The Office Well-Being Executive Manager

RetroWoman1950sStyle-Attrib-Flickr-MipsyRetro-5593568015-640x604

The corridors of corporate life used to experience it at least once a day, typically around 3 PM. Those of you with a longer memory say it also occurred in the morning, but alas, those days are reluctantly gone, possibly, never to be repeated.

The eagerly awaited activity heralded an opportunity to have a short break from your normal work routine and to refresh your mind with small morsels of needed sustenance.

It was a welcome time for all pens to be lowered, inky nibs blotted, and writing paper pushed aside on your desk to make room for the appreciated earthenware additions.

For a brief few minutes, the worker could engage in a pseudo-flirtatious social dialogue and build a non-threatening personal rapport with the service provider, who was usually wearing a bland coloured corporate pinafore apron. Their official work title was “Tea Lady”, but they were the backbone of many successful organizations.

No office door was ever closed to the Tea Lady. They traversed the building pulling a trolley that was equipped with a large teapot, hot water, coffee, milk, a selection of biscuits (or cakes if you were lucky), and an array of cups and saucers, some of which occasionally matched. Their arrival could be heard well before they reached your desk, owing to the rattling of the crockery and the heightened conversation that they would always generate.

The role of Tea Lady was an unrecognized strategic cog in the corporate organizational hierarchy as they were privy to all levels of the business, from senior management, right down to the new starter or graduate. They could sense the mood of the corporate office, whether it was dynamic and innovative, or one that was struggling and ready to implode. The Tea Lady became the confidant of many employees, a person that they could talk to about work, home-life or their personal ambitions.

Business today needs a modern version of the Tea Lady, which would probably now have the more acceptable corporate title of “Office Well-Being Manager”. Many organizations have tried to foster various methods of casual communication within the corporate office with the introduction of “Chatter”, “Yammer” and other electronic applications, but none have been as effective as the old fashioned Tea Lady.

So why not reinvigorate the Tea Lady role with a more modern version?

Many employees want to have access to their senior management team, but may be too shy or a tad embarrassed to engage them in an open forum. One solution is to have a weekly (or monthly) roster where your Executive Team takes it in turns to be “Office Well-Being Executive Manager”. Yes, they would walk the office corridors with an electric powered beverage trolley fully equipped with the latest coffee (short black, long black, latte, cappuccino, flat white), tea (Early Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, herbal), soymilk chai lattes, and a selection of cakes (high fat, low fat, gluten free) or fruit. Besides your Executive Team learning new catering skills that they can add to their already impressive CVs, they would have instantaneous access to the pulse of the business and an opportunity to gain an insight on the nuances of their staff (and vice-versa).

So, when next you plan to have a well-earned rest break from your computer, may I suggest that you first stop, and listen. Hopefully you will hear the buzz of your corporately branded electric beverage trolley as it happily approaches your desk. Bon appetite!

Caputignis: Business Greatness

paul-lasalle-my-favorite-martian-by-conceptguy-d5lqdzw

What makes a good company great? Forget looking to the traditional sources of business, academia and other highly paid consultants for a complex answer as the solution is deceptively simple.

After years of tireless observation in the corporate office, the source of company greatness was found to wholly reside in the “caputignis” level of the organization. Those with a classical education grounded firmly in Latin will know exactly what this word means, that being “head sparkification” (caput = head, ignis = spark).

The classification of “great” can be readily substituted with “innovation”, as a great company is one that is immediately known for its phenomenal ingenuity and corresponding business success in the marketplace.

Caputignis is thought to be an emotional energy state that is generated when the employee has a spark of creativity. However, unless this fleeting moment of inspiration is rapidly captured and harnessed within the corporate office, it will quickly vanish and will be permanently extinguished by a conservative organizational culture. For those unfortunate companies where this occurs, their caputignis levels were found to be very low.

Now for those businesses that were deemed by the financial market to be great, their caputignis levels were recorded as being extremely high, continuous and homogenous in all their work activities. The culture of these companies was publicly and internally acknowledged as being highly innovative, and almost electrifying in its nature, so much so that any creative sparks generated by individuals, or work teams, were instantaneously conducted throughout the organization. Here the employees as a collective, worked and shared ideas thereby generating a highly reactive caputignis flux that stimulated and encouraged innovation, together with an overflowing plethora of new thoughts.

Do you need to purchase an expensive caputignis measuring device to see where your organization sits on the greatness level? No, there is a more cost effective approach, that being the vibe that your employees feel when they are in the corporate office. If they are continually bubbling with new mind-sets, and end the working day with a feeling of excitement, then your caputignis level is high. Alternatively, if your organization struggles with the generation of innovative ideas, then you need to work on establishing an employee culture that stimulates head sparkification.

So what makes a good company great? Caputignis.

A.E’s Forgotten Law of Innovation

Einstein Diary

The diary page was dated 14 June 1933. The blue ink handwriting, although quite faded, was still legible and was written in the old Germanic letter style of my grandfather.

