Free your Hairs

Woman holding hair

I am indeed honoured to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize for Science!

I’m particularly pleased that my academic peers, and the international science community, have now finally accepted my many years of extensive research into hair receptivity and now recognise it as a credible scientific theory into innovative psychology.

Yes, we can now prove without a “reasonable” doubt that there is indeed a direct causal link between an individual’s hair and their ability to think creatively.

It appears that woman throughout the ages have inherently understood this little known fact which is exemplified by their willingness to have long, free flowing hair. Men, on the other hand, have considerably disadvantaged themselves creatively via an interest in having that clean shaven look (face and head), and their hair far too short. To exacerbate the male problem, those with a hairy chest, and those lucky enough to have a hairy back, have hidden their follicle prowess under garments (see the blog post titled “Membership in the League of Hairy Chested Men”) [1]. Age should also no longer be a reason for eliminating bushy eyebrows, hairs permeating in your ears and other less spoken about facial areas.

Thankfully, our proven research will now change this archaic hair behaviour for good.

This ground-breaking research indicates that the volume of hair, regardless of where it is located on the body, acts as a transmitter of creative thoughts, the more hair, the increased ability of the individual to think imaginatively. Yes, this theory does indeed explain the innovation behavioural problem evidenced in cyclists who shave their legs, and swimmers who like that total all over body nude look, specifically high platform divers.

For all you HR Managers reading this blog post, the key to creating a culture of innovation in the corporate office is for your employees to be encouraged to have long hair (both men and women) and for men to grow beards and moustaches. Now for those men fortunate enough to have a hairy chest, yes, the choice is obvious; all business shirts should have no buttons.

Yes, there is one casualty with this research and this relates to the activities of the hairdresser. Demand for haircuts will indeed decrease, yet hair styling will remain constant, so should you be thinking about a career in this field of employment, you have been warned.

In summary, be hairy and let your innovation grow to the fullest.

[1] https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/membership-in-the-league-of-hairy-chested-men/

Fully Equipped by Q

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I was rather chuffed, I had just received my “00” status and was now fully licensed and about to start my first assignment.

As is customary, all “00” agents had the obligatory visit to the office of Q to get fully equipped for the task at hand to ensure a successful mission. On talking with my mentor, James, I was rather excited about what tools of the trade the famous Q would provide me for my first business encounter.

As I walked down the bleak office corridor that typified MI6, my mind wondered about what tools I would receive. Would it be a Walther PPK, a Geiger counter watch, tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder, or maybe a bagpipe with hidden machine gun? I didn’t really care I must admit, I just wanted to start my first mission which was to infiltrate a corporate office with my assigned identity as Global Marketing Director.

I nervously knocked on Q’s office door and a female voice invited me in. Once inside, I quickly discovered that this was no office, this was a room full of an overabundance of gadgets, some I recognised, some I had no clue as to their use.

Q, was not what I expected. She was a redheaded woman, I suspected in her early thirties, dressed impeccably in the latest business attire with a smile that made you melt when you first met her. Q had me at “hello”.

Q enquired as to my mission to which I provided the requisite details in rather a tedious and long-winded verbose manner. Q smiled and cut my conversation short and said, “Say no more, I know exactly what you will need”, to which I sighed in rather a too loud a manner for a “00” agent. After all, we are elite professionals tasked with one objective that can be brutal, callous and potentially dangerous.

Q walked to a large cupboard, did a retina scan security check and immediately the cupboard door opened. Q reached in and pulled out a large clear glass bottle with a cork strategically placed as a stopper. Q then handed it to me and stated that this is all that I needed for my first mission. I picked it up, shook it, peered into it and asked whether it contained nerve gas or whether the glass was an explosive?

Q then explained the power of the corked bottle. “As you are going to work in a corporate office, the only tool you will require is what’s inside the bottle and you can open it any time you like, here, now, or when you are strategically positioned at your allocated place of work”.

I couldn’t resist, I decided to pop the cork and see what awaited me. I did so and encountered no gas, no odour, no bang, just, nothing. I glanced at Q with an inquisitive look.

