I Am Your Idea

Euphoria

As an idea, I was quite happily resting in an unassuming nerve-end in a remote corner of the brain of my original owner. It was quite a good life really, just sitting back taking it easy where I was oblivious to all the busyness of those other ideas around me. But then, my life changed, and in a phenomenally big way!

For some unexplained reason, my owner’s brain decided to think. Why this happened, I have no rhyme or reason as to what initiated this mental activity, but the result for me was an electric and significantly life changing experience. Once the process of thinking commenced, I started to notice an immediate change in my appearance. Yes, I started to transform into a larger and more complex idea. I quickly gained substance, and in a most surprising and totally unexpected way, my social life increased exponentially as I became really popular with other ideas that were totally unknown to me. It seemed like all my new idea acquaintances wanted a piece of my being, so much so that I started to lose my individual identity.

As the concept of human time mysteriously progressed in what seemed like only microseconds, the idea of me started to reside in not just my owner’s brain, but also in that of many people. This biological effect continued to compound and I was swiftly transported via numerous communication methods across the globe into other countries, cultures and out into the solar system and beyond.

I started life as a single idea, but now I am a thought celebrity and one that is core to the survival of many other ideas and foundations of knowledge. Owing to my immense popularity of thought, I am now frequently mobbed by many other small and less advanced ideas, all seeking my autograph where they try and absorb any readily accessible part of me as they themselves quickly grow and develop.

I’m now unstoppable, viral and as long as there is a mind that can reason and think, I will exist. I am thought personified as creativity and innovation. I am your idea.

Using Thought-Mail

(Too much) Thinking

I don’t know how people coped in 2015! It must have been so tedious having to write E-mails, talk on that massive heavy communicator (and they called it a “mobile phone”, I mean really!), and use that archaic and primitive “thing” called the Internet! Thank god I was born in 2064 and am a “Generation SC64er”.

I put my history book down and decided to get back to work.

The first thing I needed to do was to send a “Thought-Mail” to my work team. I’d been putting it off for ages, but I had finally worked out my “thinking” on the business strategy and now needed their input and feedback. I “mentally” turned on the “thought reader” and inserted it in my ear and then “thought” about what I wanted to say to my team. This only took a couple of microseconds as I’m quite a fast thinker. I then “listened” to the play-back draft of the message in my mind, made a couple of corrections, and then visualised the names in my work team and allowed my “Thought-Mail” to be sent. Immediately, everyone in my team received my thoughts.

Not all of them replied immediately though. That was OK, as I assumed that some of them would be “thinking” about other things. I knew that my “thought” would sit in their memory and would be “read” when they had some available thinking time in their work day. I could have classified the “Thought-Mail” as urgent as that would have forced them to think about it straight away, but it wasn’t that important, a response tomorrow would be just fine.

A couple of seconds later I started to “feel the replies” coming into my mind from two of the people in my team. I thought about their comments and agreed with their reasoning. Thankfully all those team members that hadn’t yet responded, also received these replied “thought updates”, so they would have all the updated thinking which would assist them in making their own thoughtful responses.

Well, that took 30 seconds. I now moved onto my next task and again started “thinking” and the process was in motion.

Author note: I wish I was born in 2064, don’t you?

The Vertical Room of Study

The Americans in Canada

It is 8:28 AM and there are a mass of people all waiting rather impatiently for the sky rise elevator doors to open. Finally, the elevator arrives at the Ground Floor Level and the doors slowly open. I quickly enter with purpose and strategically position myself in the back corner of the elevator after appearing to nonchalantly press the illuminated number 39 button. After disguising my external and gleeful anticipation, I then surreptitiously prepare myself mentally for the long ride to my lofty office floor destination.

Some people could be rather bored with the time taken for their vertical ride to tediously meander up to the 39th Floor after continually stopping at many interim floors along the way, but not me! This time is precious as it allows all elevator participants some brilliant people observation and study opportunities! If you haven’t seized the chance to really look at your fellow elevator incumbents, then you really haven’t lived as it contains a microcosm of creativity!

This creativity is quite personal and exhibits itself in many public and rather clandestine forms. The joy for the watcher is in the identification and discovery process which may be rather transparent to those who do not appreciate the visual and sensory clues that are being portrayed within this closed people transportation cubicle.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me provide some additional information so you too can ponder this creative and informative elevator experience.

