No Splashing Allowed

Bath Shoot-6963

Many a creative thought has been generated in the bath, just ask that revered Greek Scholar Archimedes who did his best thinking when immersed in a tub.

Now this got a currently little known, yet soon to be famous Research Scientist at a leading Boston University pondering the origin of that eureka moment. Following many years of water immersed individual contemplation (well, that’s the official academic description used on her funding application), this dedicated “batharian” explored the innovation correlation between many factors involved in the practice of creative bathification.

Equipped with a waterproof black pen, she meticulously studied a vast array of bathing techniques and diligently recorded each bathing episode on the inner white enamel bath surface. As the hours of analysis continued, the water colour in the bath gradually turned from a clear transparency to an obscure studious composition that matched her dark ink penned font markings, thereby necessitating the need for many repeat purchases of new bath study environments.

She explored every conceivable bathing influence that included temperature, depth, bubbles, degrees of nakedness, outside, inside, altitude, bath composition, even friendship interactions.

After many thousands of litres of water draining through the plughole, she did indeed discover her own eureka moment, one that has indeed raised the temperature in the innovation debate as to the origin of creative thought.

For all those seekers of the creative truth, the answer was apparently right before our eyes as we sat, or lounged in the bath in blissful relaxation, that being turbulence. Yes, turbulence.

This clever “batharian” discovered that there is an inverse relationship between water turbulence and the creative prowess of the person residing in the bath. If a person is stressed, they tend to squirm in the bath, wash themselves, splash, or get restless. Any chance of creative thoughts being generated is minimal. However, if they are at peace with themselves, they just happily laze in the bath and savour the restful warming experience which leads to the progression of a plethora of original ideas. At this stage of their creativity, the bath water is still and turbulence is non-existent.

So for those of you in the corporate office, should you want to initiate a eureka moment amongst your employees, install a bath, just like in the Roman times. But a word of caution. Please ensure that there is a large sign strategically positioned in clear view of all those in the bath stating, “No Splashing Allowed”, as you don’t want any negative turbulent thought prevailing to the surface.

The Office Busyness Indicator (OBI)

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It is now a frequent occurrence to see numerous health conscious corporate office cohorts trekking the surrounding streets as they brandish a vibrant assortment of “Thought Creation Leadership Sticks”. Thankfully, gone are the days where lunchtime consists of habitually sitting in front of your computer, whilst quickly munching on a bland vegemite and cheese sandwich, accompanied by yet another cup of coffee. No, lunchtime now signals the start of many a “walk of thought” where employees leave their computer monitors behind, whack on some runners, a stylish hat, and do some exercise to stimulate their thought processes in gleeful and creative conversation.

Many corporate offices measure their “walk of thought” prowess through the competitive use of a “Workweek Hustle” FITBIT competition. Here a leader scoreboard tallies each walker’s steps, or lack there of, each Monday through to Friday, concluding at precisely midnight. For those of you that are familiar with this activity, it is a common practice to see many participants walking late into the Friday evening in an attempt to add those additional precious steps that might just provide them with the highly sought after FITBIT badge of victory!

However, in a recent research study, at a yet to be famous university, the findings indicate that there is a direct causal link between the average weekly FITBIT count of all active “walk of thoughters”, and their office busyness. This link is called the Office Busyness Indicator (OBI). If one views the average team steps on a weekly basis, a busyness trend becomes all too apparent. When the corporate office is experiencing a high workload, or is stressed, the average step count is low. But when the employees are feeling creative, vibrant and in need of some thoughtful collaboration, the number of steps rises significantly as they engage in happy, walk-full dialog.

So, should you be a Human Resources Manager reading this blog post, the answer is clear. Just encourage all your employees to become “walk of thoughters”, equip them with a FITBIT, chart their weekly OBI result, and you will have a real-time scientific insight into the mood of your organization. Simple.

The Lazy Creative

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It can happen via a deliberate wrist glance, a nonchalant button press, or the frequent refreshing of a specifically purchased iPhone App. You have all observed it in action. Yes, it’s the now quite common hourly habit of the corporate office FITBIT wearer as they compete with their fellow fanatical walkers for the esteemed victor of the Workweek Hustle.

But in a recent study, at a soon to be prestigious Australian Institute of Sport, a rather unusual finding has been discovered that has found a direct correlation with a person’s aptitude for innovation, and their FITBIT daily step count. Contrary to what you may think, the lower the FITBIT number, the higher the innovation intellect.

The majority of the corporate office population view those in their working ranks with a very Low FITBIT Step Count (LFSC) as being rather lazy. However, the study results found this to be remarkably furthest from the truth.

Those of your colleagues with a LFSC typically commenced their innovation training early in their youth as a teenager. A visual clue to their future LFSC creative talent would be their clothes, towels and food plates being strategically placed on the floor in their bedrooms. As the days of litter and odour progressed unhindered, a frustrated parent would finally succumb to the mess and tidy their room, with no stepping activity required at all from the clever child.

