Corporate Office Time (COT) – Redefined

blond girl

Her name I believe was Susan, but that is somewhat irrelevant as she should have been any one of us.

Susan meandered in through the main office reception area and immediately everyone’s eyes were fixated upon her. All business activities ceased, it was like “Corporate Office Time” (COT) had stopped with her physical presence. Once the Susan persona had moved past, the only evidence that remained were the quiet rumblings of gossip and consternation.

No, it wasn’t just Susan’s long blond free flowing wavy hair, nor her brightly coloured jeans, her loose fitting and fully button collared casual silk shirt, the coloured toenails, or that distinctive walking style, it was the combination of all these attributes that when combined together created a unique and quite distinctive point of difference. Susan certainly did not portray that traditional and well-entrenched corporate look of conservatism, her appearance just didn’t “fit in” with the “corporate standards” of this office!

If we were able to take a snapshot of COT in the past, and in the future, to observe and compare the changes in “corporate standards”, the viewing I’m sure would be rather interesting and revealing.

In that 1960 classic film called “The Time Machine” (H.G. Wells), the character portrayed by the actor Rod Taylor, observes a female clothing mannequin in a shop window where he sees women’s fashion literally changing before his eyes.

What is classified as acceptable business attire in one period of COT may be completely inappropriate in another point in time.

This then begs the question, what initiates the change and who deems it acceptable? Should this change in corporate standards be subtle, or one that causes a major dislocation in the office cultural environment? My preference is the latter, one that forces a change in the innovation mindset of employees and makes everyone think that little bit differently. After all, we are not all privy to having access to a “Corporate Office Time Machine” (COTM) where we can test the impact of future ideas before we implement them, so let’s just get on with it and enjoy the uncertainty!

The corporate office needs more people like Susan as these employees have the courage to introduce new and innovative ideas that continually test the boundaries of COT. These people force others in the office to review current “corporate standards” as the window of what is termed “acceptance” needs to be regularly expanded, just like the shop store fashions in “The Time Machine” film.

So, let’s stop focussing on the past and start excitedly introducing the future into the present!

Note: The image is of Weena (

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  1. it’s going to depend on the company, though, isn’t it? I’m all for shaking things up, but not everyone thinks like that. How to change minds and do you think there are some instances when the old ways ARE best? Just playing devil’s advocate here. Definitely on your side.


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