Firstly, let’s talk woft. Yes, woft. First thing in the morning, your fellow workers will apply a variety of personal fragrances, with fluctuating levels of intensity, to all parts of their body. These fragrant wofts go under the common names of perfumes, aftershaves, moisturisers, hair gels, deodorants and other secret body embellishments. To add to the mix, there are also those people that don’t believe in fragrance enhancement in any form, shape or application. The result is a composite array of woft that frequently changes in line with the differing elevator assortment of occupants.

Then there are the clothes. There will be a jumble of suits, skirts, dresses, shorts, jeans, ties, scarves, socks, shoes and even the occasional sporty look. The colours embedded into these fabrics will generally cover the full spectrum range of the PMS colour palette (except for some strange reason in Melbourne where the colour dark grey or black seems to dominate). Once again, each elevator ride up and down the building will have its own unique colour and clothing dominance.

And yes, the elevator also provides a fool-proof tool for evaluating whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert. Your classic introvert will typically stand up against the elevator wall, look down at the floor and say absolutely nothing. Whereas, your flamboyant extrovert will tend to position themselves within the central people mix and their eyes will be continually darting around looking for a fellow extrovert to initiate a meaningful, typically loud and engaging conversation. Now should you encounter a whistler in the elevator, this usually signifies a frustrated extrovert who just can’t refrain from communication any longer and is about to socially and verbally explode!

I know what you are now about to ask! What about the mobile phone user? Well, there is no benefit achieved by studying these elevator travellers, yes, none at all. Why? Because these people are fundamentally rude and are therefore insignificant and irrelevant from a creative and academic perspective. However, there is a solution. One option is to construct an elevator that is impervious to mobile phone reception (which is quite a common occurrence with the mobile network my company uses). The other, and more economically acceptable option, is to have an inbuilt sensor within the elevator that initiates a torrent of polite verbal abuse telling the person to desist immediately. I was going to suggest some choice descriptive expletives, but as all elevators carry a “G Rating”, this idea just wouldn’t pass the globally accepted standards of elevator etiquette.

So, if you are in the business of corporate change management, HR or team building, an inexpensive and unique “room of study” awaits you, that being your elevator. Next time you take a vertical ride with your colleagues, may I suggest you ponder the woft, the clothes and observe any introvert or extrovert tendencies. I’m sure that many innovative learnings will be presented for your benefit!

Facial Metallic Transmission Opportunities

Can A Mask Of Light Hide The Darkness Inside?

I’ve always been intrigued with people who have a nose stud and one implanted centrally and prominently in their tongue. On seeing these facial adornments, I have typically asked the question why, and have politely probed the wearer for their rational. The response has been varied, but I now fully appreciate the vast array of perceived benefits from their perspective.

However, this got me thinking of another potential and innovative opportunity.

Why not utilise this metallic facial installation to provide improved frequency receptivity for radio and mobile phone signals? A non intrusive and well camouflaged earpiece could then be used to complement this aerial enhancing “bodily stud” network? Now just think of the additional signal enhancement if a belly button stud or other body region was also included into the receptivity network!

The only question that now springs to mind is the danger of heat. Should there be too much signal transmission occurring, could the bodily stud become too hot for the wearer to cope with during times of peak usage? Maybe the stud could turn a red colour when a certain temperature was reached thereby warning the wearer of the potential impending danger?

Just a thought, but something to think about next time you meet someone with a facial stud. I’m sure that this topic would be an ideal conversation starter!!

The Office Runner

Sherrin (201/365)

Equipped rather splendidly in my black sports shorts, bright fluorescent yellow T-shirt and spiffy football boots, I stand by the Australian Rules Football (AFL) coach awaiting my detailed instructions to personally deliver to the targeted players during the game. My esteemed and strategic role within the game is that of “Runner”. As the name suggests, I have the privileged position of being able to run out on to the football field during the game to motivate the players and to deliver words of encouragement and tactics that have a direct real-time influence on the outcome of the contest.

Besides demonstrating my extreme athletic prowess with which I sprint out to the players at top speed (however I must admit some less kind people have called me a “Meanderer”, rather than a “Runner”) to deliver the coaches instructions, I also need to have the skills of an actor and a mentor. Each instruction needs to be customised to meet the listening requirements of the various player recipients in order to achieve maximum receptivity and message understanding. Some players can accept a message that is bold and direct, other players need to be encouraged and wooed in order to fully absorb the details of the instructions, however some players just need a good verbal tirade of abuse.

