A Predicament of Cuffs

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There is a growing trend that visually appears to be creeping out from within the apparel industry that is testing the wearer’s ability to cuff things comfortably. The garment of culprit is the business shirt where the sleeves are mysteriously getting longer.

Yes, in these days where everything is getting smaller, thinner and of a lower quality, it’s remarkable that the use of a costly fashionable cloth in this instance is increasing. Now this may initially sound like an unexpected opportunity for the astute consumer that appreciates value for money, but for those dapper dressers that like their shirt cuffs sitting precisely where they should be, and not half way down their fingers, this is a massive fashion catastrophe.

One could possibly assume that the length of the human arm has mysteriously increased by some unknown genetic mutation over the past year, but even with my minimal understanding of the machinations of the human body, I suspect that this is not the case.

Now should the origin be related to a rare herb or exotic vegetable, then I’m sure the makers of hair tonic, for those with a baldness malady, would have quickly applied the remarkable remedy to the hairless scalp population for immediate commercial gratification.

But alas, none of these wily scenarios seem to apply. Rather, I postulate that it is a deliberate ploy of that canny fashion industry to make the reluctant long-armed shirt wearer think differently as they creatively explore ways to shorten their lengthy predicament.

For those shirt wearers amongst you that are clueless on how to obtain a quick cuffed resolution, may I suggest that you consider the following innovative solutions:

  1. The Sleeve Garter
    This is a throw back to the 19th century when men’s shirts were only provided in one arm length, that being long. Now those fashionable men with a more civilised shorter arm length wore an elastic garter on their upper arm to impinge the unwanted shirt extension. To all antiquated manufacturers that used to fabricate these items, good fortune will soon be coming your way!
  2. The Cuff Roll Up
    This solution is indeed self-explanatory, so get ready for the sight of many a man now carefully rolling up their cuffs to attain the optimum equal arm position. For those in doubt as to the correct length, just keep a handy tape measure in your trouser pocket for surety of mind.
  3. Scissors
    This is a length rectification technique of last resort. Here the desperate shirt wearer applies the scissors with gusto to quickly discard any unwanted material thereby converting the item of clothing into a clever short sleeved shirt.

And if none of these solutions appease your shirt predicament, then only one answer remains. That being, give your unfashionable shirt as a loving gift to that long-armed friend that used to be known for their Neanderthal reach, but, is now the custodian of a wardrobe busting to contain the massive number of shirts reluctantly donated by the hapless chic populace that once enjoyed a comfortably fitting shirt.

The Clues are in their Hair

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Want to know if someone is innovative? The clues are in their hair, but not where you think it may typically be, no, indeed far from it.

For Clue Number 1, we need a historical perspective. When you think of Isaac Newton, or Leonardo da Vinci, you immediately think intelligence, creativity and an exploratory mind. But when you look closely at their portraits, have you noticed their hair? Yes, you will see long flowing locks of follicular matter, but, no, it is not theirs, but that of a wig.

Clue Number 2 focuses on the modern man with copious amounts of hair on his chest that strategically permeates between his straining shirt buttons to be displayed to all those that he meets. And for those men that have one or two buttons deliberately undone, they are purposely exposing their esteemed intellect and freedom of thought to the envious onlooker.

Now should a man be graced by god with the gift of masses of thick back hair, then this individual is the crème de la crème of innovators and one that fully embodies Clue Number 3. For many a year, this man has by archaic social customs cleverly hidden his thick rug from the jealous crowds through an array of carefully planned shirt wardrobe selections. But when walking on the beach in a back naked state, he is at his peak level of innovative inhibition, so beware!

The topic of Clue Number 4 is commonly observed in young women, particularly when sitting in a bored mental state in their stationary car at traffic lights, or when in the midst of a large number of flirtatious males. Here, when a woman is subconsciously thinking about a certain proposal, she slowly winds her finger around her long flowing locks of hair whilst she decides on a particular course of action.

Clue Number 5 relates to men with beards. When they are thinking, they casually rub their chins whilst they ponder the appropriate response, hoping for a wanted beam of inspiration.

Yes, the common denominator with all these clues is the individuals lack, or abundance of hair and how they use it, or disguise it, in their daily activities.

