For innovative slumber, think CollaborApp™

sleep Z

In the Technology section of the 1 April edition of the New York Times, Apple has announced the release of CollaborApp™, which is a radically new, and reportedly disruptive concept in business innovation.

Key to CollaborApp™ is the use of an artificial intelligence Bot called “Cogitaire” which surreptitiously tempts, and masterly teases the user into freeing their thoughts and ideas through voluntary thought extraction and cogitation whilst they are happily asleep. Yes, sleeping!

According to an Apple spokesperson, the idea for CollaborApp™ came from the online collaboration process where ideas are shared, and enhanced from different employees across the organization, all with a range of diverse backgrounds and personal experiences. However, with CollaborApp™, the collaboration is not done whilst the user is awake where they are subject to various competing time pressures, and other work commitment distractions. No, this App needs the user to be in a blissful state of slumber in order to be most effective.

CollaborApp™ works via the following process:

  1. Prior to employees going to sleep, they initiate the CollaborApp™ setting on their iPhone and place their earphones comfortably within their ears.
  2. Once asleep, the business problem to be solved is then presented to the employee via the Cogitaire Bot, who then unassumingly stimulates the users mental thought processes. By the way, in case you are wondering, Cognitaire’s persona morphs into whatever character imagined by the user in order to get the optimum thought creativity initiated. Cognitaire is also proficient in all known languages, even the most obscure ones.
  3. Whilst the user is blissfully sleeping, Cogitaire continually collates and shares all the updated idea solutions generated across the many users participating that night to ensure a passively robust analysis of the problem.
  4. In the morning, when the user awakes, an impressive infographic is presented that encapsulates all the innovative thought process developed by the vast employee collective.

Yes, the process sounds quite simple, and accordingly to Apple, it is very effective in generating a range of creative solutions with a much higher innovation calibre typically achieved via traditional collaboration techniques.

Now there is a cautionary paragraph found within the fine print in the Apple CollaborApp™ media release. It advises spouses, partners and others involved romantically, or those that are just curious, not to use the App for reasons Apple state are most obvious, as some things are best left unknown.

The Office Busyness Indicator (OBI)

blogger-image--887864333.jpg

It is now a frequent occurrence to see numerous health conscious corporate office cohorts trekking the surrounding streets as they brandish a vibrant assortment of “Thought Creation Leadership Sticks”. Thankfully, gone are the days where lunchtime consists of habitually sitting in front of your computer, whilst quickly munching on a bland vegemite and cheese sandwich, accompanied by yet another cup of coffee. No, lunchtime now signals the start of many a “walk of thought” where employees leave their computer monitors behind, whack on some runners, a stylish hat, and do some exercise to stimulate their thought processes in gleeful and creative conversation.

Many corporate offices measure their “walk of thought” prowess through the competitive use of a “Workweek Hustle” FITBIT competition. Here a leader scoreboard tallies each walker’s steps, or lack there of, each Monday through to Friday, concluding at precisely midnight. For those of you that are familiar with this activity, it is a common practice to see many participants walking late into the Friday evening in an attempt to add those additional precious steps that might just provide them with the highly sought after FITBIT badge of victory!

However, in a recent research study, at a yet to be famous university, the findings indicate that there is a direct causal link between the average weekly FITBIT count of all active “walk of thoughters”, and their office busyness. This link is called the Office Busyness Indicator (OBI). If one views the average team steps on a weekly basis, a busyness trend becomes all too apparent. When the corporate office is experiencing a high workload, or is stressed, the average step count is low. But when the employees are feeling creative, vibrant and in need of some thoughtful collaboration, the number of steps rises significantly as they engage in happy, walk-full dialog.

So, should you be a Human Resources Manager reading this blog post, the answer is clear. Just encourage all your employees to become “walk of thoughters”, equip them with a FITBIT, chart their weekly OBI result, and you will have a real-time scientific insight into the mood of your organization. Simple.

Claim your Pantaloon Freedom

office-shorts

On standing up from my desk chair, I immediately felt the unexpected gaze of my colleagues. Some of the looks were based on admiration; others on envy, there was even the occasional involuntary gasp of astonishment. However, to me, the experience was refreshing and reminded me very much of my younger days.

