The need for more noisy hot air!

Hot air Balloons

Yesterday, my early morning predawn walk of individual thought solitude was rudely interrupted by the sound of a large whooshing sound overhead!

On looking upwards, I sighted an impressive and colourful hot air balloon meandering through the clouds with a crew of delighted occupants peering over the edge of the basket gleefully looking down at me.

I became enthralled with the upward view as I listened to the random bursts of hot air blasts that the pilot used to reposition the balloon strategically in the sky. As the hot air balloon climbed to greater heights, I lost sight of it momentarily in between visual and audible “trackers” associated with the gas burner used to replenish the heated air.

The thought of these “trackers” I found interesting from a business perspective, particularly for those companies involved in the implementation of Change Management. During a time of structural change, employees need to have a reference point which reconfirms that progress is being made within the organization. In the case of the hot air balloon that was camouflaged within the clouds, these were the sounds and sights of the gas burner that punctuated its progress. In the business world, these “sight and sound trackers” could come in a variety of forms such as; financial targets, management forums, employee surveys, morale or via other external measures. The key is to have these “trackers”, and to promote them regularly as the Change Management “hot air balloon” travels towards the desired end goal (or “landing position”).

So for all you who are involved in piloting your Change Management process……make sure you make lots of noisy hot air!

 

 

Change Management – Coloured Breath Analysis

Sea Surface Temperature

It is common practice these days for an organisation to use various internal surveys or other methods of feedback to get an indication of the mood of their employees, particularly during a time of Change Management. These organisational pulse checks can be rather hit and miss as they are dependent upon the number of people who participate, and on the quality of the information that has been provided.

But….there could be a better way to accurately and instantaneously gain an understanding of employee sentiment via an innovative, yet to be invented process, called “coloured breath analysis”.

Consider the following……

If we could tag and classify a person’s emotional state in the office by measuring the “colour” of the air exhaled as they speak, this could be quite interesting. A “red” colour would signify that they were angry or agitated, “green” would indicate calmness, and “yellow” that they were neutral or somewhere in between the states of “red” and “green”.

Now, just imagine if these exhaled colour breath measurements could be plotted on an office location map, just like the synoptic weather map which indicates high and low barometric pressures? If so, this would provide an immediate, real-time measure of employee feeling that could be updated and reviewed on a continual basis.

Early warning signs of potential employee “cyclones”, or other impending “storms” that were brewing in the office would be readily identified so the appropriate corrective action could implemented in order to harmonise the corporate climate. It would also identify those more preferred “climatic” locations in the office which are more highly stable and have a calming influence on the surrounding areas.

Just a thought……but think of the possibilities if it existed!

The “Doer People”

How the office will look like - North Angle

On the first day with any new organisation you are provided with an obligatory induction tour of the office building that highlights all the important items such as; the location of fire exits, bathrooms, canteen, photocopier and where to park your car.

This is good……but, I’m of the view that these tours omit one of the most important and practical aspects of the building that you need to quickly know to do your new job efficiently and productively……that of the “doer people”.

So who and what are “doer people”? These are people in the organisation that have been identified unofficially by their peers as the person you should ask when you need to quickly get something done “outside” the official corporate policy. For example:

“The IT Doer Person”
Should you encounter a problem with your computer, the official work procedure is to call your Help Desk. However, if you don’t have hours of spare time to sit on hold listening to some uninspiring feeble music, or a repeating corporate message before you are eventually told to turn your computer off and then restart it, you would alternatively approach your “The IT Doer Person. This person thrives on fixing computer related problems, are typically named Boris and will fix the problem through some unfathomable means that you will never have a hope in understanding, but who cares as it takes them only a few minutes and you will then be back to work!

“The Photocopier Fixer Doer Person”
You have all experienced the dreaded “beep” noise on the photocopier when you are in a hurry to print an important document. You could quickly solve the problem if you had a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, but you don’t and those who do have this qualification normally run in the opposite direction on hearing the “beep” so not to be disturbed. The solution is to quickly seek advice from your friendly “Photocopier Fixer Doer Person” who thrives on solving these electronic print problems with the same degree of enthusiasm as that famous Belgian detective Poirot solves many an English murder!

