It just feels so Good!

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It just feels so good! Yes, it’s that glorious sensation you experience when eagerly opening that pristine door for the very first time as your nose is gleefully engulfed with those joyous automotive wofts associated with that new car interior. The exciting mood continues as you place your eagerly awaiting bottom into that virgin seat with the knowledge that you are indeed the first. You run your hands in a circular motion, anticlockwise, then clockwise, as you gingerly grip the steering wheel with each of your probing fingers where you slowly discover every notch and groove. Out on the road, you smile with snug satisfaction as all parts of the car work in harmonious unison as you carefully navigate the surrounding traffic with a self-imposed mode of cautious stealth. The feeling lasts for an unmeasured while, and then without notice, unfortunately, stops. You have now reached the stage of habitual blaséness where that initial feeling of excitement has regrettably diminished into nothingness. It’s now just a car.

Many an innovative organisation initially commence their operations with that “new car feeling”, but alas, over time, and particularly with success, that blasé nonchalant state gradually permeates throughout the structure leading to creative stagnation. So, what’s the solution?

Think of that car again, but this time focus on all the scheduled, and the occasional unplanned maintenance that is required to keep it humming in a state of perpetual driving bliss. This can take the form of mechanical, structural or aesthetic adjustments, all are required, and need ongoing investment, otherwise it ends up doomed on the scrap heap soon to be forgotten.

Innovation needs ongoing investment to stimulate and maintain the creative machinations of the business. All departments working in the organisation need to finely tuned, continually aligned, and supplemented with that combustible spark of ideation, otherwise it will slowly come to a resistant state of undesirable lethargy. However, sometimes an organisation needs to trade in the old ways of doing business and upgrade to a newer and more inspirational model. If so, don’t be scared to let your employees experience that wonderful new car smell, particularly as some of the newer ones may have never savoured that joy, and those longer serving ones, well, they may need a strong nasal refresher!

So if you want to maintain that ongoing pleasant innovation woft in your business, make sure you keep it well maintained and stimulated, otherwise, you might as well get a horse and get used to a slower, and rather more odorous form of reduced creativity.

Releasing Your Corporate Yogi

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There’s an emerging group of corporate innovators that are now inhabiting many a secluded office where they quickly pull down the blinds for privacy, lower the light intensity to achieve the optimum glow, add some enchanting music, and then nonchalantly roll out their rubber mats. Yes, they are doing yoga.

They arrive with minimal fuss, and happily disregard the usual business communicational banter as they set about preparing their eager minds for just the right emotional zone. Once in the requisite position, their yogi commences a routine with the objective of freeing their hampered corporate thoughts and bodies to allow the mindful process of true innovation to occur.

Now, for those of you new to the yoga experience, the following observations will help with your innovative assimilation.

The Yogi:
There is an instructor leading the class who will inspire your mind, and hopefully your body, to try new positions you never thought possible. They typically have a physique that has attained a state of perfect elasticity, which may yield a reflective look of total bewilderment on your face as to whether your desk bound tight body is slightly capable.

The Rubber Mat:
The rubber mat is an item that provides you with your own private yoga territory on the floor. But be warned, if you are thinking that there is sufficient cushioning to facilitate a state of comfortable slumber, you are indeed mistaken. Its purpose is to provide adequate grip, some basic hard surface relief, but more importantly to signify that you are a true believer of the yoga experience and have given your physical and mental consent to yourself, and those around you.

The Poses:
You will hear many phrases that make sense once you are in the position, such as “the downward facing dog”. However, should you be a novice, may I suggest that you look at the more experienced members in the group as this will provide a more obvious insight, as your “dog” may appear more like a “mouse”.

The Clothes:
Personal modesty is important as you will stretch your body into positions where certain body parts may unintentionally pop out. But as the lighting in the room is quite low, it is unlikely that anyone will see, so relax, except for maybe the Yogi who will quickly hide their smirk in order to avoid mutual embarrassment. As such, make sure that you wear clothes that maintain your respected level of corporate decency.

Once fully immersed in the complete yoga experience, your body will extend into numerous positions of the previous unknown, and with the right breathing, any pain that may initially be experienced will quickly turn to mindful pleasure. It is through this process that you, and your fellow work colleagues, will achieve the desired state of innovative nirvana.