Regardless of your sex, you have all experienced the feeling. It was in the days when we were unashamed to flaunt it all, our bare skin, free to the world, purposefully unhidden below any wads of consolidated fibres of corporate cloth.

We wore our innovative adventures with pride, and accumulated countless scars that testified our forays into the carefree and creative world in which we lived, unperturbed about the potential future consequences.

In our unprotected state, we immediately experienced the changing moods of our surrounding environment. For those of us with an abundance of hairs, these quickly stood erect in complete barometric harmony with the prevailing climatic conditions.

Yes, we were the wearers of shorts and our knees relished in their uncovering.

But at a certain age, our lives changed significantly when we decided, or were instructed by those that knew better, to wear trousers. At this point in time we became pantaloon conformists. No longer would our knees enjoy that continual breeze woft that symbolised our youthful exhilaration of openness.

As the years progressed, that haphazard child-like naivety and knee-free explorative thought slowly became extinct, particularly for those in the corporate office who habitually and unthinkingly wear a suit.

But relax, yours knees are quite resilient and will with the right air stimulation quickly revert back to their native state of youthfulness and inspiration. The corrective process is simple, just start wearing shorts in the office.

Don’t worry yourself about rules of fashion, you can wear long walk socks, short ankle length socks, or go ankle commando.

For that professional look, a tailored short does look the best, together with the belt that used to reside in your conservative suit trousers that will instantaneously welcome your new, and refreshing lease of life, now less rigidly “waistful”. Should you wear a business shirt, tie or jacket with your shorts? The choice is entirely up to you, but definitely not the corporate branded T-shirt, as you will want to vehemently maintain the creative personal innovation that your knees have fought so hard to physically obtain.

Yes, I was enjoying the experience of wearing shorts in the corporate office. My knees were once again unhindered, and so was my thought. In direct thoughtful knee correlation, my mind now gratefully welcomed its cloth shackle-less freedom, and acknowledged that I had once again rediscovered my true source of innovation.

Jazz – The Poignant Innovation

davebrubeckthequartet

Looking for business improvisation in your office? Well, focus on music as it provides a poignant innovation key.

According to one of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, the answer is to deliberately focus on the “white”, and not the “black”. Most traditional players of music are captivated by those pesky black notes, carefully placed with much thoughtful deliberation by the composer on the five well regimented lines of the staff. The orchestral focussed musician then, without any allowable hesitation, follows without question the vast array of strategically positioned crochets, quavers, semibreves, and even the occasional minim, with a well-practiced systematic bow, blow or beat of their beloved instrument. The result is a perfect and consistent replication of the musical selection, just as the composer had stipulated.

However, if you are a player of jazz, you tend to not be a musical conformist, but one that focuses more on the creative freedom represented by the unrestricted white score background devoid of all black notation. These innovative musical entrepreneurs utilise their deep, fundamental understanding of their instrument to collaborate in joint mutual harmony with a range of other diverse thinking performing colleagues to create the true essence of improvised jazz.

To complement the jazz player’s unhindered creative style, no formal orchestral dress attire is typically worn. Rather, you will observe a selection of them occasionally wearing a diverse range of coloured paisley patterned shirts, stylish mod-suits, denim, boots, dark glasses, and even a stylish hat.

Now consider the corporate office with all its conservative business rules and regulations, its staff brandishing the standard business suit, shirt, cuff-links and ties, analogous to the large, classical symphony orchestra lead by the CEO conductor. But don’t get me wrong, as for many businesses to succeed, this long standing and proven tradition is essential in ensuring that all employees are working off the same musical score, are working together with a common objective to manufacture a high quality performance that is appreciated by the expectant shareholder audience.

But should your business be striving for the development of a culture in which innovation can flourish, consider how a “jazz room” environment can be established where your employees can mix with other likeminded paisley clad individuals, can experiment with corporate melodies previously untried or heard, and are free to let their creative talents loose without any critical judgement or fear of failure. With time and practice, the result will produce some new and dynamic sounds that may be the start of a new direction for your business.

