Claim your own Aphrodite Charm!

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“How many times do I need to tell you Aphrodite? Could you please take off those unsightly mortal business clothes of yours and put on your official white deity long gown! You need to remember that you are a Greek goddess, so please dress like one! Apollo, Poseidon, Athena and I, are all sick and tired of seeing you in those brightly coloured short skirts, shirts, patterned stockings and high-heeled shoes! That look might be just fine for those “creative types” that you mingle with surreptitiously in the corporate office below on earth, but up here above the clouds some professional god-like decorum is required! One day, those pesky and inquisitive passenger airlines might actually see you in that coloured attire and our nice quiet world of the perceived theoretical mythology with vanish immediately and we will be inundated with human sightseers!”

“I hear you Zeus, don’t get your toga all crumpled and frazzled! You might start looking as old as you actually are if you don’t settle down and relax! It’s all right for you lot all pontificating about life, the universe and everything Greek up here in your godly world, but without me taking the initiative and dropping down to the world inhabited by mortals now and then, no new ideas or thoughts would ever make it up here into this sterile life of perpetual bliss!”

“Thankfully my “Aphrodite charm” and sophistication makes it quite easy for me to morph into the business organizations I choose to infiltrate where I can quickly manipulate the desires and intentions of their CEO. If you lot followed a similar strategy and moved outside your comfort zone, you might discover there is a vast array of knowledge to be learnt and absorbed down there!”

Let’s park this Greek godly dialogue for a moment and consider the work environment of those fellow mortals (just like me) who may be reading this blog post.

Yes, the key is to make the time and effort to step outside your known networks of understanding. To do this successfully, you may need to encounter some personal discomfort and to accept that your traditional business methods and work practices may not be the best, nor the only way to do things. It is also so important for us all to courageously branch out from our normal and stayed circle of friends and business acquaintances, and to have a willingness to genuinely learn from others. From these new experiences, new and exciting ideas will potentially merge and propagate.

So next time you are travelling on business and are happily looking down on the clouds from your snug and comfortable aircraft window seat, remember that you too are capable of exhibiting that “Aphrodite charm” of creativity and innovation by thinking just that little bit differently!

The Vertical Room of Study

The Americans in Canada

It is 8:28 AM and there are a mass of people all waiting rather impatiently for the sky rise elevator doors to open. Finally, the elevator arrives at the Ground Floor Level and the doors slowly open. I quickly enter with purpose and strategically position myself in the back corner of the elevator after appearing to nonchalantly press the illuminated number 39 button. After disguising my external and gleeful anticipation, I then surreptitiously prepare myself mentally for the long ride to my lofty office floor destination.

Some people could be rather bored with the time taken for their vertical ride to tediously meander up to the 39th Floor after continually stopping at many interim floors along the way, but not me! This time is precious as it allows all elevator participants some brilliant people observation and study opportunities! If you haven’t seized the chance to really look at your fellow elevator incumbents, then you really haven’t lived as it contains a microcosm of creativity!

This creativity is quite personal and exhibits itself in many public and rather clandestine forms. The joy for the watcher is in the identification and discovery process which may be rather transparent to those who do not appreciate the visual and sensory clues that are being portrayed within this closed people transportation cubicle.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me provide some additional information so you too can ponder this creative and informative elevator experience.

Firstly, let’s talk woft. Yes, woft. First thing in the morning, your fellow workers will apply a variety of personal fragrances, with fluctuating levels of intensity, to all parts of their body. These fragrant wofts go under the common names of perfumes, aftershaves, moisturisers, hair gels, deodorants and other secret body embellishments. To add to the mix, there are also those people that don’t believe in fragrance enhancement in any form, shape or application. The result is a composite array of woft that frequently changes in line with the differing elevator assortment of occupants.

Then there are the clothes. There will be a jumble of suits, skirts, dresses, shorts, jeans, ties, scarves, socks, shoes and even the occasional sporty look. The colours embedded into these fabrics will generally cover the full spectrum range of the PMS colour palette (except for some strange reason in Melbourne where the colour dark grey or black seems to dominate). Once again, each elevator ride up and down the building will have its own unique colour and clothing dominance.

And yes, the elevator also provides a fool-proof tool for evaluating whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert. Your classic introvert will typically stand up against the elevator wall, look down at the floor and say absolutely nothing. Whereas, your flamboyant extrovert will tend to position themselves within the central people mix and their eyes will be continually darting around looking for a fellow extrovert to initiate a meaningful, typically loud and engaging conversation. Now should you encounter a whistler in the elevator, this usually signifies a frustrated extrovert who just can’t refrain from communication any longer and is about to socially and verbally explode!

I know what you are now about to ask! What about the mobile phone user? Well, there is no benefit achieved by studying these elevator travellers, yes, none at all. Why? Because these people are fundamentally rude and are therefore insignificant and irrelevant from a creative and academic perspective. However, there is a solution. One option is to construct an elevator that is impervious to mobile phone reception (which is quite a common occurrence with the mobile network my company uses). The other, and more economically acceptable option, is to have an inbuilt sensor within the elevator that initiates a torrent of polite verbal abuse telling the person to desist immediately. I was going to suggest some choice descriptive expletives, but as all elevators carry a “G Rating”, this idea just wouldn’t pass the globally accepted standards of elevator etiquette.

So, if you are in the business of corporate change management, HR or team building, an inexpensive and unique “room of study” awaits you, that being your elevator. Next time you take a vertical ride with your colleagues, may I suggest you ponder the woft, the clothes and observe any introvert or extrovert tendencies. I’m sure that many innovative learnings will be presented for your benefit!