Now should you encounter a body that is completely absent of any hair, well, there is only one conclusion. They are probably exceptionally innovative, but have decided to shave off any clue of their highly knowledgeable persona before anyone knows what they hairingly possess!

Enough is Indeed Enough

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Gentlemen, it’s time for a private revolution in the corporate office because you are losing the “you”, in you. Yes, many of you have voluntarily discarded your individuality in order to become part of the accepted “we”. But the unconscious sacrifice you have made has significantly impacted your personal creativity.

Remember the time in your working life when you wanted to be noticed, when you desired to be the centre of attention, when you had something important to say, and were unrepentant when you said it?

When did we all morph into a state of visual uniformity and become a subdued and quiet collective of “I”s?

Here are some clues to help you revitalise your memory, and to inspire you into again thinking that little bit differently.

The neck tie – Gone!
Recall those colourful items of clothing that used to adorn your neck, complete with the additional visual benefit of fashionably differentiating your frontal business appearance from your colleagues? Alas, one can regretfully say the same about the unfortunate demise of the visually appealing bow-tie, similarly, the majestic cravat.

Chest Hairs – slowly growing back!
Men used to be men, and hairy. We used to have copious volumes of hairs publicly sprouting with unashamed gusto from our chests, and our faces. To think that men now voluntarily shave their manes off to achieve a follicle look of commonality, good god! Thankfully, this does not apply to those men who have boldly bucked the trend, and have courageously, and most deliberately, shaved their heads as a mark of their commitment to the male cause for innovation.

Hats – a mark of respect!
In the not too distant past, men looked resplendent with a stylish hat firmly placed upon our heads where we could selectively doff our head covering in recognition, and respect of a fellow worker, confidant, or compatriot. Thankfully, with the advent of the bald head, this item of clothing is making a welcome resurgence.

Watches – steps of progress!
Strategically positioned on the left or right wrist used to be a masterly engineered time piece of precision. This has now been replaced by a devise that measures steps, typically known as a FITBIT. Men used to compare other items to assert their masculinity, now it’s the number of steps walked in a work day, or week. I ask you, where will it end?

So gentlemen, take heed of this warning, and visually state your support in hindering this unwelcome disintegration of your individual creativity when in the corporate office. Enough is indeed enough. It’s now time to make the change!

Jester of The Order of the British Empire

knighthood

As I stood before Queen Elizabeth II, I was feeling particularly chuffed. Yes, I was one of the first British citizens to be awarded the honour of JBE.

Many worthy citizens have been knighted, awarded a CBE, OBE or even an MBE, but I, by Royal Decree, was about to have the esteemed privilege of being able to have the letters JBE permanently linked to my name.

For many years now, I have been promoting the use of “innovation” in the corporate office. It has been a hard and torturous journey that has met much opposition from the boring conservatives from within, but with continued perseverance, a creative revolution appears to be slowly permeating, despite the fierce resistance.

Numerous blog posts have been written, many a paisley business shirt worn, copious berets have been deliberately placed upon my hair challenged head, all with the deliberate intent in making those traditional corporates think differently.

The learning from all this calculated, and most devious methodology, is that innovation in the corporate office can only exist if there is one key activity, that being “fun”. Yes, the root of all creativity is the ability to have fun, to have an office environment where humour is the welcome catalyst that continually rejuvenates itself, and which unknowingly morphs into the personalities of all willing employees.

But fun takes skill and continual practice, and that’s where the role of the Corporate Jester comes into play. These oddly behaving individuals look at current corporate work practices through a unique analysis lens, one which must constantly challenge the status quo of the organization, but be done in a way that relies on humour so the creative concepts suggested are deemed more palatable and welcome.

Yes, as I looked at the well-worn crimson carpet at Buckingham Palace trodden with pride by other New Year Honour’s recipients, a quiet facial smirk appeared as I acknowledged that I was now a Jester of The Order of the British Empire (JBE).

But the smile became much wider as I observed the line of other JBE recipients, of which I was now a member. It was satisfying and most humbling to know that role of “fun” in the corporate office was similarly taking hold in other stayed corporate offices, and would soon yield the highly sought after smiling face in other innovatively receptive individuals. The unquestionable result being, the attainment of innovation.