Later in life, he did indeed become quite famous, in part due to his outlandish and peculiar hairstyle, but it was curious how this small piece of creative research never obtained the public notoriety, like all his other hypotheses?

As I rummaged respectfully through the following well read diary pages, it became apparent that quite a few foreign governments were also interested in this unknown research that suggested a somewhat fool proof theoretical methodology on the Law of Innovation. As he was Jewish, I wasn’t surprised that he elected to leave Germany and continue his innovation work at Princeton University in the USA.

But why was his theory on the Law of Innovation never published? I chuckled after reading a few more paragraphs as the references to the CIA may have had something to do with it?

But there it was; one paragraph was underlined repeatedly. In the page margin were his initials (A.E.) that he only used when he had exhaustedly confirmed that a Law had been proven.

As I had the esteemed position of Professor of Thought Creation at a reputable and well-known British University, I read the paragraphs on the Law of Innovation with interest.

Quote: “The Law of Innovation: Innovative thoughts are created when the thinker deliberately places their mind simultaneously in a multitude of time periods whilst still being in the present”.  

I had to read this paragraph twice and then I finally understood the concept. When solving a problem, the thinker needs to look at the issue from a range of different time perspectives, some of which may be unknown to you. The concept of time forces the individual to indeed think differently. For instance, if the year was 1930, how would the problem be solved using the resources of that time period? If the year were now 2100, a different set of solutions would prevail. Now bring the future and past time-dated solutions back to the present and look for any common themes and similarities. As you think with an open mind, an unexpected innovative thought will eventuate.

So for those readers of this blog post that work in the corporate office, may I suggest that you invoke the Law of Innovation and I’m sure that with time a creative solution will be revealed.

Umbrellas, Be Gone with Them!

singing in rain

It’s a most awkward feeling, and you’ve all experienced it, particularly when you encounter someone of approximately the same height. There is a momentary sigh of slight relief when the oncoming individual is deemed to be shorter or taller, the larger the difference the better, until it is quickly replaced by the mandatory manoeuvring so as to avoid any unwelcome impact.

The unavoidable cause of this precipitous, and most stressful combative environment is rain, and its presence signals the use of the antiqued protection item called the umbrella. It doesn’t matter how hard or soft the rain may be, as soon as it falls from the sky, an array of umbrellas hurriedly appears and pedestrian life on the footpath becomes mayhem.

If there were a standard sized umbrella that just provided sufficient circumferential rain protection tailored to the average individual walker, this would greatly assist with commuter meander flow. But no, some undisciplined selfish people elect to brandish a massive brightly coloured golf umbrella, designed for maximum rainfall protection, that produces a pedestrian bottleneck wherever they walk.

There must be a better system of rain head protection, and I’m pleased to say that there is, and it’s called the Aerocap™.

After countless hours of creative thinking time, the Aerocap™ is now fully functional and ready for its inaugural market launch. Its design is simple, yet so effective. It has been fashionably styled by a famous Melbourne designer (who for some reason wants to remain anonymous), and can be purchased in an array of distinctive colours, fabrics and sizes to accommodate all heads.

So how does the Aerocap™ work you may ask? Well, let me educate you.

This innovative rain protection device comes with easy to follow instructions that are listed below:

  1. Place the Aerocap™ on your head.
  2. At the first sign of rain, gently press the carefully camouflaged “start button” that is situated just under the front cap peak.
    (Note 1: for the football team beanie version, press the big pompom. Note 2: for the beret version, press the stalk).
  3. Once the “start button” has been pressed, the top of your Aerocap™ will spontaneously open and an incredibly quiet high intensity airflow will be initiated in an upwards circular direction.
    (Note: You may feel as if you are being pushed with a downward momentum, but this is normal)
  4. Any rain will now be forcefully projected away from the Aerocap™ by the airflow keeping the wearer dry and happy.
  5. Throw away your umbrella, as you won’t need it any longer!

Disclaimer: The Aerocap™ is powered by a small amount of uranium. But don’t be alarmed, as keeping your head dry in the short term was deemed by the now deceased test user as being much more important than any long term radiation concerns).

There is another benefit with the Aerocap™ (not mentioned in the instructions) and that’s the impact it has on those recalcitrant pedestrians that still selfishly carry those large imposing golf umbrellas.

When the Aerocap™ wearer walks under one of these grossly flamboyant umbrellas, there is a detection sensor that quickly increases the air velocity that may result in the umbrella holder suddenly being projected 20 feet in the air. But don’t be too concerned, as by the time they land on the ground with a thump, you will be well gone and will not hear their verbal outbursts.

So how do you get an Aerocap™?

Any classy and sophisticated hatter will sell them. If not, just mention the brand name Aerocap™ to the sales person, and I’m sure you will be given an appropriate response.