So, should you be wanting to open your mind to allow a new vision of innovation in, the answer is simple. Do yoga, and all will be mindfully revealed.

Getting the Right Corporate pH Balance

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Understanding a corporate culture is a fishy thing. Just observe any aquarium long enough and you will know exactly what I mean as it all happens in the wet area.

Should a fish habitat not be under control, besides the associated unpleasant odour, there are many other signs signalling that some urgent correction is required.

With all fish, they have the joy of utilising every part of their environment for daily living. In the water they eat, play, mate and happily swim in their own personal discharge without the slightest care for themselves, or consideration for those around them. Now left unhindered, their watery abode soon changes colour and a fine deposit of unsavoury living quickly coats the glass walls, vegetation and sandy undergrowth. In time, many fish will unfortunately perish as they yearn for a new and stimulating environment.

To avoid this disastrous occurrence, the aquarium owner has many measuring devices available to them, such as pH, in order to avoid such a regrettable calamity. For those of the HR persuasion, this is analogous to the office motivational survey that is done with unfortunate irregularity.

There are also many types of fish that correlate closely with the personality profiles of those in the corporate office. There are the bottom feeders that happily delve down to the depths of the tank where they make a comfortable living from the discarded offerings from those working diligently above them. There are the sharks that dart about in an aggressive manner looking for any opportunity to be top fish. Little fish also nimbly manoeuvre the unfrequented water corridors in search of discrete jobs that need to be accomplished with strategic gusto.

Now should a new fish enter the aquarium, you will see them quickly adopt the unusual state of motionless as the try to surreptitiously acclimatise to the foreign water temperature before swiftly swimming off to a hiding location where they can determine who’s who in the eating order.

Now the key life-giving ingredient that all aquarium species must have is oxygen, as without it, their watery home rapidly turns into an unsavoury swamp. In the corporate office, this oxygenated requirement is known as innovation.

So, for all the HR Managers reading this blog post, you now know what you need to do to ensure that your office happily bubbles with continual employee enthusiasm. Yes, you need to repeatedly measure the corporate motivational pH and make any requisite cultural adjustments in order to achieve the right balance. Innovation is also a must, as without it, your employees will become lifeless and disengaged. By following these simple methods of fish hygiene, you can then sit back and admire your watery handiwork, as it will all percolate away just swimmingly.

The Clues are in their Hair

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Want to know if someone is innovative? The clues are in their hair, but not where you think it may typically be, no, indeed far from it.

For Clue Number 1, we need a historical perspective. When you think of Isaac Newton, or Leonardo da Vinci, you immediately think intelligence, creativity and an exploratory mind. But when you look closely at their portraits, have you noticed their hair? Yes, you will see long flowing locks of follicular matter, but, no, it is not theirs, but that of a wig.

Clue Number 2 focuses on the modern man with copious amounts of hair on his chest that strategically permeates between his straining shirt buttons to be displayed to all those that he meets. And for those men that have one or two buttons deliberately undone, they are purposely exposing their esteemed intellect and freedom of thought to the envious onlooker.

Now should a man be graced by god with the gift of masses of thick back hair, then this individual is the crème de la crème of innovators and one that fully embodies Clue Number 3. For many a year, this man has by archaic social customs cleverly hidden his thick rug from the jealous crowds through an array of carefully planned shirt wardrobe selections. But when walking on the beach in a back naked state, he is at his peak level of innovative inhibition, so beware!

The topic of Clue Number 4 is commonly observed in young women, particularly when sitting in a bored mental state in their stationary car at traffic lights, or when in the midst of a large number of flirtatious males. Here, when a woman is subconsciously thinking about a certain proposal, she slowly winds her finger around her long flowing locks of hair whilst she decides on a particular course of action.

Clue Number 5 relates to men with beards. When they are thinking, they casually rub their chins whilst they ponder the appropriate response, hoping for a wanted beam of inspiration.

Yes, the common denominator with all these clues is the individuals lack, or abundance of hair and how they use it, or disguise it, in their daily activities.

Now should you encounter a body that is completely absent of any hair, well, there is only one conclusion. They are probably exceptionally innovative, but have decided to shave off any clue of their highly knowledgeable persona before anyone knows what they hairingly possess!

