Why not “Think Inside the Time Box”?

Time Jumper

This morning ritual of having breakfast in the Virgin Lounge at Melbourne airport was becoming an all too familiar experience. [1]

After satisfying my early morning Maslow’s basic survival needs with a long black coffee, wholemeal toast with lashings of vegemite, a petite bowl of muesli, I then mentally consumed the words in my newspaper looking for that insightful and learned spark of wisdom. Five minutes later, possibly six at a stretch, I had quickly come to the conclusion that I was bored. There was now only one thing for me to do in order to fill-in the time before I boarded my flight to Sydney, and that was to observe my fellow business travelers.

After a few minutes of visual critique, it became very apparent that the long sought personal goal of individual creativity which defined everyone as a unique individual, had somehow slipped between the cracks that morning. The more I looked, the more I could see many of my yet unknown business acquaintances partaking of coffee, cereal, toast with the occasional variant of a random accompaniment of difference (eg marmalade or honey), but in essence the selected diet was remarkably the same.

We wore similar suits, ties, cuff-links, shirts with that all too familiar checked pattern and colour, read the same newspapers, and even looked at each other with that same inquisitive look when a wild animal is startled from its habitual and comfortable lifestyle by an oncoming car headlight.

This got me thinking. How can we be creative if we are all seeking business innovation and inspiration via the same sources of knowledge and thought? The well-known term “thinking outside the box” came to mind, but is this the right way to discover new ideas? If we are all following the same methodology, all reading the same editions of the Harvard Business Review, the same business books, following the same sports, eating the same food, well, our sight outside the box is rather flawed and certainly lacks that required long distance vision, it will also be the same view as everyone else!

Why not try something a little bit different? Why not “think inside the box”, but with a major difference, that being time as a variant? There is a lot of untapped idea history “inside the time box”, the key is to open it up and use it. Many potentially brilliant ideas have literally died with creative thinkers of past generations. If their ideas had been passed down between the ages, their insights may have formed the basis of many unusual and different innovations that could only be fulfilled with the progression of time and today’s technology.

Alas, time travel is not possible, but what about actualising the environment and thought stimuli of past creative thinkers to excite and enlighten you and I today? The method is quite simple. Why not consider the following past time ideation starters:

  • Dress up in period costume and wear those antiquated spiffy clothes in the corporate office?
  • Don’t read today’s newspaper, read some old papers and get an appreciation of the business and life customs of the past?
  • Forget the long black coffee in the morning, have an old English ale instead? (assuming your HR Manager is OK with the concept)
  • Don’t drive to work, walk or take your personal horse and buggy?

I’m sure the experience would lead to some different and creative thoughts being established as you think” inside the time box”. Your business colleagues will also have the benefit of thinking differently as they observe you in the process of historical thought change and will marvel at your self-confidence and creative fortitude.

So next time you are sitting in the Virgin Lounge at Melbourne airport awaiting your flight, try and consider what you can do to implement some small amount of thinking “inside the time box”, I’m sure it will lead to a noticeable creative point of difference in your life. If the concept is too great to publicly display, then why not start off with a lesser innovative step, don’t have a long black coffee, have a soy milk chai latte with honey instead!

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[1] The Suit Trouser Length Creativity Index
https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/the-suit-trouser-length-creativity-index/

Negative Thoughts…..Gone!

Why Depression Leaves You With ‘No Room To Think’ You can escape from those negative thoughts that build up like a wall and leave you with no room to think about other things.

The looks I quickly received from my colleagues sitting around the table told me instantaneously that I had indeed stepped over the mark of corporate acceptability. If looks could kill, well, I would be at least 6 feet under with no hope of potential resuscitation, or any viable afterlife.

But it was OK, I knew what I had to do, and to make sure that I did, an array of index fingers quickly pointed me in the direction of “the room” within I was to purge my history of corporate indiscretion.

Unfortunately “the room” was all too familiar to me as I had been there many times before so I knew what to expect. However, the experience is never a pleasant one.

In our corporate office, all “these rooms” are positioned in the southwest corner of the building. There are 18 office floors, so the 18 “rooms” are all strategically aligned vertically above each other. It is said that those using “the room” on the ground floor feel the full mental negative force of “the room” users above them, which limits this particular “rooms” activity to a minimum. Those who have over used the ground floor “room” facilities have been mentally scared beyond creative repair, and can no longer participate in any long-term strategic innovation discussions.

I obeyed the directive from my fellow workers and quickly walked to “the room”, unlocked the door with the large brass key, entered, and then closed the door behind me. The pitch darkness only lasted for a microsecond before the dim blue light appeared illuminating the small leather bound brown stool in the corner. As was the custom, I then sat down and pressed the fluorescent central red wall button to start the process of negative thought eradication.

Yes, the purpose of “the room” is to painlessly remove and quickly eliminate any thoughts that can hinder or impede innovation, creativity or positive thinking.

Once the red wall button had been activated, I then started to rethink those awful thoughts I had expressed with my colleagues a few moments ago. As I did this, I noticed the negative thought gauge meter needle starting to rise from zero negativity to the maximum red zone that signified extreme negative naughtiness. No wonder my friends gave me such a nasty look, I really had reached the depths of de-innovation with my negative comments! Once purged of my extreme negativity, the thought needle slowly fell back to the zero position thereby confirming that my creativity and inspirational thought processes had returned. I was now cleared to re-join my colleagues in the discussion.

