The Modern Chonmage – The Man Bun

contemplativebun

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, as you have 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

Shaving

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. For those of you that like details, the moment of discovery actually presented itself to me after my third long black coffee.

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

1950-mens-fedora-stetson-whippet

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/

Recognising Innovation within the Corporate Cave

caveman

I sat with a smug facial expression cross-legged on the lumpy dirt floor and surveyed my surroundings with intense pride. It was raining outside, yet no drops were seeping through my hand built stonewalls, and no streams of muddy water had eventuated within the precincts of my large cave.

My nineteen bɛərns (or was it twenty? I’d lost count over the various moon cycles) were playing happily with the latest fashion coloured pebbles that I had found in the adjacent dry riverbed. I watched them with interest as they quickly mastered the process of carving their individual hieroglyphic names into the rough rock walls with purpose and enthusiasm.

From under my long shaggy eyebrows, I peered at the mother of my children as she gestured that it was time for me to get off my naked hairy backside and go outside and slaughter a foreboding baby dinosaur, as the children were getting hungry and restless. As I was an obedient husband, knowing that any grunting retort was useless, I grabbed my large pointy wooden club, wiped the dark dry dust of my hairy torso and went outside the cave and sought out our dinner.

After a couple of days wandering the rugged countryside, I returned in a rather weary state with a large amount of dinosaur meat that was fully encapsulated within its dead body.

Now for the cooking process. I marvelled at the technology that my eldest son displayed as he used a flint rock and some dry bark to which various small sparks of fire eventually propagated. His days at the local Rock University had certainly paid off. I just wish that I had been born in the year 70,000,032 BC, rather than 30 years earlier!

After we had all eaten a large quantity of rarely cooked meat, I once again sat down crossed legged on my hairy bare bottom and watched my walls.

Now that I had some time to relax, I recalled a small box with white red headed sticks that I had found in my hunting dinosaur travels. If I were able to read, I would have seen a label on the box that identified the article as “safety matches”. How they got into the year 70,000,032 BC, I will never know, not that I really care because I have no idea as to their use, nor benefit. Instead, I jammed the box into a hole in my cave wall and plugged a wind draught that was causing the smoke from the fire to extinguish.
———
Let’s now move forward to the year 2015 AD.

If we were that hairy-bottomed caveman, and we had found those matches, we would have put them to good use and initiated the fire with the striking of a strategically placed burning match head. However, if we don’t recognise new technology, or innovation, we tend to keep repeating the same old trusted and proven boring processes.

The key is to have an open mind and to continually observe and accept different ideas, or thoughts, as they may lead to a new way of doing things within your business. Diversity of thought should be encouraged, and your work environment should facilitate different employee perspectives, that way, innovation will have a chance to prosper and not be stifled.

So make sure that you and your work colleagues “think outside the cave”, and should any of your workers continually be dusting their bottom, well, they don’t have a place in your business!

Doff your Hat

clipart arm tophat

There are reports of a substantial “theory” currently circulating amongst the higher echelons of academia and global business leaders that is causing the hair of many University Deans and CEOs to stand on end. This “theory”, soon to be published in “The Victorian Business Review”, provides many clues as to its origins, and also some potential thoughts that might just be useful in your business.

The basis of the “theory” goes back to the ancient days of the coronation ritual associated with Monarchs, Popes and other significant leaders and thinkers. The historical symbol fundamental to this “theory” is portrayed by the wearing of a Crown (if you are a Royal), the Papal Tiara (if you are a Pope), a Mitre (if you are the Archbishop of England), or a Tudor Bonnet (should you be a higher academic).

But the “theory” doesn’t focus on the head ornament. No, the “eureka” moment of discovery for those working on this “theory” as they tirelessly searched through endless archives and other old paraphernalia, was what was found under their hats! Yes, they discovered nothing, in other words, a very bald-head, one in which hairs no longer resided.

Their “research” found an inverse direct causal link between the number of hairs situated on one’s head and their IQ. Their “findings” indicated that those with a very smooth and shinny head were most gifted in the intellectual department.

These history records suggest that baldness was quite rare in the ancient years and that many people aspiring to thinking greatness shaved their heads in order to pretend that they were amongst the prized ranks of hairless head grandeur. (Note: It is interesting to note that many men today are still following this fashion trend!)

Those with a truly bald-head are known to be very caring and considerate people. It is for this reason that these great leaders in history decided to adorn a hat so as to disguise their lack of hair so others less fortunate (who had a full head of hair) felt less insignificant in their intellectual prowess.

If you be a CEO, this “theory” provides a timely opportunity for your business should you be embarking on a program of innovational change. The answer is indeed most obvious. All you need to do is to employ more bald headed people. Or, should you not be able to afford the high wages associated with these privileged intellectual thinkers owing to their high corporate demand, then just hire a few hairdressers and encourage some head shaving of employees that look like they may have the bald-headed potential.