So what’s the key to business improvisation?  Try to not always focus on what you typically see, but allow yourself the opportunity to expand your creative horizons and explore the innovative vastness of what could potentially exist in the background.

 

The Lazy Creative

maxresdefault-1

It can happen via a deliberate wrist glance, a nonchalant button press, or the frequent refreshing of a specifically purchased iPhone App. You have all observed it in action. Yes, it’s the now quite common hourly habit of the corporate office FITBIT wearer as they compete with their fellow fanatical walkers for the esteemed victor of the Workweek Hustle.

But in a recent study, at a soon to be prestigious Australian Institute of Sport, a rather unusual finding has been discovered that has found a direct correlation with a person’s aptitude for innovation, and their FITBIT daily step count. Contrary to what you may think, the lower the FITBIT number, the higher the innovation intellect.

The majority of the corporate office population view those in their working ranks with a very Low FITBIT Step Count (LFSC) as being rather lazy. However, the study results found this to be remarkably furthest from the truth.

Those of your colleagues with a LFSC typically commenced their innovation training early in their youth as a teenager. A visual clue to their future LFSC creative talent would be their clothes, towels and food plates being strategically placed on the floor in their bedrooms. As the days of litter and odour progressed unhindered, a frustrated parent would finally succumb to the mess and tidy their room, with no stepping activity required at all from the clever child.

For teenagers that mastered this skill, their LFSC innovative prowess continued into their working life where the role of the parent was replaced by a fellow work colleague. Here they would sit comfortably at their desk, with their ears and eyes seeking out a potential parental worker surrogate to ensure that their need for physical exertion was significantly minimized. If you are not familiar with their innovative FITBIT step reduction techniques, take note of the following behavioural clues:

  1. The Coffee Run: They will hear the murmurings of colleagues thinking of making a dash to the nearest café for a coffee. Using their creative talent, they will feign extreme busyness and will ask you to get them a coffee on their behalf. If they are masterly at their LFSC craft, you will also be paying for them, with no hope or expectation of a reciprocal arrangement.
  1. The Carpark: In the office carpark, the innovative LFSC colleague will park in the closest position next to the elevator thereby ensuring the least number of walking steps. Some may even place a “Reserved” sign to guarantee this requirement.
  1. The Video Conference: Rather than having to walk to a meeting, the LFSC colleague will cunningly schedule a video conference, even if the colleagues invited sit only a few desks away.

So next time you have a FITBIT Workweek Hustle and you power your way on a daily basis to stepping superiority, may I suggest that you have a look at the work colleague that always comes last. Yes, they are the truly innovative people in your corporate office as it takes creative ingenuity to be that lazy!

The Law of Scrabble

scrabble

Letters are tricky objects, particularly so when left alone to their own arrangement. For centuries now, these 26 individual English characters have been portrayed as inanimate symbols, but that was indeed furthest from the reader’s comprehension.

Letters are most devious and have the imaginative ability to mentally reach out to the writer to get them combined into an alignment of grammatical strength where they can dictate their self-gratifying messages of command.

To avoid any potential human mutiny to their authority, Letters have created a complex array of continually updated syntax to ensure ongoing user bamboozlement, and to ensure that their vocabulary importance in never challenged, nor questioned.

Letters frequently align themselves in a position of strength and are usually not left on their lonesome, except for their leader “A”, a Letter that is quite unique and content to operate in isolation.

However, in the year 1938, the ordered life of the Letter changed forever. Yes, the culprit was a man called Alfred Mosher Butts and he challenged the happy status quo of the Letter by introducing the element of randomness into how Letters might be utilized by the thinker. No longer would a full powerful complement of 26 Letters hold the verbal attention of the user; Mr Butts cleverly restricted their influence to an unwordly 7 haphazard Letters for thoughtful “sentencifical” construct. As the years unfolded, the Butt’s invention was eventually known as the “Law of Scrabble” and it is still in operation today, and looks likely to prevail for many years into the future.

Now for those of you that work in the corporate office, you will be interested to know that the “Law of Scrabble” signalled the start of the modern age of innovation as mankind was now no longer subservient to the whimsical and tiresome demands of Letters. Yes, the users of Letters were now masters of their own written destiny of creative prose.

