Caputignis: Business Greatness

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What makes a good company great? Forget looking to the traditional sources of business, academia and other highly paid consultants for a complex answer as the solution is deceptively simple.

After years of tireless observation in the corporate office, the source of company greatness was found to wholly reside in the “caputignis” level of the organization. Those with a classical education grounded firmly in Latin will know exactly what this word means, that being “head sparkification” (caput = head, ignis = spark).

The classification of “great” can be readily substituted with “innovation”, as a great company is one that is immediately known for its phenomenal ingenuity and corresponding business success in the marketplace.

Caputignis is thought to be an emotional energy state that is generated when the employee has a spark of creativity. However, unless this fleeting moment of inspiration is rapidly captured and harnessed within the corporate office, it will quickly vanish and will be permanently extinguished by a conservative organizational culture. For those unfortunate companies where this occurs, their caputignis levels were found to be very low.

Now for those businesses that were deemed by the financial market to be great, their caputignis levels were recorded as being extremely high, continuous and homogenous in all their work activities. The culture of these companies was publicly and internally acknowledged as being highly innovative, and almost electrifying in its nature, so much so that any creative sparks generated by individuals, or work teams, were instantaneously conducted throughout the organization. Here the employees as a collective, worked and shared ideas thereby generating a highly reactive caputignis flux that stimulated and encouraged innovation, together with an overflowing plethora of new thoughts.

Do you need to purchase an expensive caputignis measuring device to see where your organization sits on the greatness level? No, there is a more cost effective approach, that being the vibe that your employees feel when they are in the corporate office. If they are continually bubbling with new mind-sets, and end the working day with a feeling of excitement, then your caputignis level is high. Alternatively, if your organization struggles with the generation of innovative ideas, then you need to work on establishing an employee culture that stimulates head sparkification.

So what makes a good company great? Caputignis.

Negative Thoughts…..Gone!

Why Depression Leaves You With ‘No Room To Think’ You can escape from those negative thoughts that build up like a wall and leave you with no room to think about other things.

The looks I quickly received from my colleagues sitting around the table told me instantaneously that I had indeed stepped over the mark of corporate acceptability. If looks could kill, well, I would be at least 6 feet under with no hope of potential resuscitation, or any viable afterlife.

But it was OK, I knew what I had to do, and to make sure that I did, an array of index fingers quickly pointed me in the direction of “the room” within I was to purge my history of corporate indiscretion.

Unfortunately “the room” was all too familiar to me as I had been there many times before so I knew what to expect. However, the experience is never a pleasant one.

In our corporate office, all “these rooms” are positioned in the southwest corner of the building. There are 18 office floors, so the 18 “rooms” are all strategically aligned vertically above each other. It is said that those using “the room” on the ground floor feel the full mental negative force of “the room” users above them, which limits this particular “rooms” activity to a minimum. Those who have over used the ground floor “room” facilities have been mentally scared beyond creative repair, and can no longer participate in any long-term strategic innovation discussions.

I obeyed the directive from my fellow workers and quickly walked to “the room”, unlocked the door with the large brass key, entered, and then closed the door behind me. The pitch darkness only lasted for a microsecond before the dim blue light appeared illuminating the small leather bound brown stool in the corner. As was the custom, I then sat down and pressed the fluorescent central red wall button to start the process of negative thought eradication.

Yes, the purpose of “the room” is to painlessly remove and quickly eliminate any thoughts that can hinder or impede innovation, creativity or positive thinking.

Once the red wall button had been activated, I then started to rethink those awful thoughts I had expressed with my colleagues a few moments ago. As I did this, I noticed the negative thought gauge meter needle starting to rise from zero negativity to the maximum red zone that signified extreme negative naughtiness. No wonder my friends gave me such a nasty look, I really had reached the depths of de-innovation with my negative comments! Once purged of my extreme negativity, the thought needle slowly fell back to the zero position thereby confirming that my creativity and inspirational thought processes had returned. I was now cleared to re-join my colleagues in the discussion.

Now what happens to these negative thoughts you may ask? At about 11:30 PM when there is no one left in the building, a dark black liquid “thought slops” tanker truck surreptitiously parks each night out the front of the building. A flexible metal reinforced hose is attached to the negative thought “slops tank” by a man fully dressed in a white decontamination thought resistant body suit. The thought “slops tank” holds the accumulated negativity of all employees and needs to be dutifully emptied on a daily basis owing to the large number of negative thought deposits. Rumour has it, that the negative slops concentration is so powerful, that it is now being used as a uranium substitute in nuclear reactors owing to the immense energy released, it is also believed to be more environmentally friendly owing to its green thought rating.