The role of “Runner” in the corporate office got me thinking. Many businesses use a common form of communication that is designed to reach the largest number of employees as possible. This may be done via E-mails, Bulletins, Newsletters and other such mass distributions. The information take-up and understanding by the individual employee is in most cases rather poor, or rather confused. So why not have a number of cleverly trained Corporate Communication Runners (CCR) that frequent the office corridors?

The CCR would be dressed in a special corporate uniform. Many of you reading this blog post may be thinking runners, tracksuit pants and a T-shirt, but that’s a tad too boring for the CCR. Rather, I’m visualising the CCR dressed in a tight fitting bright body suit (pink, yellow or green) with the corporate logo branded on their back and a nice sounding bell attached to a belt hanging from their waist to announce their arrival as they leap through the office.

The CCR would be entrusted to take specific instructions from the CEO and then personally deliver them to the various key employees throughout the building to provide maximum message impact and acceptance.

However, there is an additional role for the CCR in that they would also convey messages, or employee mood back to the CEO so they fully understand the feeling within the organization.

Yes, these CCRs would be very busy! But the role of the CCR is a very important one within the corporate office, and one that I would suggest be considered somewhat more seriously than this blog post suggests?

Just a thought….

Serving up the Corporate Communication

dinner

 

Have you ever considered the humble beef steak and the many variations in which it can be prepared and served to meet the varying eating requirements of diners?

Some people like their steak raw, others partially cooked, others with a more highly tuned animalistic appreciation, savor it burnt with a delicate charcoal after taste that lingers just that little longer on the palate.

Others like their steak transformed into another eating format such as mince, a sausage, hamburger or even placed on a metal skewer garnished with an array of coloured complimentary ornamental vegetables to add that certain nutritional balance to the eating diet.

The overall result is that many people will happily eat steak owing to the customized presentation and delivery format that meets the endless variety of fickle needs of the consumer.

Let’s explore this thought with respect to corporate communications. Rather than having one single communiqué to the broader organization, a tailored message for each user group is required (you just can’t serve raw steak to everyone!). The message needs to be crafted to meet the consuming needs of each work group. Some groups will like to hear the message straight (don’t cut the fat off their meat), others will need it to be refined (cut into smaller more palatable pieces), some will need it simplified and reduced (via the use of a food processor), others may want some condiments to compliment the taste of the message.

In all the above message scenarios the origin of the communication is the same (just like the original cut of the steak) the skill is in how the Corporate Communication Director (or should I say chef) dishes up the “meat” to ensure that each employee (diner) eagerly greets the communication and is ready to eat it all up and is fully satisfied without the need for seconds, or a dessert!

So in summary, corporate communication is really just food for thought…..isn’t it?

 

The Role of the Wandering “Wofter”

Watching you

Have you ever watched a fly buzzing around a house moving from room to room as it partakes in the delights it encounters along its journey? Just imagine if you could have the ability to transform into a fly for a brief moment whilst at work and really be that fictitious fly on the wall!

Let’s just think about this concept a little bit further from a business perspective.

The humble fly has the opportunity to listen to a variety of different conversations and work practices in a completely non-influencing way and can also utilise the very best scenarios from each participant interaction. The fly is the ideal stealth observer and is able to buzz in or out and focus on specific corporate details without hindrance.

Now if you had many flies buzzing throughout your office you would gather a wealth of learnings which could be shared when all the flies swarmed together!

Unfortunately you can’t actually be a fly, but why can’t there be a role in business for a group of independent observers (for want of a better name I will call “wofters”) that strategically woft throughout the office neutrally listening to each business meeting and then come together to share their observations and insights to benefit the total organisation?

These official “wofters” could be identified by a special nondescript coloured uniform and have a position of privilege in the corporate structure! I’m sure that with time, many people would want to aspire to this role owing to the opportunity to quietly woft in all business activities?

So next time you see a fly buzzing with what appears to be an aimless trajectory throughout your office, may I suggest that you think differently and consider the benefits of the “wofter” in your corporate organisation.

Leading the Troops

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Never has the role of a leader been more critical than when an organisation is undergoing a severe dislocation derived from a Change Management program.