The year 1938 heralded noun and verbal freedom, and the patenting of many new writing inventions were quickly transcribed into inked existence via the application of the “Law of Scrabble”. Some of the more marked 1938 inventions were; the ballpoint pen that was triumphantly verbalised by Ladislo Biro, similarly the invention of the dry photocopier by Chester Carlson that dissipated any remnants of Letter uniqueness with an easily obtainable mirrored copy.

The “Law of Scrabble” also opened the reading person’s eyes to the real definition of the word called innovation. For decades, Letters of the English language had successfully masked its true meaning via the application of many obtuse rhymes, and a plethora of other devious grammatical diversions.

The “Law of Scrabble” allowed mankind to uncouple the individual letters used in the word innovation (10 letters) into two smaller, and more readily understood words, each within the 7 letter Scrabble limitation. These two words were: “In” (2 letters) and “Novate” (6 letters), which when combined formed the word “Innovate.

Now, should you use a dictionary that has its allegiances with those treacherous Letters, you would find that the definition for “Innovate” is: “To do something in a new way”. Reading between the lines, this definition wants mankind to keep using the old traditional Letters, but just mix them around a tad. Yes, our reliance on the Letter would indeed continue and the worker in the corporate office would be none the wiser, nor creative.

But by using the letter revelation yielded via the application of the “Law of Scrabble”, a slightly different meaning is cleverly unravelled counter to the wishes of the Letters:

In: “used to indicate location or position within something”,
Novate: “to replace (an old obligation) by a new obligation

So the word “Innovate” means to replace old Letters with new and different Letters. Or in more colloquial language, think differently, and use new Letters, some of which when assembled may form a word you have not previously encountered or understood. But the key is to be bold, italic and even indulge in some embellished conjugation when required. Yes, extend your vocabulary and seek new words, some of which may even be in a new language! The result will be the attainment of verbal innovation!

The Tasteful Application of the iChup™

chupachuppencil-1

A soon to be conducted research study by a famous, yet remarkably unpretentious University located near Oxford, has yielded a highly plausible theory regarding the primary catalyst that supports a truly innovative mind.

The theory examined the resources used by the leading creative thinkers prevalent in the 1940s with those commonly found today, and the results were indisputable.

The majority of the great thinkers of the 1940s relied on a common, and most readily available thinking tool that transcribed their thoughts onto paper for private contemplation, mass distribution, and eventual critique amongst their peers. This tool was highly malleable and could be customised to the palate of the holder following long thoughtful periods of mastication. The tool was typically made from wood, with a pointed graphite core that blunted with continual use. Its name was the pencil.

However, with the advent of the computer, the role of the pencil slowly disappeared from the hand of the thinking person and was surreptitiously replaced with the keyboard, and the mouse.

The researchers, from that University located near Oxford, spent many hours studying the chewing habits of a small, yet highly representative sample of computer users (about three actually). Those observed, were found to exhibit no visible characteristics of creativity, but more importantly, not one of them placed any IT implement in their mouth. Besides shouting the letters Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum) quite loudly following this remarkable observation, they smugly realised that they had indeed discovered the true supportive tool for innovation.

Yes, there is a direct correlation between those with a creative mind, and those that thoughtfully chew a pencil.

A few years later, a Research Scientist at Apple just happened to read the findings of this chewing link to innovation and a strategic project was immediately funded. Following the expenditure of many millions of dollars, the consumption of endless cups of soy-milk chai lattes with honey, the iChup™ was finally invented, even more quickly commercialised, and can now be seen in the mouths of many innovative computer users today.

As the name suggests, the iChup™ does have the appearance of a Chupa Chup, and the method of operation is indeed via mouth placement, but that is as far as the similarly goes as the iChup™ has many more mind pleasing features.

Feature 1: Bluetooth Connectivity
The iChup™ has a small surface sensor that measures the tension applied by your teeth as the device is gleefully moved around your mouth thereby ensuring minimal dental damage. The measurement output can be linked via Bluetooth to your computer, or your mobile phone utilising the iChup™ App.