The Shop of Waistful Circumference

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You all know that feeling. It’s your first day back from your Xmas holidays where you have habitually eaten, drunk and partied far too much and are now experiencing that unwelcome feeling of regretful tubbiness. Yes, those business shirts, trousers, skirts and belt buckles have all mysteriously shrunk in size, the cause of which is all too obvious to you now, unfortunately.

If only you had visited the Shop of Waistful Circumference (WC) before you commenced your holidays and all this physical discomfort would have been happily alleviated. Yes, there is always next year!

For those clever corporates that did indeed partake of the Shop of WC, you will be beaming with girthful happiness as you are breathing with comfort in your business attire.

The Shops of WC are strategically located in all major cities where there is a large business community and can be quickly found following a simple internet search.

When entering the Shop, you will be greeted by an experienced employee that has immediately surmised your current clothing size, so relax, as you will not need to divulge this protected number to alleviate any potential embarrassment.

However, you will be asked some basic questions about your plans for the Xmas holidays. For example, are you fond of plum pudding, do you frequently drink cocktails whilst lazing on a couch, have you placed your gym membership on hold, together with and other key clues of food intake and physical activity?

After some careful thoughtful consideration, the knowledgeable Shop of WC employee will suggest a tailored approach to your personalised tubbiness management regime that will ensure a welcome and fitted business attired start to your new year.

The Shop of WC has a vast array of fashionable clothing that you can purchase and wear with personal esteem over the Xmas holidays because you know that you will be in optimum body shape come that January back to work commencement date.

Now do not be alarmed by what the Shop of WC employee offers you as each item of clothing will be at least one or two sizes too small. Yes, you will deliberately be made to feel a tad plump and uncomfortable. But relax, as this is the secret to your success. These overly snug, body hugging clothes will be a continual reminder for you not indulge too much, but rather to consume a smaller amount of food, drink or other worldly delights over this Xmas period.

Come January when you thankfully discard your Shop of WC clothes and re-adorn your favourite business wardrobe from yesteryear that now remarkedly fit with no noticeable girth discomfort, you will be glad of the physical awkwardness that you begrudgingly accepted over the holidays.

What are you waiting for? Yes, just place an entry in your diary now for December to visit the Shop of WC and breath a sigh of clothing relief next year!

How to Breed Ideas?

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Great to hear that you have decided to become an idea breeder. It is a most rewarding hobby and one that will give you hours of joy and fulfilment. For those of you that have never done this before, don’t worry, it’s quite simple to do and requires minimal mental outlay, all you need is a focused mind.

I’ve been happily breeding ideas for many years, and if you are a novice, the following tips will get you quickly underway.

  1. Idea Type
    Yes, there are many types of ideas, so it’s important to know which ones you want to have in your idea collective (commonly known as an ideation coop). Ideas come in a vast array of different sizes, some are quite quick, others a bit of a laggard to fully develop, they can have short lives, others endure for many a lifetime. If you are uncertain as to which idea is best for you, I would suggest you consult your Thesaurus.
  2. Permit
    Many newcomers to this pastime often ask if they need a permit to breed ideas? The answer is no, so long as your ideas are not too noisy, as this may upset and distract those around you.
  3. Ideation Coop
    This is the most important facet in successfully breeding new ideas. Ideas like to be protected when they are born and require room for growth once they quickly start to develop. For this, a cosy thought box seems to work best, one with a special code that only you have access to thereby ensuring complete ideation security. Some breeders like to use a trademark or patent for their really special ideas, but this does come with a cost.
  4. Coop Maintenance
    New ideas will need creative nutrition to survive and maintain a healthy life. The best food for ideas is inspiration. It’s OK to start off small, but once your baby ideas get a taste for it, they will quickly grow and mature.
  5. Mating
    Ideas are very social and thoroughly enjoy a good interaction with other like-minded thoughts. They are capable of mating at any age, an activity which should be strongly encouraged, as it will ensure their long-term survival and a robust cross fertilisation of creativity which is an essential part of their development.

The next step is for you to give it a go! Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Ideas are very forgiving if you make a mistake, in fact, they appreciate it, as it shows that you are really committed to the ideation process.

Now go forth and breed!

