To Be You, or Not Be You?

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OK PersonaAPP, what would you suggest I become today?
Yes, this is the latest personality modification tool that anyone over 18 years of age can easily access from the App Store, for a remarkably reasonable fee.

So how does this rather spiffy technology work? Well, without boring you with all the rather complicated and quite technical details, let’s focus on how you can use it to your advantage in both your personal and corporate life.

Step 1:
Once downloaded, open the PersonaAPP on your mobile phone. Please tick the box stating that you agree, and fully understand the plethora of T&Cs regarding the unscrupulous behaviour that you are about to voluntarily undertake via the use of this technology. If you are worried about the potential consequences, relax, because all your friends are also deviously using it without any moralistic second thoughts!

Step 2:
Take an honest photograph of your face with all visual enhancements completely removed. This means no make-up, glasses or monocles. For best results, men (and some women) should have a shaven face. Those with false teeth, it doesn’t matter if you leave them in or out as the clever PersonaAPP does make some allowances.

Step 3:
The PersonaAPP will now require you to truthfully answer some pertinent questions regarding yourself, and your personal objectives for at least the next 3 hours. Why the 3 hour time period? Well, the Melbourne university researchers that developed PersonaAPP determined that an individual tends to change their outlook, and short term expectations on life in 3 hourly time blocks. That’s why paragraph 4.3.2 in the T&Cs recommends that the user refreshes their photograph every 3 hours as your appearance will most likely have changed, or become a bit scruffy.

In your confidential user profile section, you can record private information about your age, sex, sexual preference, height, weight, Myers-Briggs personality profile, whether you like soy milk chai lattes with honey, wearing kilts and eating kippers for breakfast. You will then be asked about how you want to be perceived by those that you interact with in the next 3 hours, if they will be predominately male or female, their approximate age,  and the meeting environment. Yes, authentic answers are required, otherwise the results will be skewed erroneously.

Step 4:
Now press the red Persona Modification button and immediately your calculated optimum profile will be shown on your phone. Your photograph will now be stylishly photo-shopped indicating how you should comb your hair, apply make-up, add/remove blemishes, the style and colour of the monocle or spectacles that truly complements your face, hair/wig colour and length, or which razor blade is best for total head shaving. A suggestion of clothing will also be provided with images so you can fully look the part. Yes, don’t worry, instructions are even included on how to tie a bow tie!

But wait, there is indeed more. Another brilliant feature of the PersonaAPP is the vocabulary and accent recommendation suggester where a collection of cunning, and particularly intriguing, words and phrases are provided for you to nonchalantly utilise during your meeting. However, a word of caution regarding the use of an accent, once you start using it, you need to have the confidence to maintain the facade for at least 3 hours, otherwise you may not be viewed as you intended.

Yes, with PersonaAPP you will obtain the ideal persona that you are searching for that will make you irresistibly appealing to those that you meet in the next 3 hour time period. Relax, because with PersonaAPP you can reset your personality for the following 3 hours, and for each hour, every day. Yes, you can be a chameleon for the rest of your life with PersonaAPP should you want to, as can all your acquaintances who may also be using it, so all your relationships could be happily false, but then again, who would know?

But, remember to make sure that your phone if fully charged, otherwise you will need to be the natural you, and who knows what might prevail in that situation?

It’s a Thong Thing

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From time immemorial, and even longer than most of us can remember, there has been one unique and practical icon that continues to symbolise mankind’s freedom of thought. No, some have mistakenly thought it to be the “peace sign”, but for those that are in the know, it’s a humble flexible rubber item that fits snuggly between your toes and comfortably cushions your naked feet.

It comes in a variety of fashionable colours and sizes, including those fun seeking wearers that like bling. It is not hindered by sex, age, nationality, or your Myers Briggs profile. You can be short, tall, hairy or bald; this item has no bias or prejudice, and willingly supports any individual that seeks to break the shackles of corporate footwear.

Yes, it’s the thong.

For some strange reason, when wearing a thong, the individual quickly achieves a state of desired relaxation, or “feet nirvana”, where all business concerns, stress and worrying trepidation seem to mysteriously vanish. You have all experienced that feeling of gleeful “arhhh” when the thong happily replaces that constrictive tight laced shoe and stifling sock.

With a thong embellishing your foot, your mind just seems to be free to think, ponder, and explore creative thoughts. So why is it that there is a dearth of thong wear when in the corporate office? Is the thong an overlooked innovation catalyst that needs to be tried and tested in your business establishment? By the way, for those of you thinking about a PhD in business innovation, you may have just discovered a topic worthy of further research?

So when next you sit at your office desk and feel the need for some long overdue inspired thoughtful innovation, don’t go and purchase your habitual soy milk chai latte with honey, just whip off your shoes and socks, and surreptitiously surrender your feet to the thong. Should you work in a conservative organisation, I would suggest some black or dark blue coloured thongs, which I’m sure will most definitely conform to any corporate dress code without the need to redress.

Corporate innovation? Consider, the thong.

