fantastic Friday today, a real pleasure to take you to the second floor”).

But what if the elevator could have facial recognition….!!! Just imagine, a voice greets you with a personal salutation as you enter the elevator (“Hi Jane, welcome, have a great day working in your marketing role on the second floor”).

Many opportunities prevail….

Stop….I’m thinking!

Globes Of Mystery

Working in an open planned office has its creative hazards…..if you need quiet thinking time it is almost impossible to obtain.

But what about the use of different coloured lights above your desk. Green would indicate “happy to chat and be disturbed”, however red would mean “leave me alone, I’m working on my creative genius qualities”.

And if the light is not on….well as the saying goes, “nobody is home” (meaning I’m out of the office).

The Avatar Manager


It is said, “never judge a book by its cover”, well the same could also be said in business. All of us at one stage or another have been impressed with how a person looks and have made certain assumptions as to their managerial ability based on these observations.

In a teleconferences, here is a golden opportunity to change the way people think. Instead of a real video link of the person you are talking to, what about an Avatar that would be used to “represent them”? The Avatar would be matched to our managerial perceptions, which of course could be totally false. But if it works…..?? A thought to ponder!