Corporate Office Time (COT) – Redefined

blond girl

Her name I believe was Susan, but that is somewhat irrelevant as she should have been any one of us.

Susan meandered in through the main office reception area and immediately everyone’s eyes were fixated upon her. All business activities ceased, it was like “Corporate Office Time” (COT) had stopped with her physical presence. Once the Susan persona had moved past, the only evidence that remained were the quiet rumblings of gossip and consternation.

No, it wasn’t just Susan’s long blond free flowing wavy hair, nor her brightly coloured jeans, her loose fitting and fully button collared casual silk shirt, the coloured toenails, or that distinctive walking style, it was the combination of all these attributes that when combined together created a unique and quite distinctive point of difference. Susan certainly did not portray that traditional and well-entrenched corporate look of conservatism, her appearance just didn’t “fit in” with the “corporate standards” of this office!

If we were able to take a snapshot of COT in the past, and in the future, to observe and compare the changes in “corporate standards”, the viewing I’m sure would be rather interesting and revealing.

In that 1960 classic film called “The Time Machine” (H.G. Wells), the character portrayed by the actor Rod Taylor, observes a female clothing mannequin in a shop window where he sees women’s fashion literally changing before his eyes.
(Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVlr24zD_KQ)

What is classified as acceptable business attire in one period of COT may be completely inappropriate in another point in time.

This then begs the question, what initiates the change and who deems it acceptable? Should this change in corporate standards be subtle, or one that causes a major dislocation in the office cultural environment? My preference is the latter, one that forces a change in the innovation mindset of employees and makes everyone think that little bit differently. After all, we are not all privy to having access to a “Corporate Office Time Machine” (COTM) where we can test the impact of future ideas before we implement them, so let’s just get on with it and enjoy the uncertainty!

The corporate office needs more people like Susan as these employees have the courage to introduce new and innovative ideas that continually test the boundaries of COT. These people force others in the office to review current “corporate standards” as the window of what is termed “acceptance” needs to be regularly expanded, just like the shop store fashions in “The Time Machine” film.

So, let’s stop focussing on the past and start excitedly introducing the future into the present!

Note: The image is of Weena (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eloi)

Membership in the League of Hairy Chested Men

Hairy chest

There are many “taboo” topics that are typically not talked about in a public forum, and particularly not in the corporate office. Similarly, these items of private interest are also not privy to the benefit of being found in numerous blog post searches, nor other forms of the social networking media.

No, I’m not talking “women’s issues”, I’m talking one that has been baffling men for thousands of years and I think it is time for it to make an appearance without any fear of reprisal or public humiliation!

I for one, have embraced my DNA heredity right of manhood and display my male characteristics to the fullness. How do I feel you may ask? Brilliant, and I encourage all men to follow my lead and embrace their god given right to show it!

Yes, I’m a full member of the “League of Hairy Chested Men”. That’s right, I have copious amounts of chest hair and I’m not ashamed to show it, in fact, I flaunt it whenever possible!

Now all you clothing fashion designers reading this blog post, take note as there are some important and key learnings here for you. Now that I have your attention, please consider the following points when next you develop a shirt for men:

Buttons: There are too many. You can increase your profits by eliminating the top three buttons, as they are superfluous for the hairy chested man. We like to flaunt our masculinity and these additional buttons just get in the way of our exhibitionist tendencies.

Fabric Thickness: Don’t skimp here! Men’s chest hairs are sneaky little creatures and they just love peering through the cloth. The result is an itchy chest and a look that can be a tad prickly to the observer.

Colour: Not white, as we don’t want our hidden hairs taking over the surreptitious show from those that have been formally allowed to preen in a public and approved manner.

So, to all you women read this post, the future of men’s chest hairs are indeed in your hands. You have the power to encourage your menfolk to show their hairiness and to join me in the global quest for chest hair freedom!

To all you hairy men…..be seen, be hairy! It’s a great feeling of empowerment!

Image: Shutterstock

Your Very Own Personal “Sound Globe™”

Noise reduction ! the simple way !!

I re-inserted my snug fitting iPhone earplugs, quickly turned up the volume and hoped that the prevailing musical tones would assist with masking out the perpetual, and most unwelcome, office noise. On looking around the building, I noticed that the majority of my fellow workers, all had a similar array of self-imposed audio devices strategically placed within their inner ear canals with the hope of achieving that prized goal of thinking privacy.

Arhh yes, “the joys of working in an open planned office” I hear you all say with clenched teeth as you stifle the awkward exit of these words from your feigned smiling mouths!

For those of you that have the luxury of audio solitude as you sit within the contained comfort of your enclosed corporate office with a sound inhibiting door, you no longer need to feel isolated from this “joyous experience” as I have a cunning, and somewhat innovative solution, that will enable you to leave your well-guarded “den of silence” and happily re-engage with your work colleagues. I can hear your cheers of quiet approval already!