Steven Cramer JBE

 

To Be You, or Not Be You?

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OK PersonaAPP, what would you suggest I become today?
Yes, this is the latest personality modification tool that anyone over 18 years of age can easily access from the App Store, for a remarkably reasonable fee.

So how does this rather spiffy technology work? Well, without boring you with all the rather complicated and quite technical details, let’s focus on how you can use it to your advantage in both your personal and corporate life.

Step 1:
Once downloaded, open the PersonaAPP on your mobile phone. Please tick the box stating that you agree, and fully understand the plethora of T&Cs regarding the unscrupulous behaviour that you are about to voluntarily undertake via the use of this technology. If you are worried about the potential consequences, relax, because all your friends are also deviously using it without any moralistic second thoughts!

Step 2:
Take an honest photograph of your face with all visual enhancements completely removed. This means no make-up, glasses or monocles. For best results, men (and some women) should have a shaven face. Those with false teeth, it doesn’t matter if you leave them in or out as the clever PersonaAPP does make some allowances.

Step 3:
The PersonaAPP will now require you to truthfully answer some pertinent questions regarding yourself, and your personal objectives for at least the next 3 hours. Why the 3 hour time period? Well, the Melbourne university researchers that developed PersonaAPP determined that an individual tends to change their outlook, and short term expectations on life in 3 hourly time blocks. That’s why paragraph 4.3.2 in the T&Cs recommends that the user refreshes their photograph every 3 hours as your appearance will most likely have changed, or become a bit scruffy.

In your confidential user profile section, you can record private information about your age, sex, sexual preference, height, weight, Myers-Briggs personality profile, whether you like soy milk chai lattes with honey, wearing kilts and eating kippers for breakfast. You will then be asked about how you want to be perceived by those that you interact with in the next 3 hours, if they will be predominately male or female, their approximate age,  and the meeting environment. Yes, authentic answers are required, otherwise the results will be skewed erroneously.

Step 4:
Now press the red Persona Modification button and immediately your calculated optimum profile will be shown on your phone. Your photograph will now be stylishly photo-shopped indicating how you should comb your hair, apply make-up, add/remove blemishes, the style and colour of the monocle or spectacles that truly complements your face, hair/wig colour and length, or which razor blade is best for total head shaving. A suggestion of clothing will also be provided with images so you can fully look the part. Yes, don’t worry, instructions are even included on how to tie a bow tie!

But wait, there is indeed more. Another brilliant feature of the PersonaAPP is the vocabulary and accent recommendation suggester where a collection of cunning, and particularly intriguing, words and phrases are provided for you to nonchalantly utilise during your meeting. However, a word of caution regarding the use of an accent, once you start using it, you need to have the confidence to maintain the facade for at least 3 hours, otherwise you may not be viewed as you intended.

Yes, with PersonaAPP you will obtain the ideal persona that you are searching for that will make you irresistibly appealing to those that you meet in the next 3 hour time period. Relax, because with PersonaAPP you can reset your personality for the following 3 hours, and for each hour, every day. Yes, you can be a chameleon for the rest of your life with PersonaAPP should you want to, as can all your acquaintances who may also be using it, so all your relationships could be happily false, but then again, who would know?

But, remember to make sure that your phone if fully charged, otherwise you will need to be the natural you, and who knows what might prevail in that situation?

The Answer is Nothing

Beautiful funny girl shaving with foam & razor her face

According to Professor Elsa Outinen, a leading business academic from Helsinki University, nothingness, is the unequivocal source of Finnish ingenuity.

You only need to look at the management team of Nokia to appreciate how they incorporated this long standing Finnish tradition into the core stimuli for their business success, one that helped make their mobile phones the most coveted item around the telecommunications world.

Sources close to Nokia say that it was a well-known fact that the most creative thinkers in their R&D team commenced each day with a habitual unclothed plunge in the corporate sauna to initiate their innovative prowess. Even the HR Director was known to happily participate, and unquestionably approved of the bare skinned activity. Alas, Nokia’s business dominance faltered in the latter years, when it was deemed by those that theoretically knew better, that saunas should be a place of prescribed bathing costume coverage to ensure the worldly attainment of social corporate respectability.

Professor Outinen spent a lifetime researching the thought provoking benefits derived from Finnish nothingness, and apparently, it all comes down to skin sensitivity and pore receptivity. For many years, barbers have known this closely guarded fact, and have most cleverly financially exploited that joyous awakening feeling men experience following a close cut facial shave. This also explains the high dominance of highly intellectual men who elect to adorn their bald headed appearance, thereby maximising their naked skin porosity.

For those of you a tad too embarrassed to nonchalantly discard your clothes, and then quickly plunge into a deep body covering bubbling hot sauna to maintain your personal dignity, relax, as there is another less public option available to you.

Yes, you can grow a moustache, beard, or let the hairs on your legs protrude without any hindrance. Then, when your level of hairy visual discomfort can no longer be tolerated, you can strategically re-invigorate your skin with the application of a very sharp razor. Once done, you will instantaneously experience that Finnish feeling of naked skin porosity, together with the associated personal thoughtful benefit of true creative inspiration.

Yes, the answer is indeed Nothing.

The Modern Chonmage – The Man Bun

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The year is 1585 and a drip of beaded perspiration slowly meanders down the nose of Okudaira’s servant as he carefully shaves his master’s head to accentuate the grand chonmage of this great samurai. His trusted servant is all too aware that should he impart the slightest blemish on this feared warrior’s scalp, he too will quickly experience an even larger, and yet more terminal, cut upon his own head. After a few more tense moments the servant finally relaxes as Okudaira grunts with approval as he gleefully looks at his long, oiled, black hair topknot, now fully emphasised against his scar ravaged battle weary freshly shaved smooth skin.

But this chonmage was not worn for fashion. No, it was used by the mighty Japanese samurai to securely affix their helmet in place during battle; otherwise it would slide off their servant shaven heads leading to unthinkable catastrophic consequences. As the years progressed, this small clump of hair came to signify their high standing in society and a symbol of their fearsome military innovation and creativity.

Today, the samurai no longer roam the Japanese countryside, but the memory of their fortitude still remains and is seen on the heads of many young men and women in the form of the “man bun” or the ponytail.

Why is it done? Well, hair just seems to get in the way of those individuals who display that “can do” attitude and aggressive fighting spirit. Therefore, the only solution left to these hair embellished individuals is to tie it up and keep it in submissive order, or go the full head shaven bald look, however, not everyone suits that suave look of awesome sophistication.

Yes, it seems that there is a directly observable correlation between an individual’s ability to participate successfully in a physical activity involving agility and fortitude, with that of their hair containment (or no hair). If you like to have long hair, the obvious answer is to focus on those restful pursuits where your hair can avoid repressive entanglement. However, if you want to have the best of both follicle worlds, then maybe seek out the career of a Judge, where you can enjoy the benefits of minimal hair retardation, and can wear a wig.

So if you want to be a winner in life, control your hair, wear a “man bun”, grow a ponytail, or shave your head for maximum benefit.

Or, be bold, be bald.

The Answer to that Male Question

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There is “a question” that has been baffling mankind for centuries, and as “the answer” was unknown, professional men all around the world reluctantly decided to play it safe, just in case they got it wrong. That is, until now!

As I sat in private solace in the world-renowned Corporate Observation Research Zone (aka the Virgin Australia Lounge at Melbourne airport), after many minutes watching my fellow travelling compatriots, the clues to “the answer” slowly became apparent.

The attraction of the Virgin Australia Lounge is the diversity of corporate inhabitants that provide a huge array of visual observation fodder. There are men of all ages, some wearing suits, others casually dressed. Some with hair purposefully positioned on their face and heads, some with a deliberate close shaved facial nudified look, even those with an upper head appearance that conforms to their hairless heredity.

“The answer” to “the question” is that it doesn’t matter where your draw that “line of separation”.

Yes, men from the time they first decided to shave have been in a quandary as to where to position that mysterious demarcation line that signifies the end of the side-burn. To make matters even more confusing, should the man be fortunate enough to have a headless head, and has a beard, where should the top of the side-burn commence?

The author of this blog post is pleased to advise that men’s side-burn fashion has now progressed to the point where no facial rules apply. Men are now exercising their innovative side-burn freedom and are letting their razors do the talking without any limitation, or fear of visual retribution.

