Ideas – Shaken, Not Stirred


For more than 5 decades, I’ve combined gin, vodka and Lillet Blanc into a cocktail shaker half filled with cracked ice, shaken well, never stirred, then strained into a spiffy glass, garnished with a twist of lemon, and then delightfully consumed with the added benefit of an irresistible drinking companion.

To some, I’m just James, to others, I’m known as Bond, or professionally by my British Government law exemption descriptor of 007.

During my working career, I have morphed in and out of countless bodies, have mastered numerous accents and have successfully portrayed an endless array of trend-setting fashion suit and hair styles. I have encountered many enemies and have strategically defeated evil with good. I have willingly mastered the requisite art of seduction to which I have gleamed many hidden secrets of national and personal importance.

As I sit alone at the bar in a socially acceptable part of London, I look curiously at my half consumed glass and wonder if the act of shaking, and definitely not stirring, is the true source of my non-alcoholic thought innovation? To assist with my serious mental contemplation, I straighten my expensive shirt cufflinks to strategically focus my mind on the origin of my creativity.

I quietly ponder, does the stirring activity yield complete thought homogenisation where the cherished essence of creative individuality quickly ceases to exist? Are these once creative concepts now no longer separate, powerful ideas, but rather just an accumulated entity of yet another cocktail ready to be consumed in a carefree attitude by the common masses?

Could it be that the deliberate act of shaking yields ideas that are refreshingly uncontaminated as discrete thoughts where their flavours are undiluted and full of zing-full concentration to be enjoyed by the experienced consumer?

As the beverage slowly permeated through the essence of my body, I became convinced that I had identified a unique aspect of the origin of innovation. The key is to gather a vast array of individual thoughts and to combine them in proportions where they remain uniquely discernable and do not lose their identity in the process.

For those working in the corporate office, the analogy suggests that you try not to stir all your creative individuals into a common corporate concoction where they lose their potency and marked influence in the organisation. Rather, incorporate them into your culture in a calculated measure where their flavour, intensity and influence is carefully shaken throughout the business in recognisable bursts that are appreciated and imaginatively welcome.

Yep, I think it’s time for another thoughtful drink. Cheers!

Fully Equipped by Q


I was rather chuffed, I had just received my “00” status and was now fully licensed and about to start my first assignment.

As is customary, all “00” agents had the obligatory visit to the office of Q to get fully equipped for the task at hand to ensure a successful mission. On talking with my mentor, James, I was rather excited about what tools of the trade the famous Q would provide me for my first business encounter.

As I walked down the bleak office corridor that typified MI6, my mind wondered about what tools I would receive. Would it be a Walther PPK, a Geiger counter watch, tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder, or maybe a bagpipe with hidden machine gun? I didn’t really care I must admit, I just wanted to start my first mission which was to infiltrate a corporate office with my assigned identity as Global Marketing Director.

I nervously knocked on Q’s office door and a female voice invited me in. Once inside, I quickly discovered that this was no office, this was a room full of an overabundance of gadgets, some I recognised, some I had no clue as to their use.

Q, was not what I expected. She was a redheaded woman, I suspected in her early thirties, dressed impeccably in the latest business attire with a smile that made you melt when you first met her. Q had me at “hello”.

Q enquired as to my mission to which I provided the requisite details in rather a tedious and long-winded verbose manner. Q smiled and cut my conversation short and said, “Say no more, I know exactly what you will need”, to which I sighed in rather a too loud a manner for a “00” agent. After all, we are elite professionals tasked with one objective that can be brutal, callous and potentially dangerous.

Q walked to a large cupboard, did a retina scan security check and immediately the cupboard door opened. Q reached in and pulled out a large clear glass bottle with a cork strategically placed as a stopper. Q then handed it to me and stated that this is all that I needed for my first mission. I picked it up, shook it, peered into it and asked whether it contained nerve gas or whether the glass was an explosive?

Q then explained the power of the corked bottle. “As you are going to work in a corporate office, the only tool you will require is what’s inside the bottle and you can open it any time you like, here, now, or when you are strategically positioned at your allocated place of work”.

I couldn’t resist, I decided to pop the cork and see what awaited me. I did so and encountered no gas, no odour, no bang, just, nothing. I glanced at Q with an inquisitive look.

Before I could ask my question, Q advised; “You don’t need any gadgets, you just need to allow yourself to be creative, to let your mind go, just like the gas inside that bottle has now done. This is the key to any marketing and innovation role. Many people think they need tools to stimulate their creativity, such as brainstorming sessions, external stimuli, etc, but what they really need to do is to just think that little bit differently. It’s quite simple really, this isn’t rocket science”.

I thanked Q for the corked bottle and slowly walked out of her office ready to commence my mission, but stopped and said, “But surely as a “00” I should at least have a Walther PPK?” Q replied, “You have a creative mind, that is much more powerful and deadly, trust me”. And I did.

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