Feature 2: Stress Relaxation
For those thinkers that are stressed, the iChup™ has been designed for under tongue placement. Once in position, the iChup™ has a range of vibration settings that can be selected by the user to obtain maximum stress relaxation.

Feature 3: Taste
The iChup™’s hollow centre has been designed to accommodate a variety of tasteful liquids that are pleasantly discharged over an 8 hour workday. A range of flavours can be purchased, the more popular ones being mint, cola, honey, and for those that like the taste of pencils, there is even a special wooden one.

The iChup™ has been a real success for Apple and one that reinforces that old saying; “Don’t Forget the Past. Learn from It”.

And yes, I still like to use a pencil, still have the taste for it, and find that many creative thoughts quickly appear when applied to paper.

The Future Outer Look

window-woman

Although located on the 536th floor, the view from my private office window is identical to those located on the lower and upper levels where I look straight into a neighbouring building situated just a few centimetres away, the only separation being a sound proof block of thick, perfectly transparent glass. Modern city building regulations stipulate that all walls of construction need to allow the unhindered transmission of light to conform with the strict environmental conditions of work as decreed by the World Office Worker Organisation (WOWO), year of issue 2056.

For those of you unfamiliar with the architectural designs for those of us fortunate enough to be working for a maximum of 2 hours a day, office layouts have definitely changed from the good old days of our grandparents.  Yes, no longer do workers have to reside in the primitive conditions associated with the open planned corporate office. Now, each employee has his, or her, very own dedicated floor space in the building that ensures complete sound solitude, together with the ability to creatively think without any unwelcome, or untimely interruption.

Most corporate office buildings, particularly those located in the CBD, are over 5,000 floors high, lined up side-by-side with military precision along the street frontage, and are constructed entirely from toughened glass blocks as per the WOWO building legislation. However, by the standards of yesteryear, these buildings are not very wide, in fact only 5 metres which matches the WOWO allocated floor width for each employee.

Through an innovative design pioneered by a charitable private Australian research establishment, these impressive tall buildings no longer require an elevator for vertical transportation. Instead, there are two hollow chimney chutes that transcend the entire height of the building located at each end of the floor. The key to this invention was to have the corporate Finance Team located in the upper floors, and the Marketing Department situated in the basement. As hot air rises, it quickly creates an upward wind gust that increases in velocity until it reaches the upper heights of the building where it interacts with the strong negative drag, and then rapidly condenses to form a downward airflow. The result is the formation of an employee transportation system that effortlessly moves people, or objects, up and down the building in a consistent clockwise rotation.

Now should you work in an earthquake location, have no fear as each tall building is linked via a simple locking block designed by Lego Constructions. This company also specialises in amazingly fast building construction techniques, and their corresponding destruction, should it be required.

Occasionally the employee of the corporate office may want to have a meeting with other coworkers not via the traditional video conference, but one involving a real person interaction. The answer is again quite simple utilising the construction techniques developed by Lego Constructions. If a larger meeting room is required, each employee floor is equipped with a block extraction tong which enables a simple person sized hole to be developed in the adjacent building. However, when using the extraction tong, it is important not to remove any blocks located in the hollow chimney chutes as this may result in a large influx of transported employees quickly filling up your allocated floor.

For those employees that have the occasional need for visual privacy from all potential onlookers within and outside the building, Lego Constructions have a simple solution. In each transparent glass building block there is a small sensor that measures the first onset of any employee blush or embarrassment. Should this sensor be triggered, a rapid temperature reduction is initiated within the block that frosts the outer surface that quickly distorts any light transition so a person’s concealment is ensured when required.

Yes, the view from my office window is quite impressive, but like all employees, I wonder what the view is like from other side of the transparent wall adjourning my building? A thought to ponder as I tirelessly works my requisite 2 hours.

The Thought Creation Leadership Stick

Walking-Sticks-02

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

I pondered these William Shakespeare words as I respectfully picked up my “Thought Creation Leadership Stick” and quietly acknowledged that I had just been “thrust”. Yes, it was my allocated turn to lead my fellow corporate office lunchtime walkers on a journey of fictitious discovery.