The impact on the business could possibly be likened to how a soldier’s behaviour changed when faced with trench warfare in the First World War. In the trenches the soldiers lived in constant fear of having to go over the trench wall to face a highly risky and unknown future. To an employee, the analogy is unfortunately very similar! Consider the following:

1. Casualties
The soldier was continually seeing many casualties inflicted on their comrades by the enemy (the employee experiences many of their co-workers being made redundant and lives in fear that they too may also lose their job)

2. Lack of Information
Most soldiers were kept in the dark regarding the military mission and only saw short term actions which appeared to be rather foolhardy (employees do not fully understand the end goal of the Change Management, but rather judge the progress being made by how it is impacting themselves and their immediate coworkers)

3. Rumours
A lack of regular communication and dispatches from the military command resulted in many rumours spreading amongst the troops (if there is a lack of communication from management, rumours become rife and spread quickly throughout the organisation leading to poor morale)

4. Environment
The living conditions in the trenches became intolerable and basic hygiene quickly deteriorated resulting in discontentment and potential mutiny (employees will cope with poor work conditions and uncertainty for a limited period of time, however, should this continue many employees will seek employment elsewhere).

5. Recognition
Those soldiers who exhibited extreme courage were awarded decorations of valour, such as the Victoria Cross (employee contribution should be recognised and rewarded).

The military commander needed to have the ability to inspire and motivate the troops to have the mental and physical fortitude to leave the perceived safety of the trench and to risk their lives to fight the enemy to gain a forward position.

Here the manager must also lead their fellow employees along the Change Management journey to ensure the success of the business reorganisation, otherwise the structural change process will undoubtedly fail. Employees need to believe that their individual contribution is significant and will make a purposeful contribution to the long term survival of the business.

So before you raise your “manager’s sword” and utter that famous “charge” command, make sure you have considered all the aspects associated with the life of a soldier struggling in the trenches so you taste victory instead of defeat in your Change Management activity!

Timing your “pop” just right!

281/365 - pop the bubbly.

Consider the champagne bottle from an anticipation perspective and I think you will agree that it is a world recognised winner on all fronts! So what is the key to its success?

The Shape
It is an impressive design that is bold at the base and sleek at the top that commands a prestigious occupation position when situated on the shelf with less humble bottles.

The Wrapping
The combination of a sophisticated bottle label with a wired opening mechanism is an engineering masterpiece.

The Cork
The unleashing of this pressurised stopper announces the progression of a carbonised fluid stream of enticing drinking refreshment culminating in a distinctive and highly audible popping sound!

So, when the champagne bottle that is characterised by its shape, wrapping and cork, is introduced into any party or special occasion, it is always greeted with an air of rapture and excitement!

But once it is opened and all the contents have been consumed, the bottle is now viewed with a past sense of occasion and one now spent. It can only be popped once, so the moment is eagerly cherished by all beholders.

In the corporate environment we can learn a lot from the champagne bottle when making any strategic announcements as you only get one chance to get the impact of the “pop” just right! Get it wrong and your important message becomes a fizzle.

The key is to gradually build and promote the anticipation via a combination of carefully scheduled pre-positioning communication snippets so when the time is optimum, your message goes off with an impressive “pop” and is immediately appreciated by all employees.

So focus on the timing and make sure that you get that “pop”……just right!

Cheers!

 

Change Management and the Lily Pond

Pond Apocalypse

Have you every considered the humble lily pond?

Looking at the top of the pond you see clear blue water inter-dispersed with a variety of flat circular green lilies bobbing gently in harmony with the movements of the water. Should there be any sudden changes or displacements in the pond, the lilies move accordingly, the larger the change, the greater the movement.

As you explore deeper into the pond, the water becomes more murky with various weeds and algae until you finally reach the bottom where there will be a layer of thick black sludge that entraps any items that may visit.

The view from the bottom of the pond is in extreme contrast with the clear waters that percolate around the green lilies.

This got me thinking….let us now consider the impact of a change management program in the business environment and its correlation with the lily pond.

Those in senior management positions (the lilies on the pond surface) are usually more involved with the change process and have a greater appreciation of the overall business objective. This understanding assists in enabling them to cope with any turbulence during the process.

However, as you go lower down the corporate structure, their knowledge of the business objectives of the change program becomes less apparent. Here these employees have less visibility of the process and are typically focused on survival (keeping their job) as their environment becomes more harsh and tough (in the black pond sludge).

For the change management process to be successful, the “water in the pond needs to be continually in motion” and any detrimental “plant life” should to be removed, diluted, or transformed by the cleansing action of the water currents to avoid black pond sludge. Internal communication within the organisation is the key to keeping the “water in motion” thereby ensuring that everyone in the pond benefits from the continually moving currents.

So, just like in the pond where it is important to keep the water moving, so it is in a change management program to have communications that reach all levels of the organisation.