“The Coffee Connoisseur Doer Person”
You could partake of the instant coffee in the office canteen if your taste buds are nonexistent, or, you could seek out “The Coffee Connoisseur Doer Person”. This person typically has a thick black book containing many coffee stained pages listing all the best coffee shops in a short walking distance from the office. These people have a privileged position in the office and are at times of caffeine lack more respected than the CEO.

I’m sure that you can list numerous other strategic “doer persons” that could complement the above three “doers”.

These people are a rare and uniquely talented individual and one that should be a compulsory inclusion in any induction tour!

The Innovation Placebo

Pill tablet

I’m sure that you are all familiar with the word “placebo” and how it is applied in the medical world to make a patient think they are having some type of “treatment” when they actually are not? Without getting too caught up in the psychology of the whole medical process…..this got me thinking!

What if we could utilise the placebo effect to improve a business’s creativity? The process could be termed the “Innovation Placebo”.

To do this, one possibility could be to develop a range of “Innovation Placebo” signs strategically located throughout the business workspace. Some potential ideas:

The Building Entrance Sign
“This building has been architecturally designed by an award winning international company to enhance the creativity thought processes of the occupants”.

The Décor Sign
“The unique colour scheme and office furnishings have been carefully selected to provide an inner peace and reduce worker stress”

The Air Sign
“Through a sophisticated and patented air flow process in the building, oxygen concentration levels have been strategically maximized above all employee workstations to ensure optimum thinking potential”.

The Desk Sign
“All employee desks have achieved the 5 star ergonometric rating for maximum comfort which is the standard required by astronauts travelling in outer space”.

Etc, etc…

If only…..however, just imagine what could be achieved should it be successful?

Be a large Goldfish…not a small one

Gold Fish Bowl Jump 089/365 [explore #150]

It is said that a goldfish when placed in a fishbowl, or larger watery space, will grow to a size that is suitable for that particular swimming environment. The larger the amount of available water volume, the greater the opportunity for the goldfish to increase in size.

This got me thinking….

Many employees have worked for quite a while in the same job role where they have fully mastered their position and are now regarded as the expert within their business organization. In essence, they are the “goldfish in the fishbowl” where they have grown to their maximum size potential.

However, what if they were moved into a new role, or transferred into another business division, or leave and join another company? They would still have the experiences that they had established and fine-tuned in their previous role, but they would now have greater opportunity to expand their vision, skills and learnings in the next one. This would be like the small goldfish being placed into a much larger bowl where they could now grow into a more impressive and bigger fish.

The key is to not let your current fishbowl size limit your thinking and career potential, but to always looks for the many free flowing streams that will lead you to a larger and more impressive fishbowl or pond (or even an ocean) where you can swim freely and get bigger!

The GPS Business Mentor

Mario Kart Icon on TomTom GPS

There is a unique business mentor for a person starting a new job role…it is called the “GPS navigational system”!

When you think about it, the correlation and learnings are quite staggering and provide a useful insight for the new employee and their manager.

1. Starting
When you start a new job, you have minimal idea what to do, or how to go about things. You are looking for leadership and guidance as you commence your new career in the right direction.
When you turn on your GPS, it is also “lost” for the first few minutes whilst it establishes its position coordinates with the satellites.

2. The Planning
In the early stages of your new role, you and your manager discuss your learning program for the first few weeks/months.
The GPS plans your travel route.

3. The Journey Begins
The new employee and driver (user of the GPS) both follow directions as provided without straying from the chosen path.

4. Experience
With time, both the new employee and the driver become less dependent on instructions and start to experiment and explore new paths.

5. Next Steps
The manager should start to provide some “new maps” for the employee so they can obtain new and challenging experiences and expand their knowledge, skills and business horizons.

With time…”You will reach your destination”

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