“White Rabbit” Behaviour

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According to a recent and widely acclaimed behavioural study, one of the biggest killers of innovation in the corporate office is the effect known as “White Rabbit” disease. Once a business is infested with this potent virus, it quickly spreads, and is difficult to exterminate without the introduction of a brutal change management regime.

The “White Rabbit” disease gets its name from the fictional character in the book “Alice in Wonderland” (Lewis Carroll), where a large white rabbit is seen to be in a continual state of panic, whilst shouting the words “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

Those employees exhibiting “White Rabbit” behaviour are easily identifiable. They will be the visibly stressed people rushing from meeting to meeting, always running late, and will be constantly letting you know just how busy they are with strong verbal flagellation sighs of self-importance.

If your organisation is deemed to have too many “White Rabbit” sufferers, and should an appropriate course of corrective action not be immediately implemented by a suitably qualified corporate physician, a stock market directive of absolute quarantine may be imposed. A short time later, a quick financial business vaporization will then prevail with irreversible effect.

But there is a simple and effective treatment that can be easily applied to those afflicted with the “White Rabbit” disease, and one which also acts as a long term inoculation for those that don’t yet exhibit any of the symptoms.

The treatment is called “time”. Not just any “time”, but “thinking time”, where the psychological stress and strain of those affected, who believe they have a need to rush in the corporate office, is eliminated from their daily ritual. The habitual application of “thinking time” leads to the development of a creative thought which tends to free the poor suffer of all anxiety, which apparently has a direct causal link with the onset of “White Rabbit” disease.

Repeated applications of the treatment also appears to fortify the organization’s resistance to the affliction with lasting effect, as their employee’s ability to think creatively is reinforced, and in due course, may even lead to the encouraging signs of innovation.

So the answer is clear. When the first indications of “White Rabbit” disease become apparent, be swift with the copious application of “thinking time”, before it is too late!

 

The Mesmeric Corporate Prognosis

hypnotist

My esteemed colleagues, yes, I can sense your excitement and anticipation! But please relax as you need not wait any longer! After years of pain staking personal research sitting in the entrance foyers of the top 100 global companies, I am now pleased to announce that I have discovered the origins of this incapacitating corporate behavioural phenomenon.

This crippling condition that has inhibited the innovative thinking processes of employees for many decades, now has a medical name, that being “Corporate Mesmeric Innovative Retardation”, or CMIR for short. But more importantly, there is an antidote that is quite painless, and one that can be quickly administered to the corporate employee with immediate effect.

How did I discover this condition? Well, the intensive research required a high level of painstaking incognito behaviour on my behalf involving the wearing a beige nondescript suit, together with countless hours reading The Times, The Wall Street Journal and other local newspapers so as to not be noticed by the employees as they entered the corporate office. Unfortunately, I am still scared by the lack of fashion colour and style, but it was a burden that I was willing to bare for the sake of worldly corporate progress, I’m told the nightmares will eventually subside. The upside, is that my knowledge of world affairs, including the stock market, has resulted in various personal financial gains derived from highly profitable share trading, and a vast array of exclusive invitations to attend numerous London and New York high society trivia quizzes where I am deemed the font of all knowledge, and a most prized team member.

So what did the extensive research tell me? Although my study will be printed in next month’s edition of the Harvard Business Review, I’m sure that the HBR Publisher won’t mind me providing you all with a brief overview of my findings.

They key aspect to my world breaking research was the use of eagled-eyed observation. After countless detailed and personally exhaustive people watching experiences, I noticed the behaviour of all employees (particularly the attractive ones) as they entered the corporate office first thing in the morning, and then as they left that evening. The behavioural change in those inflicted employees at some businesses was profound, it was almost as if I was looking at two different people! Prior to them walking into the corporate reception area, they had a happy persona and exhibited all the normal signs of chirpiness, a willingness of thought, and a noticeable desire to learn. But once their foot stepped onto the marble tiled entrance foyer, it was as if an invisible intensely powerful force quickly sucked all the creativity from them, to which an innovative void remained until they departed the building at 5 PM sharp. At 5:01 PM, their creative vacuum was immediately replaced with their original pre-work positive behaviour. Yes, it was truly remarkable observation to behold!

Although quite mystifying, not all corporate businesses had employees that suffered from the dreaded CMIR condition. To understand the cause as to why this unexplained phenomenon may have occurred, I had to dig deeper into the observational evidence and decided to introduce the HR Managers of the companies studied into the rich complexity, and subtle machinations, of my academic research. After numerous soy milk chai lattes, and what seemed like an endless consumption of gluten-free bagels, I came to a momentous and decisive eureka moment. Apparently, the culture of the organization had a direct correlation with the onset of the CMIR. Should the culture be viewed negatively, then a high frequency of CMIR suffers prevailed. The trigger for most employees who had acute CMIR was the initial sighting of the company logo, typically first seen when they entered the company premises in the morning.  On viewing the logo, a negative and mesmeric effect immediately struck down the creatively-fragile employee resulting in a mind destroying innovation purge, luckily this was a reversible retardation that quickly ceased when exiting the building at 5 PM.

Yes, you are correct in assuming that those companies that had a positive and dynamic corporate culture that was well respected, and one that harmoniously and gleefully fitted with the employee’s lifestyle goals, experienced no CMIR sufferers. So the answer is simple. To eradicate any corrosive and long-term damaging CMIR influences in your business, management do need to focus on the right corporate culture to ensure that their business logo immediately inspires your employees when first sighted as they enter your office.

And should you need any assistance in the process, my consulting fees are indeed negotiable (but please, no gluten free bagels).

“FITBIT Thought” Performance

People at the gym

For a year now I have been wearing my “FITBIT Thought” Earwig and today was the day in which I would see whether I was going to be paid my annual bonus.

Most people tend to only use their FITBIT to record the number of steps they had achieved, but not those in my company. I was fortunate to work for a large innovative organisation that was a leader in its field, and one that was prepared to think that little bit differently.

My company had pioneered the “FITBIT Thought” which when placed unassumingly into the wearers ear, measured not just steps, heart rate, hours slept, but also their “thoughts”. This particular FITBIT had some clever and unique IP built into it that was able to these filter thoughts, differentiate and classify them into various thinking categories. Now this is where it gets interesting.

My company elected to utilise the following thinking categories:
1. Creative (C)
2. Boredom (B)
3. Repetition (R)
4. Humanistic (H)

Based on feedback from our HR Director, thoughts relating to those more “private and personal activities” were excluded from the analysis data, which was probably a good thing knowing my fellow work colleagues!

Performance based “Thought KPIs” were then discussed and agreed with the employee. A daily “FITBIT Thought” dashboard was updated when the wearers Earwig was in close proximity to a corporate computer thereby allowing data synchronisation. Each night I would review my C, B, R, H achievement levels and would make the appropriate behaviour adjustment the following day should I be falling behind, or exceeding certain thought activities.

As it was now day 366, I excitedly logged onto my work computer and made the required “FITBIT Thought” synchronisation. Immediately I received 4 Badges of Performance Merit, each relating to the C, B, R and H categories. But more importantly, another message appeared a few seconds later with an avatar of my CEO advising me of my financial bonus! The gleeful smile continued as I then checked my bank account.

So, should your organisation be looking for a unique and more productive method for measuring your employee’s performance, why not explore the “FITBIT Thought”?

(Note: If only the “FITBIT Thought” really existed!)

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!

 

 

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