So men, next time you are confronted with a decision as where to “draw the line of separation”, relax, the choice is indeed yours. And should you make a mistake, all is good, as the hairy, or hairless, problem will be rectified in due course by the planned arrival of the following morning, when next you look in the mirror equipped with your trusty razor.

If The Head Fits, Then Wear It

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This afternoon I was standing nonchalantly at the corner of a busy road intersection painfully aware of the intense bright Australian sun beaming down on my hairless head with absolute ferocity. “Why was I not wearing a hat?” It was quite stupid really when I actually thought about, particularly when reminded by my delicate skinned head as it quickly transitioned to a pink coloured and progressively uncomfortable warm state.

Looking around at my fellow Melbourne city lunchtime walkers, I literally saw no hats adorning the head of any fashionable suit clad man, nor elegantly and spiffily dressed woman. The only hats observed seemed to be situated on the heads of the elderly, or those below the age of 20 in the shape of a mod-looking cap, complete with a market approved logo emblazoned just above its peak. In the years past, men and woman all wore hats that complemented and embellished their business attire, and which provided them with a distinctive look that was most dashing, sophisticated, and had that mark of business professionalism. So, why the change in our cultural hat appreciation? Was it due to the long, free flowing hairstyles of the sixties, seventies and eighties decades where the hair-boof factor made wearing a hat not socially acceptable, nor possible, owing to the excessive follicular volume?

One will never know, but the time is now ripe for a global corporate hat revolution!

Oui, Vive Le Chapeau!

My fellow corporate office compatriots, go on, don’t procrastinate any longer, take action, heed this call to your head and wear a hat!

I can hear your objections, one in particular, that being, what about the dreaded look of “hat hair”? Relax, all will be just fine, mainly as this newly acquired hair look will soon become a fashion statement that publicly notifies the world that you have elected to protect the longer term wellbeing of your head, and are now an accredited and chicly respected wearer of hats! Yes, you will be a modern trendsetter, and one that will soon be a stylish pioneer that will be ogled with extreme envy by the unfortunate hatless few.

Now, for any HR Managers reading this blog post, there is now one strategically important office furniture addition that you will quickly need to purchase to maintain employee morale, that being a hat stand so as to cope with the massive influx of hats!

Free your Hairs

Woman holding hair

I am indeed honoured to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize for Science!

I’m particularly pleased that my academic peers, and the international science community, have now finally accepted my many years of extensive research into hair receptivity and now recognise it as a credible scientific theory into innovative psychology.

Yes, we can now prove without a “reasonable” doubt that there is indeed a direct causal link between an individual’s hair and their ability to think creatively.

It appears that woman throughout the ages have inherently understood this little known fact which is exemplified by their willingness to have long, free flowing hair. Men, on the other hand, have considerably disadvantaged themselves creatively via an interest in having that clean shaven look (face and head), and their hair far too short. To exacerbate the male problem, those with a hairy chest, and those lucky enough to have a hairy back, have hidden their follicle prowess under garments (see the blog post titled “Membership in the League of Hairy Chested Men”) [1]. Age should also no longer be a reason for eliminating bushy eyebrows, hairs permeating in your ears and other less spoken about facial areas.

Thankfully, our proven research will now change this archaic hair behaviour for good.

This ground-breaking research indicates that the volume of hair, regardless of where it is located on the body, acts as a transmitter of creative thoughts, the more hair, the increased ability of the individual to think imaginatively. Yes, this theory does indeed explain the innovation behavioural problem evidenced in cyclists who shave their legs, and swimmers who like that total all over body nude look, specifically high platform divers.

For all you HR Managers reading this blog post, the key to creating a culture of innovation in the corporate office is for your employees to be encouraged to have long hair (both men and women) and for men to grow beards and moustaches. Now for those men fortunate enough to have a hairy chest, yes, the choice is obvious; all business shirts should have no buttons.

Yes, there is one casualty with this research and this relates to the activities of the hairdresser. Demand for haircuts will indeed decrease, yet hair styling will remain constant, so should you be thinking about a career in this field of employment, you have been warned.

In summary, be hairy and let your innovation grow to the fullest.

[1] https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/membership-in-the-league-of-hairy-chested-men/

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