Like clockwork, at precisely 12:00 PM, those employees yearning for creative daily enrichment hurriedly assembled in the marbled office reception area eagerly awaiting the arrival of the scheduled holder of the Thought Creation Leadership Stick. Each person looked like any other typical employee, apart from the comfy grass-stained walking shoes brandishing their feet, and the small discrete hiking pack emblazoned with the corporate logo that snuggly contained a healthy company supplied lunch.

As I was now thrustfully tasked with my honoured opportunity of creative greatness, I carefully lifted the Stick of leadership authority that signalled to all onlookers the commencement of the lunchtime walk.

Off we went with an air of corporate cohesion, with me leading out the front as I mentally prepared for the numerous planned requisite creative stops. But this was not just any lunchtime walk. No sir, this was a walk in which the leader had to innovatively entertain everyone with an almost believable, yet highly fictitious, story along the way.

Each walk had an allocated duration of exactly 60 minutes, and to constructively utilise this time, I elected to take my walking colleagues along the muddy banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River. As stipulated by my esteemed position of holder of the Stick, we stopped at various picturesque locations where I creatively described the non-existent basic cave markings of prehistoric Melbourne man, the enticing smells wofting up from aboriginal campfires cooking a charcoaled selection of tasty barramundi fish fillets and yabbies, the first European naval ships equipped with copious stocks of rum soaked barrels, and the exploratory “beaming up” of our competition’s most valuable staff by the Martian aliens.

At the conclusion of the allocated walking time, we all returned to the corporate office with our FITBIT step count massively increased, our minds full of thoughtful creative inspiration, and an empty backpack symbolising a most content and happy stomach.

As holder of the Stick, I then proudly passed the leadership symbol over to a fellow colleague, which they accepted with a strong sense of humility and equally nervous anticipation.

So should you want to develop a culture of innovation in your corporate office, together with some complementary employee exercise, then may I suggest that you also have greatness thrust upon you and pick up your own Thought Creation Leadership Stick!

The Ageless Solution

Beauty portrait of young woman holding hour glass sand timer, ag

I had to read the headline twice, but there it was in large bold font on page one in the United Nations Bulletin of Medicine.

“THE EFFECTS OF AGEING, SOLVED”.

Now, who could pass up reading that article? So, I carefully placed my well-worn pince-nez glasses on my ever-increasing sun Australian freckled nose and strained to read the words with an ever expectant, and most hopeful personal self-preservation interest.

After a few minutes, I had finished reading it and thoughtfully leaned back in my well-worn comfy leather chair and placed my cupped hands on the back of my bald head to fully comprehend the intriguing solution presented. Yes, it all made perfect sense, and I, like all the other mature aged readers of this article, quickly went to the Apple App Store and downloaded the answer.

What’s so special about this article you may ask? The article explains that “AGE”, is really an acronym for the “Accumulated Gravitational Effects” on the human body.

Accumulated:
As the years pass, the human brain accumulates an ever-increasing amount of useless and redundant information. Those thoughts that are deemed particularly useful to our survival remain permanently lodged deep within the nodes of the brain; those that aren’t, are quickly and effortlessly removed. With time, these discarded thoughts permeate to certain parts of the body that humans typically associate with getting old. For instance, in men, the classic depositories for wasteful thoughts are in the ear lobes, nose, chin and stomach, all of which seem to gradually elongate, droop or expand. In women, similar elongations occur in other parts of the body which some may try and alleviate via various medical procedures involving reduction, lifting, or tucks.

Gravitational Effects:
Put simply, this is body sag! Need I say anymore?

So what’s this App that you can download from the Apple Store? Well, it’s an “anti-AGE” App that requires you to reverse the polarity of the battery in your iPhone in order to use it. Once installed, you place your earplugs gently into your ageing ear canals and the App automatically initiates the process of unwanted thought purgification. The experience is quite painless, the only sensation being a tingling in your saggy body bits as they slowly change back to their youthful appearance.

So next time you visit your grandparents in the Aged Care Facility and you see them all pretending to listen to music on their iPhones, maybe check the polarity of the battery as I’m sure they all tuned in to the “anti-AGE” App! If so, in a couple of months, maybe bring a photograph with you of when they were twenty years younger as you may not recognise the new youthful them!

%d bloggers like this: