The Virtual Innovation Librarian

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Why is it that some people just seem to have an endless plethora of brilliant ideas, whilst others struggle to generate just one? What’s the secret to their phenomenal creative success?

According to an obscure research paper soon to be published at some fictitious Boston University, the answer to these important questions is their illusive access to the highly prestigious, and most definitely secret, Virtual Innovation Librarian (VIT).

Respected sources advise that the VIT is an artificially intelligent imaginary persona that surreptitiously captures your unconscious thoughts when you are in mental state of slumber, or equivalent corporate boredom. The key requirement being, complete and total mindlessness. For those of you working in the corporate office, just think of all that untapped potential that lethargically resides in your vast employee database!

As the name suggests, the VIT is the keeper of an almost infinite number of thoughts that are meticulously categorised and indexed via the Dewey Decimal Idea Classification System (DDICS), following which, they are then permanently registered within a 4D electronic virtual depository. The DDICS classifications cover all good, and some of the not so good, ideation sparks of human life, business and various social activities from every person that has ever lived, or is currently alive, from the very first evolutionary stage when women and men decided it was time to think.

No, you don’t need a virtual library card to make a thoughtful withdrawal, the process is indeed much simpler and works via the following ingenious method:

  1. Deeply think of the problem that you want to solve.
  2. Open your mind and allow the VIT to have unrestricted access to all your inner thoughts and desires (some people call this mindfulness, meditation or just being lazy).
  3. The VIT then forages around with gusto in your cluttered mind trying to cross-match your nominated problem with all the other thoughts accumulated in the 4D electronic virtual depository.
  4. If a match is made with your problem, and no other person is wanting to also access that particular thought, you can borrow that idea and claim it as your own.
  5. However, there is a catch. These borrowed thoughts only reside in your mind for a limited time period, so if you don’t check them out and use the idea, you quickly lose the innovative solution (just like the content of a dream when you wake up, and rapidly forget the details).

Is there a charge for using this VIT ideation service?

No, it is complimentary to those individuals that recognise that innovation is an activity that needs to be continually worked, and shared freely amongst your work colleagues, thereby ensuring that there is a constant source of fresh ideas being generated for the future needs of mankind. As that saying goes, “give ideas, that you may receive ideas”.

For those businesses that don’t value innovation, well, the cost of the VIT will be well beyond your financial reserves, so may I suggest that you don’t bother thinking longer term, and just focus on enjoying today as your future is guaranteed to be rather uncertain.

The Concierge of Greet

Boutique

The weather was miserable, it was cold, wet and the strong chilly wind was blowing my bright coloured scarf in a flapping flurry around my hairless freezing head. As I pushed open the hotel’s wooden heavy door with some degree of anticipation, I was immediately met with a warm gust of the most pleasurable smelling air that caught me by surprise. I quickly stopped in my tracks and enjoyed this delightful air woft that was relished and absorbed most happily by my frozen face.

Once inside the hotel lobby, my senses were pounced upon by a multitude of the most captivating furniture, décor and sounds of guests highly chuffed to be relaxing in the numerous comfortable leather chairs whilst scoffing a warming beverage or sampling some nibbles. As I walked to the concierge, I was greeted in a sincere, genuine and hearty manner and was offered a hot tea in a simply charming and quite appealing glass.

I hadn’t even checked into the hotel yet, but I felt right at home.

So why is it that when we step inside a corporate reception area for the first time, we typically feel like an unwelcome and hostile intruder? This is particularly the case for those unmanned reception areas where your visitor has to navigate a phone directory and then engage a lonely and rather sterile phone to try and seek the attention of the person they came to visit.

This got me thinking……

The Door to Your Office:
Why not have an impressive and inspiring wooden door (forget those automatic glass ones that open when an ant meanders on to the sensor) that has a large knocker or brass bell located on it that visitors just want to use as it just builds a high degree of anticipation, and of course fun via its application?

The Greet Concierge:
Why not have a corporate concierge who gleefully greets visitors as they arrive in your office foyer? If is it cold and wet, they relieve the visitor of their coat and umbrella and offer them a scented, warm and viscous tea and seat them in a chair with an inbuilt bottom warmer, or if it is cold, they partake of a nice chilled and flavoursome ice drink whilst sitting under a strategically placed air conditioner.

The Waiting Activity:
Many a visitor can get rather bored and fed up waiting in the reception area for longer than required periods of time. This is where the use of a corporate billiard table should be used that is adorned with billiard balls branded with the corporate logo. For those less skilled in the way of sticks and balls, then why not have a corporate dartboard in which they can relieve potential waiting frustration by hurling a pointy dart rather forcefully.

Reading Material:
Forget newspapers and the corporate magazine, why not have a vast array of books, comics and some DIY manuals (eg gardening or home renovations) that provide a level of interest and engagement. Should they not finish their selected reading material prior to the commencement of their business meeting, then why not have a lending library format that allows your visitor to borrow the item?

The Bed of Leisure
Sometimes it’s rather tough waiting for a meeting when your visitor may have travelled some distance to get to your office that could have necessitated the use of an early morning flight or long car journey. So why not have a corporate bed of leisure that they can occupy (by themselves of course) to provide them with that additional level of recuperation prior to their meeting?

I’m sure that you can think of additional thoughts of corporate creativity that can make your valued visitor feel much more welcome and at home when frequenting your corporate abode. So why not incorporate some of these activities into your corporate reception area?

The goal is to provide your corporate office with that competitive advantage that yields your organization with that level of uniqueness that makes your customers, suppliers, employees and investors want to engage with you, why, because your business inspires them!

The Novel Process of “Bookovation”

llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR

When walking into a bookstore you are immediately greeted with a vast array of books strategically positioned on the bookshelves with their spines pointing out at you saying “come closer and have a look at me”!

As a way of encouraging you to clasp your eyes upon them, each book is ordained with its own distinct marketing appeal that is a complex blend of colours and words to entice the potential book buyer. I must admit, I am one those people who does judge a book by its cover so first impressions in this instance do indeed count.

Once tempted by a specific book, you gently slide the chosen article from the shelves and study the outer cover and artwork more closely to further justify your initial selection. At this stage, you have not yet opened the book and do not know what the story could be about, but you are already speculating in your mind various story permutations and plot combinations. If all goes to plan from the publisher’s perspective, you will eventually be seduced into reading the blurb and may then personally commit to purchasing the book for a greater analysis of the numerous pages to justify your expenditure.

This process of judging a book by its cover got me thinking about with the generation of ideas in the corporate office.

What if each employee was given a book with the same title (which represented a work problem to be solved), colours, design and branding on the outer cover of the book? The inside of each book would contain blank pages.

Each employee would then be asked to scribe inside their book the thoughts and ideas that came to them on initially viewing the exterior of the book. These thoughts would only be derived from the title and the complementary artwork (just like in the bookstore). The books would then be collected and the contents accumulated into a combined narrative.

The results I’m sure would be most interesting and I suspect would vary greatly in content. But, what a rich and extensive source of innovative ideas this process would generate! Let’s call the process “bookovation” (short for innovation derived from books).

So next time you are in need for some creativity in your business, may I suggest you give “bookovation” a go, I’m sure that the process would generate a lot of intrigue and enjoyment for your employees along the way. It would also make for the establishment of an impressive corporate library of thought!

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