For teenagers that mastered this skill, their LFSC innovative prowess continued into their working life where the role of the parent was replaced by a fellow work colleague. Here they would sit comfortably at their desk, with their ears and eyes seeking out a potential parental worker surrogate to ensure that their need for physical exertion was significantly minimized. If you are not familiar with their innovative FITBIT step reduction techniques, take note of the following behavioural clues:

  1. The Coffee Run: They will hear the murmurings of colleagues thinking of making a dash to the nearest café for a coffee. Using their creative talent, they will feign extreme busyness and will ask you to get them a coffee on their behalf. If they are masterly at their LFSC craft, you will also be paying for them, with no hope or expectation of a reciprocal arrangement.
  1. The Carpark: In the office carpark, the innovative LFSC colleague will park in the closest position next to the elevator thereby ensuring the least number of walking steps. Some may even place a “Reserved” sign to guarantee this requirement.
  1. The Video Conference: Rather than having to walk to a meeting, the LFSC colleague will cunningly schedule a video conference, even if the colleagues invited sit only a few desks away.

So next time you have a FITBIT Workweek Hustle and you power your way on a daily basis to stepping superiority, may I suggest that you have a look at the work colleague that always comes last. Yes, they are the truly innovative people in your corporate office as it takes creative ingenuity to be that lazy!

Green Rolls and Hands? Nope!

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For those of you that notice things, you will have seen this overt activity as it nonchalantly happens at precisely the same time every work day, typically around 12 PM.

The routine has been slowly increasing in acceptance and is now seen gastronomically throughout the global corporate lunching fraternity. The more worrying part with this viral consumptive eating trend is that it has been gradually eroding the employee’s ability to be creative with each unassuming, yet decisive, bite.

Other visual clues to this habitual eating disorder are the sporadic green flakes, annoyingly wedged firmly between the consumer’s front teeth, that unfortunately quickly diminish the potency of any beneficial smile that may have permeated from the nominated cuisine experience.

Owing to the well marketed hand-held appeal and versatility of this unique luncheon product, your corporate colleagues will recklessly chomp on it without any personal welfare concern as they freely walk, engage in other physical exercise, or whilst happily sitting in a relaxed stationary position at their work desks.

Yes, I’m talking about sushi!

Unfortunately, this repeated daily eating sushi experience has markedly diminished their innovation skills as they no longer use their sensory exploration nous to seek out other equally satisfying food alternatives. After years of reckless sushi eating, this innovation retardation can be readily validated via the application of any up to date Myers Briggs personality profiling where comparisons can be easily made to when they didn’t have this eating disorder, and when their taste buds enjoyed a diverse choice in luncheon opportunities.

So the answer is clear. If you want to quickly increase innovation in your corporate office, urgently circulate an official HR decree than bans the eating of sushi with immediate effect.  Your business, your work colleagues, and the other non-sushi selling establishments in your office area, will thank you greatly.

“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!)

Wink to the Rhythm

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Woohooo, there was only two minutes to go!

You could sense the air of anticipation as everyone was starting to psych themselves up for it! As the seconds counted down, people were trying to hurriedly conclude their phone conversations, meetings were quickly ending and there was a mass movement of excited employees all racing back their desks in order to get there in time. I was no exception as I looked down at the clock on my computer screen and saw that it was now 1:59 PM, only one more minute to wait!

Then at precisely 2:00 PM, with all the office staff now quietly seated at their allocated desk positions, it started.

The PA system crackled and the countdown began….5, 4, 3, 2, 1. On reaching the eagerly awaited number 1, the “gym workout music” loudly blurted out throughout the building with a rhythm of exactly 150 beats per minute.

As my desk was situated to the extreme left of the building, it was my allocated task to start the “Mexican Wave of Wink”. I turned my head to Melissa (the colleague on my right) and winked my right eye and smiled. Immediately, Melissa winked her left eye in time to the beat, then quickly turned her head to face Jules (seated on her right) and winked her right eye with perfect musical synergy, together with a the requisite beaming smile. This process continued in time to the beat until all 153 employees had winked and smiled. On reaching Peter, who was seated at the extreme right of the building, his timely wink initiated the “wink rebound” back along the “wink-chain” until I was able to receive the wink with my opposite eye. Gleeful and spontaneous laughter prevailed, as it was a unique sight to behold and a great opener to the daily 2:00 PM ritual.

My next task was to pass the “K-card”, once again in time to the beat, to Melissa, who handed it to Jules, and the process again continued. At the same time, Peter spun around once in his desk chair and stood up, thereby signalling to Angus (sitting on his left), to spin and stand up, again the process continued, until the music beat randomly stopped. The person in possession of the “K-card” now had to do some solo “krumping” for 5 seconds, following which the beat would start up again signalling the continuation of the “K-card” passing and chair spinning/standing.

Ten minutes later, the beat stopped. All employees now returned to work.

However, there was a noticeable “buzz” permeating throughout the corporate office. Motivation, employee concentration, and a most recognizable feeling of fun and teamwork prevailed.

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