Caputignis: Business Greatness

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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.

Pinocchio’s Law

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A comprehensive population study has recently been completed, by a soon to be prestigious university, that will provide society with a foolproof DNA roadmap ensuring the long term wellbeing of mankind’s want for cultural innovation.

The analysis results were remarkably simple by their nature and have confirmed that people just needed to open their eyes as the source of innovation was, literally before their faces. The researchers wisely named their innovation theory “Pinocchio’s Law” owing to the direct, physical and observable correlation with their university findings.

The results indicated that when an individual fabricates a story, lies, or promotes an untruth, their brain stimulates a corresponding creative growth hormone that initiates increased nasal development. For those people that have mastered this technique, their noses will typically be abnormally long. This also assists in explaining the timeless conundrum as to why babies have small noses, as they have not yet perfected the skill of deception.

Another strategic correlation linked to an individual’s deception ability is that of innovation. An innovative mind needs to be able to think differently and to quickly fabricate events in order to achieve a plausible scenario, even though it might be highly fictitious.

So for those of you that want to spawn a race of innovative offspring, the answer is quite simple. You just need to find a reproductive partner with a nose that is significantly longer than yours, or at least of a matching length.

However, for those of you with a spiritual, sinless and purity of thought inclination, you too have a visual clue to assist you in finding that perfect life accomplice. Yes, you need to seek out people with a short stubby nose, and the chance of any negative humanistic deception tendencies will be minimised.

Yes, “Pinocchio’s Law” can also benefit those in business. Should your CEO have an unusually large nose, well the verdict is simple, don’t believe everything your are told!

In summary, bigger is indeed not better, unless you like deception.

Dirt IS Good

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An office colleague of mine was trying to convey the attributes of infrequent showering as a benefit to the environment, and her body, after reading an article in a leading Australian newspaper*. My altruistic persona understood the associated advantages with water and soap conservation, and for that individual sacrifice I was indeed grateful. However, I must admit that I was struggling to find common agreement with the potential impact on her personal hygiene and that unique, and highly distinctive human odourfication.

That night, whilst driving home in my air-conditioned clean car cocooned from all external negative atmospheric influences, I thought objectively about my colleague, and I came to the conclusion that Dirt was actually a very good thing, particularly for the process of fostering innovation in the corporate office. No, I’m not suggesting for a moment that a dirty unwashed body should be encouraged, particularly as I am still a strong believer in the virtues of daily ablutions, but I am purporting the advantages of having a “dirty mind”, one that is openly shared and encouraged amongst all employees.

Now for all of you that do have a “dirty mind”, immediately stop, go no further with your thought processes!  When I use the term “dirt”, I mean; mud, soil or clay….yes, that Dirt.

In the corporate office, there are many ideas generated, some great, others, well, not so great. However, many of these hypothetically brilliant ideas experience a relatively short creative life that quickly evaporate before they can be progressed to a state of potential future commercial benefit.

Think of a plant that needs time to cultivate roots in dirt from which it obtains the necessary nutrients for growth. If it is left unprotected without the life giving benefits of soil, it soon withers and dies. Similarly, your thoughts require a “dirty mind” to take hold, grow and develop. Here the “dirty mind” is your business culture and it needs to be one that is rich in a variety of ideas that support these fragile seeds of creative thought. Should your business be lacking the “Dirt” and be more like an arid desert where endless restrictive procedures prevail, then innovation has no hope of developing.

Yes, Dirt is good and a “dirty mind” should indeed be encouraged.

* http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/how-often-should-we-shower-much-less-often-than-you-think-20150310-140487.html

Shirt Wear – Guidelines for Corporate Creativity

Shirt

You know…the business shirt is quite an amazing source of innovation and creativity and has a unique and strategic place in the corporate office. However, many wearers do not recognise this fact, or its importance. So let’s explore this grand piece of clothing a little bit further.

The key shirt characteristics that define your shirt wearing creativity are:
• The colour
• The buttons
• The in/out tuck

Colour:
Most shirt wearers in your typical conservative corporate organisation tend to wear the stock standard white shirt. Need we say anymore, except, this probably explains why these companies are quite boring and lacking innovation!
When colour is introduced; now we are talking! These colourful shirt wearers tend to have that increased level of flamboyance and “oomph” that supports the generation of new ideas. Other areas for creative differentiation are the optional stripe or pattern.

Buttons:
The typical business shirt has seven buttons in the main frontal section, and a smaller button on the sleeves (assuming that this is a cufflink shirt).
My extensive research (based on extensive individual research I might add), is that the number of buttons done-up greatly influences the shirt wearers level of freedom which I assert has a direct correlation with creativity.
The optimum level of thought freedom appears to be attained with no buttons done up….yep that hairy chested high air-flow look! When all the buttons are done-up, “theory” states that creativity is proportionally reduced. Owing to HR T&Cs of acceptable dress in the corporate office, I would suggest the top two buttons being undone, if not completely removed to ensure that happy creative compromise with the official corporate guidelines.
Another option is to undo the small buttons on the shirtsleeves and roll your sleeves up, once again, a certain freedom of corporate constraint seems to prevail as a consequence.

In/Out Tuck:
This is indeed a very personal choice. Some people like to have their shirt tucked in, others like it out. However, when wearing a suit, having the shirt out does tend to make you look rather uncouth hedging towards that bogun looking classification. However, if it improves your ability to think with your shirt flapping around your bottom, well, each to their own!

Now, I haven’t explored the choice of hooks and eyes, or zips, as an alternative to buttons, but would welcome any constructive feedback from any readers of this blog post that might be beneficial to the argument being proposed above (which of course is all tongue in cheek!).