The CEO’s New Clothes

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It was day one of the new CEO’s appointment. A rather traditional dark grey suit, pristine white shirt, black medium length socks, complete with matching leather polished shoes were carefully selected by the incumbent for the momentous occasion. He looked resplendent as he beamingly sat behind his large impressive desk in a voluminous office that just oozed with status and authority. Yes, he was indeed the man!

As the week progressed, all of his direct reports, collectively, and individually, sat opposite him in business attire that directly mirrored his conservative fashion prowess, complete with continual nods of unquestionable beaming loyal approvals.

In a similar manner, their subordinates also quickly followed suit and continued the same fashion replication to the point where each employee now looked like a cloned version of their manager.

Now, the CEO was no fool, in fact, far from it, and a cunning plan of innovation was carefully hatched. From that day forth, he decided to wear the exact same clothes for a month. No item of clothing would be changed, apart from those that respectively should not be mentioned.

Over the days and weeks, a certain grubbiness came to gradually prevail over his attire, complete with an ensuing woft of persona that slowly increased with intensity.

He noticed with a somewhat predictable consternation a look of increasing shabbiness now starting to prevail throughout the entire organisation. Those pristine white shirts of his executive team were now witness to numerous blotches of large brown coffee stains, there were accumulated smears from too many self-indulgent lunches and dinners, and the severely wrinkled corporate flannel was now more noticeably beige in colour than white.

At the end of the month, the CEO thankfully wore a fresh set of clothes, and a quiet shout of thankful glee was heard rippling throughout the entire organisation, also from their customers, whose numbers had correspondingly dwindled over the weeks due to a severe lack of attention on their business.

Packaged in the sweet fresh smell of his new clothing attire, the crafty CEO now strategically pondered the learnings from the last four weeks from a perspective of corporate innovation:

  1. An organisation that has a workforce of clones is doomed to fail.
  2. Never mask any prevailing wofts, be they good or bad, that quickly permeate throughout the business as they are a clue that something is indeed amiss.
  3. Never wear the same clothes each day as personal creativity is the source of true innovation.
  4. Surround yourself with loud vocal thinkers, not those that quietly nod in constant agreement.

The following month, a brief memo from the CEO was quickly distributed advising that “a large number of the executive team had unanimously decided to pursue other career interests and that they had now left the building”.

From that day forth a plethora of brightly coloured paisley shirts, bespoke tailored suits, and even the occasional pair of spiffy shorts, were commonly seen thereby ensuring the ongoing innovation success of this particular company.

So should you be a CEO reading this blog post, do take note as the key to innovation does indeed lie within your wardrobe, and that of your employees.

 

The Very Social Idea

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If you have ever put yourself in the shoes of an idea, you would be exhausted!
Ideas are the biggest socialites in the known world and are universally recognised as the life of any party.

Ideas just hate the thought of being singular, they have an innate psychological need to be plural. Just put two solo ideas in a room and they will immediately start interacting with each other with a carefree and unrepentant promiscuity.

Ideas are also ageless, once created via a spark of unleashed human inspiration, they instantaneously become immortal and will happily congregate on mass within any hospitable corporate environment that willingly supports their requisite cosy culture of innovation.

However, there are some businesses that ideas have officially declared as a no-go zone. Those decreed as dull and boring organisations are like innovation vacuums that regrettably do not accommodate the individual and collective requirements of these festive wildlife thought manifestations. Once classified as an office of devastating inspirational lack, ideas will deliberately avoid these plagued businesses until a corporate culture of redemption has been successfully implemented, and publicly proven to be operationally effective. But once the requisite cultural correction has been made and externally communicated to the world of thought creation, then the ideas will fill the void with a gusto of spontaneity that would put any cashed-up pop-star to shame!

Now don’t assume that all ideas are identical. They are each different, and have a unique personality that frequently changes depending on their mood, and also to the environment to which they are exposed. But that diversity of thought is indeed their strength, as they, and their resultant factorially numbered offspring, all lead to a continual birth of new and wickedly clever innovations, none of which are ever the same.

So as a human, when next you walk into a corporate office and sense something unusually electric in the building, it is not your imagination, you are just responding to a large gathering of ideas having a hoot of a time!

The Virtual Innovation Librarian

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Why is it that some people just seem to have an endless plethora of brilliant ideas, whilst others struggle to generate just one? What’s the secret to their phenomenal creative success?

