Is there Bacon on your Fork of Innovation?


A chicken or a pig, which animal best aligns with your business culture of innovation?

Yes, I’m sure you have all heard the metaphor about the making of an egg and bacon breakfast where it is said that “the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed”.

Many organisations are brilliant at cracking an egg or two, and then conjuring up many visually innovative dishes that at first glance look most appealing to their employees, be they “scrambled, poached, boiled, fried, or an omelette”. But after a while, these “eggy” dishes all become a little bit blasé, boring and lacking substance, and eventually their staff lose interest and seek something more fulfilling.

But what your employees are really hungry for is an innovation culture that requires something more to chew on, one that adds greater taste variety and longer-term nutrient sustainability.

Enter the pig.

The pig is a key ingredient in the making of this traditional breakfast meal, but to obtain the bacon, this animal is well and truly committed to the innovation cause as there is no turning back once the decision has been made to proceed.

Many businesses like to dabble in the development of an innovation culture and are masters of a variety of egg dishes where the cost of involvement is not deemed too great, nor demanding, and one that can be readily communicated, just like the glossy breakfast images found in a cooking magazine.

But innovation is hard work, takes true commitment, and is not just an eggy breakfast meal, but one that is much more substantial and complex.

Ongoing business innovation needs a variety of ingredients that are tailored to the changing tastes of the organisation, be they bacon, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, or even sourdough toast smeared with lashings of vegemite. The key is to continually try new flavours, even add a spice or two to maintain a vibrancy in the palate of your staff so they are constantly longing for additional innovation nourishment, and a fulfilling eating experience to ensure that they want to sit at the corporate breakfast table again, and again. However, some of these ingredients may initially taste slightly bitter, or too salty, and the breakfast meal may require many preparation steps, but the innovation journey demands time, work and a willingness to experiment in order to be successful.

So should the innovation culture in your organisation be aligned too much with the chicken, then it’s time to put some bacon on your corporate fork and be truly committed to the longer term.


PS: For those of the vegan persuasion, apologies! If you know of a similar metaphor based not on animals, I would welcome the feedback.

The Battle of the Left and the Right


And so the tussle starts, yet again, as my daily morning alarm triggers the conscious awakening between my two better halves. The barrage of questions are initiated, and rebuffed, as both sides of me begin the battle for short term body dominance. At the end of the day, my internal scoreboard signifies a winner, but there is only one victor, that being me. Yes, after years of mind training, I have finally mastered my own unique and personal source of creativity. But, we all have this innate ability, we just need to let the dynamics of our left and right brain thought processes engage in mutually beneficial conflict for assured perpetual self-development.

All of us have experienced the continuous battles within our own individual minds, either consciously of perhaps subconsciously. These intellectual disagreements may come in a variety of guises, such as the choice between eating a healthy breakfast, or alternatively choosing a full fat one with all the delicious trimmings, others could be habitually shaving your face in the morning without question (yes, I’m assuming you are male), or challenging the status quo and electing to go with that fashionable facial stubicular appearance.

Now it just so happens that there is an important section of “mass” within your brain that operates centrally between the left and right spheres, and this location is the strategic source of all your innovation. This is the battlefield where your mathematical and creative ideas have a virtual punch up and fight for the opportunity to implement their personalized wishes over your actions. However, you, as the owner of this battlefield, need to be tactically clever to ensure that both sides have an equal chance of winning. Should one brain side win a tad too often it will become a little bit too cocky, alternatively, the other side may become demoralized and could give up trying to play the mind game and a dangerous state of imbalance will prevail. Should this occur, this is where negative personality issues may become evident which could lead to a variety of unwanted and socially unacceptable psychological problems within the owner.

So next time you have the sensation of feeling a debate of choice within your mind, relax, all is ok, it’s just your brain engaging in some power play between the left and the right sections. But do make sure that they play fair thereby ensuring that you reap the ongoing rewards of your personal innovation.

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!

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