Before I could ask my question, Q advised; “You don’t need any gadgets, you just need to allow yourself to be creative, to let your mind go, just like the gas inside that bottle has now done. This is the key to any marketing and innovation role. Many people think they need tools to stimulate their creativity, such as brainstorming sessions, external stimuli, etc, but what they really need to do is to just think that little bit differently. It’s quite simple really, this isn’t rocket science”.

I thanked Q for the corked bottle and slowly walked out of her office ready to commence my mission, but stopped and said, “But surely as a “00” I should at least have a Walther PPK?” Q replied, “You have a creative mind, that is much more powerful and deadly, trust me”. And I did.

Dream Communications

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Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether you are dreaming, or actually in a dream. In this instance, it was not a dream, I was wide awake and fully conscious.

My doubt about dream authenticity started yesterday when I was looking at the young woman sitting opposite me in the coffee shop. I was thinking thoughts, and she seemed to respond ‘verbally’, but there were no words or facial expressions exchanged. Yes, we were communicating, having a conversation that only we were privy to, well, I thought we were, or was it my imagination? So I decided to test the theory and commenced an unspoken thought conversation of triviality about the benefits and negatives of colonising the moon with soy milk chai latte drinkers! After a few minutes of what seemed ‘mindless dialogue’, she stood up from her comfortable cafe seat, straightened her skirt, flicked her long blond hair back and smiled directly at me. She then to my surprise said, “Chai lattes do need honey, but are there bees on the moon?” She then handed me her business card and suggested that we ‘chat again’! Yep, I had my proof!

Now this might have also been a dream, but let’s not worry about the semantics of truth as the concept gave me an idea for the corporate office.

What if we could train ourselves to dream, but in a way that we communicate with colleagues on a particular topic that needs to be resolved or progressed, but only in our subconscious mind? The workplace and the people concerned could be role played in our thought whilst we slept?

Taking the concept further, what if you could ‘suggest’ an issue that your colleagues could also ponder and work on in their minds whilst they also slept?

Now for the interesting and really exciting next step, what if we could get your mind, and the minds of your colleagues sharing the identical dream at the same time, exchanging learnings and experiences? Following on from that idea, why not add other people that you don’t yet know from different companies, cultures or countries, into the dream for an exponential group thought enhancement experience?

Those readers in HR will I’m sure now be realising the training and innovation development opportunities, particularly from a regional or global perspective?

For those of you struggling with all of the above, may I suggest you go into a coffee shop and order a soy milk chai latte (with honey) and just let your thinking go with the flow. And, should a blond woman appear to respond to one of your thoughts whilst you quietly sip your drink, just mention this blog post and I’m sure you will be surprised by the response!

What does your bowl say about you?

Day 96 - Thinking about it...

As usual, I arrived in our corporate office early and made that all too familiar journey of walk into our club lounge where the ingredients of a basic breakfast awaited me. There was the usual array of cereal, muesli, fruit, whole milk, light milk, the obligatory soy milk, and of course coffee and a plethora of teas.

But this morning, something was noticeably different. Rather than being confronted with the usual food branding, some clever and rather innovative colleague had labeled each item with a unique and curiously descriptive name. There was also a page of instructions that each breakfast eater had to follow, otherwise they would be excluded from this unique eating activity.

The first instruction was to grab a white bowl and mug from the cupboard and scribe my name on it with the black marker pen provided. However, rather than just spelling my name, I had to add the words “personality” after it. As such, my bowl and mug were named “Steven’s personality”.

I was then asked to peruse the array of cereals which were now labelled as ‘creative’ (aka muesli), ‘conservative’ (aka corn flakes), ‘fun’ (aka Coco Pops), ‘vitality’ (aka porridge). What looked like full cream milk was called ‘communication”, light milk (‘vision’) and soy milk (‘humour’). The process continued for all the fruit and beverage selections to which other descriptive tags were applied.

Once my food and beverage selection had been made, I was then requested by the instructions to write these pseudonyms on the bowl and the mug which was to be a reminder of personality for that day.

Although the process sounded like a bit of fun, after a week of breakfast personality profiling, there were some interesting learnings from the activity:

1. You are what you eat.
2. We can be so set in our ways which, we may not see until you observe the same food and beverage personality pseudonyms written in black pen on our bowl and mug each day.
3. Change is not as hard as you think, just reach out and try something new (eg different cereal, fruit, milk). If you don’t like the ‘taste’ of it, well, learn from the experience and explore something that is more suited to your palate.
4. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

My personality, well, I’m quite content with a bowl of Fruit Loops, yes, say no more!

You have Changed!

doriangray1

Yes, my friends were right, it was just like “Dorian Gray”, I had changed. To confirm their thoughts, I decided to review images of myself over the past few months, just to see if there were any visual signs.

I perused Facebook and a multitude of iPhone images and aligned them in chronological date order hoping to find a clue. I quizzed my friends as to what differences they were observing in me, in particular, when they thought the change may have occurred? I needed to discover my behavioural tipping point and it’s potential origin.

I spend the whole night pondering my notes, looking at photographs and at 11:34 PM that evening, I noticed it.

The initial change was subtle, but the time comparison between then and now was momentous. Yes, I had changed, and in a big way.

I was now a much more confident, outgoing individual, with a continual smile on my face. My business attire of the traditional and conservative dark blue suit with white shirt, and boring striped tie, had been replaced with a stylish array of coloured shirts with cuff-linked sleeves, bow-ties, pocket hankies, and an impressive daily shaved smooth slick head.

The point zero appeared to coincide when I began working for a new company, one that had an amazingly vibrant work ethic and culture. As a pondered and thought about this further, the term “cultural chemicalization” came to mind. For those of who reading this blog post let me explain the concept further.

If I were to look up the term “cultural chemicalization” in a dictionary, it would say: “the subconscious absorption (or chemicalization) of an organization’s culture by an employee where a change in behavioural state occurs”.

Yes, I had subconsciously, and quite happily I must admit, absorbed the positive culture of my new place of work, and the more I thought about it, so had all my fellow colleagues. The result was an amazing environment where creativity and innovation excelled to the fullest.

The process of “cultural chemicalization” begins with the CEO and the Executive Team. It is their behaviour that sets the benchmark for all employees and those they meet externally. As that saying goes, “what you see is what you get”. As an employee, if you observe a positive, enthusiastic management team, you and your organization will respond accordingly. If you see “nothing”, then that’s exactly what you will receive and experience.

Yes, my friends were right, I had changed, and I was loving it!

It’s the Stalk

A French Guy Really Wearing a Beret

Over the centuries there has been one grand piece of clothing that has been worn by many a mighty warrior that immediately symbolises unity of nationality, pride and belonging. These illustrious fighting men and women, be they French, Spanish, or Scottish, all wore this famous and readily identifiable hat called the beret in various styles, colours and forms.

Today, it is still worn as a statement of artistic intellect, or by those who want to make a statement of fashion, or simply by those people who just know better than others. I, for one, happily wear my beret and relish the admiring glances of those around me who are obviously most envious of my beret ownership good fortune.

There is something unique about wearing a beret, which needs to be done with a slight skew placement upon your head, so as to achieve the correct appearance. But once done, there is a “feeling” that permeates your thinking. Those who have had this beret wearing experience will immediately relate to this comment.

As a “thought academic”, following “years” of extensive research, I believe I have now formed a beret hypothesis on the origins of this “feeling”.

The “research” suggests that this “feeling” is concentrated when many wearers are in close proximity. This could explain why those warriors of yesteryear were such a formidable force when they all wore their berets together in military formation? With the advent of the more safe and bulletproof soldier headgear, the frequency of beret use understandably diminished, as such, so did the “feeling”. It is also interesting to note, that the French, Spanish and Scottish armed forces are no longer as feared to the same extent as they used to be, surely this is “no coincidence”?

Now let’s move to another area of the “feeling” research. Those in the artistic fields, for example the French Impressionists, or Film Directors, all have reported an additional influx of creativity when wearing their berets. Yes, it’s all in the “research”.

But there was a most surprising and curious theory identified that the “research” almost overlooked. Apparently the origin of this “feeling” is due to the small stub in the top centre of the beret called the “stalk”. It just so happens that this stalk acts like a thought transmitter between beret wearers. The longer the stalk, the greater the range of the thought transfers! A truly phenomenal discovery!

Now should you be an innovative thinker, you will immediately recognise the practical application with this “stalk” discovery for the corporate office. Yes, the answer is simple; all employees should be encouraged to wear a beret, particularly those with long stalks. Once worn, I’m sure that your organisation’s ability to develop new and novel business ideas will increase exponentially. There will also be a supplementary benefit, that being, all your employees will look brilliant!

“FITBIT Thought” Performance

People at the gym

For a year now I have been wearing my “FITBIT Thought” Earwig and today was the day in which I would see whether I was going to be paid my annual bonus.

Most people tend to only use their FITBIT to record the number of steps they had achieved, but not those in my company. I was fortunate to work for a large innovative organisation that was a leader in its field, and one that was prepared to think that little bit differently.

My company had pioneered the “FITBIT Thought” which when placed unassumingly into the wearers ear, measured not just steps, heart rate, hours slept, but also their “thoughts”. This particular FITBIT had some clever and unique IP built into it that was able to these filter thoughts, differentiate and classify them into various thinking categories. Now this is where it gets interesting.

My company elected to utilise the following thinking categories:
1. Creative (C)
2. Boredom (B)
3. Repetition (R)
4. Humanistic (H)

Based on feedback from our HR Director, thoughts relating to those more “private and personal activities” were excluded from the analysis data, which was probably a good thing knowing my fellow work colleagues!

Performance based “Thought KPIs” were then discussed and agreed with the employee. A daily “FITBIT Thought” dashboard was updated when the wearers Earwig was in close proximity to a corporate computer thereby allowing data synchronisation. Each night I would review my C, B, R, H achievement levels and would make the appropriate behaviour adjustment the following day should I be falling behind, or exceeding certain thought activities.

As it was now day 366, I excitedly logged onto my work computer and made the required “FITBIT Thought” synchronisation. Immediately I received 4 Badges of Performance Merit, each relating to the C, B, R and H categories. But more importantly, another message appeared a few seconds later with an avatar of my CEO advising me of my financial bonus! The gleeful smile continued as I then checked my bank account.

So, should your organisation be looking for a unique and more productive method for measuring your employee’s performance, why not explore the “FITBIT Thought”?

(Note: If only the “FITBIT Thought” really existed!)

Try using these WORDS!

I stopped in my tracks and said, “You look absolutely gorgeous!”. I walked on another ten feet, stopped again, turned around and said, “You really do, I mean it!”

Twenty seconds earlier, three woman, who I’d never met before, walked out of the clothing store onto the footpath and stopped in front of me. One of them, dressed in a green tightly body hugging winter jacket, asked her close friends for their opinion; “Do you really like the coat?”. Before they could answer, I made my initial comment of genuine positive affirmation, which I repeated without hesitation a few seconds later. The smile on her face was ecstatic and her friends laughed with gleeful intent. If I had lingered a moment longer and not continued my ‘walk of thought’, I’m sure my new ‘best friends’ would have invited me to lunch!

There is a moral here for the corporate office. How often do we compliment our colleagues with constructive reinforcement of their behaviour, their manner, a risk they may have taken, or how they dress? I suspect not that often?

Why not?

Many offices these days have become rather sterile environments where only ‘approved’ comments of corporate acceptance prevail. To demonstrate the point, how many organisations have implemented the corporate branded ‘Thank You’ card which you are encouraged to complete, then hand to HR, who then distribute it to the nominated individual some days, or weeks, later after the words have been vetted for any corrupt intentions!

Let’s explore this further and consider a highly functioning sports team. What is the key to their success? Nothing too complicated, really, it’s just called ‘talking’.
But, those involved ‘talk’ with ‘words’ of encouragement where they compliment each other on what they did well, or provide words on impending danger from the opposition, or give words of constructive criticism. The words of feedback tend to be immediate, or whilst the game is fresh in the minds of those involved.

So why not give it a go in your corporate office? If you are a tad timid to praise a colleague publicly, then use an E-mail or an SMS, but make sure it has your name on it as this personalised message of word positivity is much more powerful than words of anonymity and will mean much more to the recipient. Make praise a habit, and I’m sure that you and those around you will benefit greatly from the word experience.

And if that gorgeous woman in the green coat is reading this blog post, yes, I’m still available for lunch, just send me the “words”!

Image: Sophiaclothing

Seasonal Dress Solutions for the Discerning Corporate Woman

Smile

In the continuing series of fashion solutions for the corporate woman*, another “Eureka Moment” prevailed on me when walking in Melbourne this afternoon as I noticed a fellow walker struggling with an inappropriate clothing choice.

For those of you that are unaccustomed to the nuances of the weather in this cosmopolitan and dynamic worldly city, let me educate you on the meteorological wonders that commonly prevail with predictable uncertainty. Each day is one of climatic surprise. All four seasons may eventuate, or three of them may be forcefully overpowered with one season that is feeling quite dominant and wanting to make an impression on the unwary female population. As such, your first clothing selection based on your initial weather observations early in the morning may lead to catastrophic clothing wardrobe malfunctions later that day.

Yes, there is an answer. I can already hear the sighs of womanly relief (and from your supportive male colleagues).

What about the following creative wardrobe solutions:

1. The Warming Patch
Why not have “warming patches” sewn into strategic locations in the dress which can be quickly heated via a small battery surreptitiously hidden in a concealed pocket? When it gets cold, with a simple flick of a switch, body heating will immediately prevail.

2. Body Atomiser
On those hot days when the dress fabric is a tad too thick, why not use an all over body atomiser where a fine water particle mist is released thereby initiating a cooling feeling for the individual? A small atomiser nozzle could be built into the side rims of the wearer’s sunglasses or their fashionable cap?

3. Zips
A dress comprised of detachable sections (sleeves, skirt, back, etc) that could be removed (or added to) via the simple use of discrete zips. When the weather gets too hot, just zip off those dress sections that are too heavy and warm, or if a cold wind necessitates additional warm, just zip on an extra piece of clothing?

4. Emergency Solution
If all else fails, what about having a high pitched customised whistle that only your large specially trained fashion dog can hear and respond to within minutes of your plea for help. Upon the whistle activation, the fashion dog leaps out from the centrally located corporate dog kennel fully equipped with a suitable change of clothes, complete with a portable tent for privacy whilst changing your attire.

Now for all you fashion designers reading this blog post (of which I’m sure there are many), don’t forget where you first heard of these remarkable ideas for the corporate woman as I’m sure they will provide an innovation shift in the wardrobe of many a discerning lady. Vogue Magazine, I look forward to my invitation to the Melbourne Fashion Parade!

* https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/corporate-dress-design-with-wind-gust-resistance/

Small, Yet So Influential

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I looked intently into my colleagues deep blue eyes and asked if she really wanted to do this, because once we do it, there was no turning back? She nodded with a cheeky smile and said she was up for it, after all, it should be quite an experience! We smirked with a nervous anticipation at each other and the mutual course of action was agreed.

Together, we had the global power and reach to change the corporate business world. We were about to unleash a movement that would have a profound impact on suited workers of all ages.

She was the President of the largest clothing retailer in Europe. I, as her Vice-President of Marketing, was responsible for the viral release of her latest leading edge fashion thoughts and ideas.

I gingerly picked up the chosen fashion item and with great respect, stated how I was in awe of how something so small, was going to have such a monumental influence in business. She laughed and said, “If they only knew who wielded the power in the corporate world!”

With the colour and pattern selection made, I pressed the send button on my E-mail note to which a global fashion communication chain reaction immediately commenced. In the following hours, purchase orders from all the leading department stores around the world came flooding into our New York based Head Office. Production orders were sent to China and the petite clothing items were quickly manufactured on mass, complete with our authentic world-renowned Company label. The price mark-up would be 1000%, but we knew that the consumers would expect nothing less.

For the next 2 years, our sales growth was phenomenal. Our fashion item was seen adorning business suits in all the trendy magazines of glamour, worn by celebrities and many other wannabes, and those that just didn’t know any better.

In the quiet solitude of our very expensively furnished corporate New York boardroom, I again looked into those deep blue eyes of my colleague and gave an uncontrollable laugh! She looked at the pocket-handkerchief in my suit jacket and said, “Who would have thought!”

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