So, should your company suffer from a high frequency of negative thoughts, the answer is simple. You just need to purchase “the room” and all your negativity will immediately be eliminated to ensure your long-term business innovation success.

Sorry, did you want to know the cost? This is privileged information, but I’m happy to provide additional details once you have sent me your corporate AMEX card number!

Me, Myself and “I”

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I” opened the door and peered into the “private lounge room” where all the other “I”s were already seated. Like “me”, they all had that look of exhaustion on “their” faces. “We” had obviously all had a long, tough and quite demanding day observing “ourselves”.

Many of the “I”s sat in “their” favourite comfy leather chair with “their” heads supported in “their” hands. Glasses of spirited drinks were being sombrely consumed in an attempt to liven up the mood of the collective “us”, but with little avail, it was obviously time to verbally out pour and share the critical mirrored views of “us”.

Each “I” in turn then shared how each of the original version of “them” had performed during the day with our family, work colleagues and socially. Yes, it was a communal reflective 360 feedback session in which all the “I”s gave constructive feedback on “themselves” for the mutual benefit of the individual they represented.

Now you may be asking, “What is Steven Cramer talking about this time”? Well, what if each of us had a hidden personality called “I” that watched and took notes on how we behaved during the day? Whilst we were sleeping, these “I”s then vacated our body and met up in that “private lounge room” with all the other “I”s that we came into contact during that day. The collective “I”s would then provide feedback on what we did well, what needed improvement, or what should be quickly purged from our personality so as to avoid a repeat negative occurrence! Armed with this reflective information, our “I” would then return to our body in the early hours of the morning and have a “good chat” with “ourselves”. The following day, we would subconsciously implement what the “I” had learnt and our personalities and people skills would reap the reward from this “I” effort.

Now I can hear you all saying that this is only fantasy! But is it? Next time you are half asleep and you “think” that you feel a small part of you quickly dashing out the bedroom door, don’t be alarmed, it’s just your “I” heading out for a night of social “I”nteraction.

The Gingerbread People

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The freshly baked gingerbread men and women with an impressive and distinctive corporate logo stamped across their chest were carefully placed on each employee’s desk in the early hours of the morning. It was the last day of work before Xmas and the department manager had spent many hours tirelessly baking that morning in preparation for the annual ritual of gingerbread person desk placement.

The time was now 6 AM and with the task of distribution completed, he decided to find a quiet corporate sick-bay bed and have a couple of hours sleep before his fellow employees arrived in the office to gleefully devour their eagerly anticipated baked gourmet morsels with an accompanying cup of coffee or tea.

But this year, something rather different and decidedly odd occurred. At about 6:15 AM there was a discreet, yet distinctive, sound of pastry movement. Yes, on some of the poorly lit office desks, an occasional little gingerbread arm and foot was beginning to display some rather unique humanistic characteristics. But not all gingerbread people sprung to life?

At 6:30 AM, some baked people of gingerbread DNA were leaping and gesticulating with extensive social skills and were having a great time getting to know each other and exchanging various bodily crumbs. However, some of their other baked relatives were just lying there in a motionless state, whilst others were still experiencing the joy of minimal hand movement with no prospect of running amuck!

Just before the department manager took his last snuff of slumbered bliss signalling that it was time to awake, an internal motion ceasing sensor was triggered in each of the gingerbread people and those that were mobile all dropped down on the spot and once again became just a baked stationary figurine.

As the employees started to arrive at their desks, some were greeted with a large number of scrumptious gingerbread people. Many of the staff found a single gingerbread person on their desk in the exact same position that it has been placed by the manager, others, found none at all. So, the question that you are all thinking is, why do some people have more gingerbread than others? The answer is fairly obvious if you have studied the traits of gingerbread culture and society, but if you do not have this educational knowledge, let me explain.

It all has to do with the energy and creativity that is exhibited by those employees in your corporate office that are innovative. These people are the lifeblood of your organization and they stimulate and encourage all sorts of ideas and inspirational thinking that some of you may think is a little bit way out. But, without these people, there is no imagination, and no hope that fictional ideas such as gingerbread people coming to life could ever exist. So it is really any wonder why the gingerbread people flocked to these people’s desks?

When next you are fortunate enough to hold a gingerbread person, prior to that first chomp of delight, may I suggest you stop and think and question yourself about your level of innovation and whether your personality entitles you to eat just one, or maybe more?

Colleagues….I want that coconut!

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Looking up at the coconut which appears quite strongly adhered to the lofty heights of the palm tree, my mind starts to actively permeate thoughts of how I could knock the little bugger off the branch and get it!