According to an obscure research paper soon to be published at some fictitious Boston University, the answer to these important questions is their illusive access to the highly prestigious, and most definitely secret, Virtual Innovation Librarian (VIT).

Respected sources advise that the VIT is an artificially intelligent imaginary persona that surreptitiously captures your unconscious thoughts when you are in mental state of slumber, or equivalent corporate boredom. The key requirement being, complete and total mindlessness. For those of you working in the corporate office, just think of all that untapped potential that lethargically resides in your vast employee database!

As the name suggests, the VIT is the keeper of an almost infinite number of thoughts that are meticulously categorised and indexed via the Dewey Decimal Idea Classification System (DDICS), following which, they are then permanently registered within a 4D electronic virtual depository. The DDICS classifications cover all good, and some of the not so good, ideation sparks of human life, business and various social activities from every person that has ever lived, or is currently alive, from the very first evolutionary stage when women and men decided it was time to think.

No, you don’t need a virtual library card to make a thoughtful withdrawal, the process is indeed much simpler and works via the following ingenious method:

  1. Deeply think of the problem that you want to solve.
  2. Open your mind and allow the VIT to have unrestricted access to all your inner thoughts and desires (some people call this mindfulness, meditation or just being lazy).
  3. The VIT then forages around with gusto in your cluttered mind trying to cross-match your nominated problem with all the other thoughts accumulated in the 4D electronic virtual depository.
  4. If a match is made with your problem, and no other person is wanting to also access that particular thought, you can borrow that idea and claim it as your own.
  5. However, there is a catch. These borrowed thoughts only reside in your mind for a limited time period, so if you don’t check them out and use the idea, you quickly lose the innovative solution (just like the content of a dream when you wake up, and rapidly forget the details).

Is there a charge for using this VIT ideation service?

No, it is complimentary to those individuals that recognise that innovation is an activity that needs to be continually worked, and shared freely amongst your work colleagues, thereby ensuring that there is a constant source of fresh ideas being generated for the future needs of mankind. As that saying goes, “give ideas, that you may receive ideas”.

For those businesses that don’t value innovation, well, the cost of the VIT will be well beyond your financial reserves, so may I suggest that you don’t bother thinking longer term, and just focus on enjoying today as your future is guaranteed to be rather uncertain.

The First 10 Days

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Innovation is like running for the first time. It takes a little bit of courage to initially get going, but once you are moving, your self-imposed obstacles do slowly fall behind you. The goal is to maintain the forward momentum, and to not let self-doubt get in your way. You don’t need a vast array of fashionable expensive accessories, just some personal persistence, but some sweat does tend to help.

For those of you seeking some guidance on how to start, the following is my own 10 day innovation work-out commentary, which may assist.  However, as with every exercise regime, please consult your accredited innovation expert for a tailored program that may be better suited to your individual needs.

Day 0:
Need to at least pretend to look like an athlete. Purchased some swish black running shoes and brand matching shorts and T-shirt (apparently it breathes!).

Day 1:
Running attire worn for the first time. Look rather spiffy. If only the T-shirt wasn’t so tight fitting. Stomach seems to protrude a tad more than I would have hoped. Walk 4 kilometres.

Day 2:
Stomach still rather obvious. Still walking 4 kilometres.

Day 3:
Looks like I’m not the only person with a stomach. There are others out also walking. Now don’t feel as self-conscious.

Day 4:
Run 1 kilometre, walk 3. Overtaken by a mother pushing a pram. Decided to make my loud fatigued puffing noises less obvious as she zoomed past so not to look like a heart attack candidate.

Day 5:
Run 2 kilometres, walk 2. Saw a fit woman running past me with some earphones. Must get some. Might also help to have the phone, just in case I need to call for an ambulance.

Day 6:
Run 4 kilometres. Miracles do happen! But will need a lie down.

Day 7:
Run 4 kilometres. T-shirt clinging less to my stomach. Feeling good. Ran past that lady with the pram. Smirked to myself.

Day 8:
Feeling smug. I think I’m becoming an athlete!

Day 9:
Still feeling smug.

Day 10:
I can do this! Glad I didn’t stop after Day 1.

Final Comment: Pride and self-doubt are the biggest hindrance to success. Need to just focus on my step by step targets, and not what others may think.

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