The key is in thinking differently! Rather than hindering unwanted audible sounds from entering your ears, why not stop recalcitrant and loud voices from leaving your head?

According to a “reputable and well known” materials engineering design source “close” to the author of this blog post, there will soon be a “yet to be invented” transparent, ceramic type material that has a unique combination of physical properties that include sound absorption, light weight and breathability. The material can be easily shaped to accommodate the contour of a human head and will be internationally promoted in all good retail stores under the “Sound Globe™” trademark, so all office workers will be able to readily purchase one.

Just imagine being able to purchase your own custom moulded “Sound Globe™” with the following features and benefits:

Silence
As no sound can permeate through the patented material used to construct the “Sound Globe™”, each device will have an inbuilt mobile phone transmitter so the wearer can communicate freely with the outer world. However, to those people standing next to the “Sound Globe™” wearer, no sound will be heard, the only indication of talk being the mimed mouth movements of the head within the device.

Hair
Some users of the “Sound Globe™” may not like the look of perceived baldness from the exceptionally smooth and shiny ceramic texture. To alleviate this public look, each “Sound Globe™” can be fitted with a visually pleasing externally mounted Velcro hair piece that can be obtained in a variety of fashionable lengths and stylish colours.
An additional benefit is derived for those that don’t like getting their real hair wet when walking in the rain as the “Sound Globe™” provides complete weather protection from the harshest meteorological conditions.

Air Circulation
Each “Sound Globe™” has its own inbuilt air heating and cooling system. So on those days when the office temperature may get a little bit unpleasant, relax, as that look of facial perspiration is now a thing of the past.

Embarrassment
The “Sound Globe™” also measures facial colour change. So should you be a person who readily blushes, when this red colour is identified, the “Sound Globe™” quickly goes a solid black thereby disguising any personal embarrassment. However, should this occur, it is recommended that the wearer not move for at least 5 seconds, just in case they collide with a fellow worker owing to lack of external sight, and to ensure the requisite office HSE compliance.

Smokers
The “Sound Globe™” does have a no-smoking design policy. Firstly, it will be difficult for you to place a cigarette into your mouth owing to the poor hand access to your lips. Secondly, should you manage to sneak a lit cigarette into your “Sound Globe™”. an inbuilt water spray is immediately released in order to extinguish any potential fire threat.

Of course there are many more benefits associated with this remarkable device, but I don’t want this blog post to sound too much like a product advertisement (as I do have a potential “conflict of interest”), so I will curtail my list to only those key ones mentioned above.

So the future of the open plan office does indeed look positive and one that ensures maximum sound productivity for all employees. Rumours are that the “Sound Globe™, will be available in the “near” future, so may I suggest that you quickly pre-order your own device to ensure that you do not miss out, and thereby avoid any personal disappointment.

That Cut of Difference

Salon Shots

Yes, just a little bit more on the left above the ear don’t you think? Yes, there are a few stragglers there. I will just get the cut-throat razor out and give those obstreperous hairs a strategic and decisive shave. What do you think? Oh yes, much better. It looks much more skinified and head nude now, not a hair in sight, that should do it!

I looked at the floor below the barber’s chair with trepidation. There I saw a messy foray of my recently attached blond locks of hair randomly splayed now looking up at me with a sense of desertion as they awaited the appearance of a sweeping broom focussed on tidiness.

Yes, the new hairless look suited me, and if I didn’t like it, in a few days some potentially yet to be welcomed hair stubble would reposition itself on my head allowing me to rethink my next attempt at head creativity (Author’s comment….except in my case where that hair stubble decided to abandon my head a couple of decades ago, with a decision never to return!).

As I left the barber’s chair, I saw the next employee eagerly awaiting their turn to start their own individual journey of hair discovery. Yes, in case you are wondering, this barber is actually located in the corporate office. A haircut can be booked via your online E-mail calendar room booking system and there is always a backlog of staff wanting these prestigious hair services.

Why located in the corporate office? Well, why not? In this instance, this organization’s CEO views hairstyles as an extension of the business innovation process. The objective is to encourage their employees to think that little bit differently and to explore experiences and sensations that break the traditional and conservative mindset. After all, many people tend to adopt the same haircut style, one that is deemed professional and generally acceptable to the corporate guidelines of appearance. However, not this organization which boasts a workforce with a varied hair fashion that comes in a mixture of colours, lengths and more diverse appearances.

So next time you are sitting in your barber’s (or hairdresser’s) chair and they ask whether to give you “the usual”, may this blog post give you the creative strength to try something rather different so you too can experience that feeling of hair creativity and freedom of thought! Go on, be brave, give it a go! (it will grow back you know…well, maybe?)

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