The options available to me are:
1. To climb up the tree and cut it off?
2. Throw a large projectile with maximum force?
3. Bribe someone to make the required climbing effort for me?
4. Sit here and wait for the coconut to naturally fall off in its own good time?

As I’m an impatient man, I decided to use option 5 and just cut the tree down thereby gaining easy access to the long anticipated item.

Now that I have attained this coconut prize, what should I do with it? The choices and decisions seem to never end!

This coconut analogy is quite similar to how we generate and develop new ideas in the corporate office.
Just like the process of attaining the coconut, we have many options available to us. We can use group discussions, brainstorming, team meetings, quiet walks, or sit in solitude hoping for that gem of an idea to come forward and materialise!

Once we have the idea (the coconut) what do we then do with it? How do we develop it into a commercially successful opportunity that generates income for the corporate business? Or do we just “settle”, and accumulate our ideas (or coconuts) for a day in the future when they may be required?

The choice is yours, but whilst I sit here looking up at that sneaky little and illusive coconut, I will always want to get it and develop thoughts of what that coconut may initiate!

The Room of Thought

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In the corporate office it is sometimes quite difficult to find a quiet place to think and let your mind explore new and creative ideas owing to the continual work activity permeating throughout the building.

The solution……

What about having a dedicated “Room of Thought” strategically placed in a central position within the building that can be easily accessed by all employees?

This room would comprise the following “thought enhancers”:

1. An array of luxurious sofas
To make the employee comfortable to stimulate some different thoughts.

2. A dark face mask
To eliminate any outside influences that may distract the thinker. Each mask would also be equipped with a facial moisturiser to ensure no thinking side-effects.

3. Ear Muffs
Not your standard everyday ear muffs, but ones that can be used to block out all annoying sounds, or can be fitted with a user selection of thought provoking tones to assist with the creativity journey.

4. Gourmet Food Chute
An individual chute positioned above each sofa that provides a selection of tasty snacks and beverages to maintain the thinker during their moments of inspiration.

5. Foot Feather
To ensure no employees doze off during their time of thinking, a machine would be placed at the end of each sofa that contains a large feather that would randomly touch the feet of the employee to maintain optimum maintenance of thought.

6. Voice Activated Memo
Rather than having to be interrupted to stop and write your ideas of innovation in a book, each sofa would come equipped with its own voice activated memo writer that would accurately record ideas of creativity. The user would just need to whisper these thoughts and the recorder would develop a precise transcript.

I’m sure that many businesses would see the benefit of this “Room of Thought” and with time the concept will be a standard design in many leading office layouts!

 

Leading the Troops

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Never has the role of a leader been more critical than when an organisation is undergoing a severe dislocation derived from a Change Management program.

The impact on the business could possibly be likened to how a soldier’s behaviour changed when faced with trench warfare in the First World War. In the trenches the soldiers lived in constant fear of having to go over the trench wall to face a highly risky and unknown future. To an employee, the analogy is unfortunately very similar! Consider the following:

1. Casualties
The soldier was continually seeing many casualties inflicted on their comrades by the enemy (the employee experiences many of their co-workers being made redundant and lives in fear that they too may also lose their job)

2. Lack of Information
Most soldiers were kept in the dark regarding the military mission and only saw short term actions which appeared to be rather foolhardy (employees do not fully understand the end goal of the Change Management, but rather judge the progress being made by how it is impacting themselves and their immediate coworkers)

3. Rumours
A lack of regular communication and dispatches from the military command resulted in many rumours spreading amongst the troops (if there is a lack of communication from management, rumours become rife and spread quickly throughout the organisation leading to poor morale)

4. Environment
The living conditions in the trenches became intolerable and basic hygiene quickly deteriorated resulting in discontentment and potential mutiny (employees will cope with poor work conditions and uncertainty for a limited period of time, however, should this continue many employees will seek employment elsewhere).

5. Recognition
Those soldiers who exhibited extreme courage were awarded decorations of valour, such as the Victoria Cross (employee contribution should be recognised and rewarded).

The military commander needed to have the ability to inspire and motivate the troops to have the mental and physical fortitude to leave the perceived safety of the trench and to risk their lives to fight the enemy to gain a forward position.

Here the manager must also lead their fellow employees along the Change Management journey to ensure the success of the business reorganisation, otherwise the structural change process will undoubtedly fail. Employees need to believe that their individual contribution is significant and will make a purposeful contribution to the long term survival of the business.

So before you raise your “manager’s sword” and utter that famous “charge” command, make sure you have considered all the aspects associated with the life of a soldier struggling in the trenches so you taste victory instead of defeat in your Change Management activity!