Now what happens to these negative thoughts you may ask? At about 11:30 PM when there is no one left in the building, a dark black liquid “thought slops” tanker truck surreptitiously parks each night out the front of the building. A flexible metal reinforced hose is attached to the negative thought “slops tank” by a man fully dressed in a white decontamination thought resistant body suit. The thought “slops tank” holds the accumulated negativity of all employees and needs to be dutifully emptied on a daily basis owing to the large number of negative thought deposits. Rumour has it, that the negative slops concentration is so powerful, that it is now being used as a uranium substitute in nuclear reactors owing to the immense energy released, it is also believed to be more environmentally friendly owing to its green thought rating.

So, should your company suffer from a high frequency of negative thoughts, the answer is simple. You just need to purchase “the room” and all your negativity will immediately be eliminated to ensure your long-term business innovation success.

Sorry, did you want to know the cost? This is privileged information, but I’m happy to provide additional details once you have sent me your corporate AMEX card number!

Don’t Hit The Delete Button

wileecyote

The name on his business card said; “Wile E. Coyote”. The job title said “Genius”.

I pressed the record button on my video recorder that signalled the start of my long awaited interview with Mr Coyote.

Me: “Mr Coyote, or would you prefer that I call you Genius?

Mr Coyote: “No, please call me Wile, although some people do call me “Super Genius”, Wile is just fine.”

Me: “OK, Wile, let’s jump to the reason why I’m here. As a “fictitious writer” with the Harvard Business Review, my readers want to know what you have learnt after all those years of unsuccessfully chasing the Road Runner. Your planning skills were impeccable, your implementation was run with the punctuality of a military operation, yet you never managed to attain the prize you sought.

Mr Coyote: (sigh)

Mr Coyote: (second sigh)

Mr Coyote: “If I only knew then what I know now, but experience is indeed a most valuable resource that can’t be bought, or rushed. I will try and summarise my learnings into two key points so as to make it easier for your readers to understand.

Point 1: I’m actually a vegetarian, but didn’t know this at the time of my Road Runner chases. Apparently my metabolism can’t cope with meat. I wasted years of my life, thousands of dollars on birdseed, explosives and online purchases from the ACME Company for products that served no benefit to my ultimate nutritional well being!

Point 2: Sit back and take the time to learn from your mistakes. If I had only sat quietly in the cinema and observed all my cartoons, I would have seen an accumulation of consistent errors. Unfortunately, it was like someone had pressed the delete button on my memory as I’d always forgotten what I had learnt from each Road Runner pursuit. I could blame the brothers Warner for this, but I only have myself to blame as I was more focused on my “Super Genius” status as was quite prevalent with most Hollywood movie stars of that era”.

We talked for another couple of hours about his life, his romances, and his colourful and very animated life and then departed as good friends. It was a most enjoyable interview.

As I was writing up my notes for my editorial, I recalled his words about the “delete” button. How many of us quickly delete failed life experiences, phone conversations, writings, presentations, memories and other forms of people interaction? Why do we not welcome the opportunity with a positive mindset to move forward and to ensure our steady progress?

Yes, Mr Wile E. Coyote was indeed a real Super Genius…..

Taking Your Brand to New Promotional Heights

Searchlight

According to my trusted meteorological iPhone app, the timing looked just right. It was 2:04 PM and by my reckoning, the clouds were at the optimum “Genus Cumulus” appearance so I should achieve the desired picture “hang time distribution” before the visual sight was dispersed by the wind. My calculations indicated that I should have about 10 minutes to brand my customised CV message to the population of New York.

I quickly glanced once again on how my image and brief professional experience synopsis looked on the “LinkedIn Cloud Projector” in preview mode, yes it all looked good. I was hoping that the QR code would come through with the right definitional clarity so potential business prospects could scan my profile details with ease. My only concern was the timing of the 2:05 PM supersonic Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York as it could cause some cloud turbulence when it commences its gradual decent into JFK airport, but that’s one of the risks associated with personal cloud advertising these days.

OK, it was now time to press the Cloud Projector button and start the process. Immediately a thirty square kilometre coloured, and rather snazzy image of myself was beamed skywards with vibrant intensity. I was also pleased that I had spent the extra dollars on the additional promotional advertising, as suggested by the LinkedIn sales agent, as the large sonic boom with the accompanying missile explosion at 2000 feet above the New York skyline appeared to have caught the upwards attention of the New York crowds particularly nicely.

I smirked with some personal pride as my large handsome face (well, I thought so anyway) beamed across from above, that was, until that pesky Virgin Atlantic flight descended through my left nostril. However, I was relieved, as the QR code seemed to remain intact. For the next few minutes I watched as my portrait hovered quietly above New York until some high level winds decided to take one ear in the direction of Newark, the other towards Brooklyn. A few minutes later I had vanished into the upper atmosphere, except for my left eye, which remained with a look of naughtiness down on the city, then, with a final momentary wink, that also eventually disappeared.

Suddenly, I was awakened from my feeling of self-righteousness by the continual interruption of text messages on my phone. Yep, it appears that the “LinkedIn Cloud Projector” advertisement had worked! However, when the forty-first text message arrived, I was immediately brought back to reality, it was the LinkedIn invoice. Oh well, I suppose that’s the price of corporate fame!