In conclusion, may I suggest that you view your business shirt as a key factor in the development of a culture of innovation in the corporate office.

You Took a RISK….Fantastic!!

TAKE RISKS

In one of my previous blog posts you will recall my recent attempt at roller skating (https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/office-roller-skating-instructors/)

As I look back on that memory, I can vividly recall the difference in skating standard between myself (a hesitant, stumbling, novice) and that of my instructor (graceful, impressive, stunning…and yes…that rather magnificent short flappy skirt, not that I really noticed, well, maybe just a little….)

Both of us had the same type of roller skates, we were on the same skating rink, the same skating ambition not to fall over, but our skating performance skills were noticeably different! Why…well, it’s called experience. My skating experience was one lesson, her experience was extensive and it showed. But, her skating prowess didn’t happen quickly, it took many years of practice, learning, taking risks, and being prepared to occasionally fail and have that embarrassing moment of falling over and landing on her bottom.

In the corporate office, the prospect of failure isn’t really encouraged. The environment is very risk adverse, in fact, most of us are too scared to explore new ideas, particularly our managers, just in case they don’t work. It’s no wonder that innovation and creativity is stifled, or on the verge of becoming non-existent!

However, to build a corporate risk-taking environment that is effective, it needs to start at the top. A culture must develop that says…”it’s ok to fail..in fact, it’s ok to fail quite a few times…just keep working your innovative idea and eventually you will succeed and more importantly…learn”. Of course there are many caveats and T&Cs associated with this comment, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to work in an organization that encouraged you to take risks and stuff up occasionally along the way!?

Why doesn’t the CEO of your organization share with you some of their personal failures, and their learnings from those experiences? If they haven’t had any failures, does that mean they were too scared to take any risks, or did the organization not let them do so? If that’s the case, I suspect you might be working in rather a boring and conservative company so it might be time to get out before you also becoming branded with the concept that innovation lethargy is the norm and acceptable behavior!

Most companies have a corporate newsletter that is circulated internally to all employees highlighting various business successes that have occurred over the last few weeks or months. Why not include a section that highlights people in the business that had the courage to try something new, something innovative, and if it failed, get them to explain their learnings from the process. These people need to be encouraged and to be given public recognition. By doing this, others will also see that it’s ok to try something new and bold.

Why not add an innovation component into your employee’s performance goals for the year? Now this would create a vastly different mindset in the management structure as I suspect that most managers wouldn’t know where to start in this process? One option could be to provide all managers and employees with an “Innovation 101” type course that provides the basics in brainstorming and creativity techniques to make people think that little bit differently (PS: If you need a hand in doing this, let me know!)

The corporate office should be fun, exciting and have a culture that promotes innovation. Afterall, we spend most of our lives at work…so make it a place that you want to be at and more importantly….enjoy!

That Aurafication Advantage

Businesswoman consulting a partner

I’m sure that many of you have walked into a room full of people that you don’t know and can immediately sense the atmosphere that is prevalent, whether that be positive or negative. Sometimes it can be seen in their body language, or their tone of voice, or just the way they stare at you when you interrupt the mood with that look of bewilderment, or relief that someone new and interesting has joined the group. Either way, it doesn’t take you long to know whether you should continue to walk in, or just back out graciously and say with that sincere and genuine voice, “sorry for the interruption, I think I may have the wrong room” as you lie most professionally through your teeth!

Let’s call this room atmosphere the ‘meeting aura’ or just ‘aura’ for short.
You can also experience this aura when you visit a city for the first time. I’m based in Melbourne and many visitors state that there is a unique ‘Mel-aura’ that is quickly identifiable as you traverse the city streets, similarly Sydney has its own ‘Syd-aura’, as do many other cities around the world.

Many corporate organisations have their own brand that is quite distinctive and readily noticeable when you enter their head office, or meet an employee that is a true believer of their business culture. So, what is it that creates this aura, or ‘corporate aurafication’ that is so illusive to many organisations!

To me, the key to successful ‘aurafication’ is being prepared to be different, but different in a positive and constructive way that encourages employees to want to be linked to the organisation. If their participation in the business is beneficial to them personally, then the process of ‘aurafication’ is well and truly on the way. If there is no prospect for personal growth, then the chance of a successful ‘aurafication’ will be quickly nullified and the business will become yet another one of those boring, and unimpressive companies of which there are far too many!

So in order for your company to have that well sought after aura that many employees strive to obtain, focus on creating your own unique corporate culture and thereby obtain that optimum ‘aurafication’! It might just be the start of that competitive advantage that your business is looking for at the moment?

The Innovation Index

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When seeking out an exciting restaurant to savour and appreciate some fine gourmet delights, the dining patron has the ability to select an appropriate eating establishment via an internationally recognised rating system characterised by the number of “Michelin Stars”. The higher the number of “stars”, the greater the eating experience!

Wouldn’t it be great to have a rating system along the lines of the “Michelin Stars” for a corporate organization’s culture of innovation? (As a suggestion, these ratings could be called the “Innovation Index”, or some other creative innovative name..)

“Innovation Index”:
1 = Boring and very conservative workplace
2 = The workplace is innovative now and then
3 = There are times of brilliance, but not consistent
4 = Wow!!!

The “Innovation Index” could be promoted in the organization’s internal and external communications, websites and could even be stencilled under the company name in their registered offices.

Job seekers could use the “Innovation Index” to identify potential employers of choice, and those to keep well away from?

How would your company rate on the “Innovation Index”?

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