Green Rolls and Hands? Nope!

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For those of you that notice things, you will have seen this overt activity as it nonchalantly happens at precisely the same time every work day, typically around 12 PM.

The routine has been slowly increasing in acceptance and is now seen gastronomically throughout the global corporate lunching fraternity. The more worrying part with this viral consumptive eating trend is that it has been gradually eroding the employee’s ability to be creative with each unassuming, yet decisive, bite.

Other visual clues to this habitual eating disorder are the sporadic green flakes, annoyingly wedged firmly between the consumer’s front teeth, that unfortunately quickly diminish the potency of any beneficial smile that may have permeated from the nominated cuisine experience.

Owing to the well marketed hand-held appeal and versatility of this unique luncheon product, your corporate colleagues will recklessly chomp on it without any personal welfare concern as they freely walk, engage in other physical exercise, or whilst happily sitting in a relaxed stationary position at their work desks.

Yes, I’m talking about sushi!

Unfortunately, this repeated daily eating sushi experience has markedly diminished their innovation skills as they no longer use their sensory exploration nous to seek out other equally satisfying food alternatives. After years of reckless sushi eating, this innovation retardation can be readily validated via the application of any up to date Myers Briggs personality profiling where comparisons can be easily made to when they didn’t have this eating disorder, and when their taste buds enjoyed a diverse choice in luncheon opportunities.

So the answer is clear. If you want to quickly increase innovation in your corporate office, urgently circulate an official HR decree than bans the eating of sushi with immediate effect.  Your business, your work colleagues, and the other non-sushi selling establishments in your office area, will thank you greatly.

The Knot of Personality

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For those of you in HR that make a career out of personality profiling, you need look no further than but down. Yes, forget your Myers Briggs, DISC, and any other expensive testing regimes that you have been reluctantly using until now as the alternative solution is literally at your feet.

This surprisingly simple, and most definitely cost effective methodology, is based upon numerous years of extensive observation of employees in the corporate office. The test subjects encapsulated a broad cross section of age, sex, educational qualifications, professional experience and fashion.

The final clue to this masterly personality classification technique came to the writer whilst meticulously studying the feet of my colleagues during a rather tedious, and most non-inspiring, business seminar that allowed my mind to be free of all corporate constraints and limitations. Thankfully, it is a skill that I have perfected over numerous corporate presentations and meetings, all utilising the time graciously provided to me by my employer.

OK, enough introductory banter, you just want to know the details! So it’s time for full disclosure.

The key to your personality profile is in your shoelaces. No, do not scoff, as this is a serious study that will in some time in the distant future, by a university that is in desperate need of cash, be fully supported by a highly dubious research paper in an obscure academic publication.

Now for the shoelace facts:

  • The Common Knot (aka “around the tree”): these employees are your generalist and cover the majority of the people in your business. The loops are typically uneven which suggests they tend to not tolerate the status quo.
  • The Loopy Knot (aka “bunny ears”): these people have an open, airy personality and tend to have a career that never progresses, but rather circles backward and forward. These people are destined for a career in middle management.
  • The Knot (literally a knot, no loops): these employees are hard-nosed nutcases and should be quickly exited from the business.
  • No Knot: here we are talking employees that wear boots. Theory suggests that they are quite simple in nature as they failed to master the technique of tying their shoelaces when at kindergarten and may have other un-yet diagnosed psychological disorders.
  • Buckle: these employees are a minority and have that persona that makes them stand out in a crowd. They are frequently destined to become CEO/Executives.
  • Bare Feet: Usually an indication of a free spirited individual. These employees are typically found in the marketing department.

So next time you are in a business meeting sitting with some colleagues, let your eyes wander under the table and focus firmly on their feet. Their personalities will be most evident and readily understood. It’s that simple.

The Transfer of Wisdom

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I looked with a sense of pride at my fellow colleagues as I slowly, and methodically, sat in the large well-worn leather chair in the HR Director’s office awaiting her arrival.

This was my first day of employment following the completion of my university degree three months earlier. After what seemed like a torturous series of endless interviews and countless tests, I had finally made it. I was now about to start my career in one of the most innovative and famous global companies. It was hard to disguise the smile that was slowly permeating within me, but the feeling was electic, and one that I’m sure I will never forget for the rest of my working life.

Susan finally arrived and walked into her office with a confident stride that just oozed with a persona of success. I liked her immediately.

After a few minutes of pleasant small talk, Susan took a piece of neatly folded paper out from her folder and handed it to me. At the top, it said Myers-Briggs personality profile “ENFP”. Susan then smiled, and then pressed a button on her desk. Thirty seconds later, an older, and immaculately dressed woman appeared called Megan who I surmised was nearing retirement, politely introduced herself to me. Following a brief and most enjoyable discussion, I learnt that she was also an “ENFP”, and was the company’s Global Director of Innovation.

I noticed Megan give a surreptitious nod of what seemed like “approval” to Susan. Following this gesture, Susan then excused herself from the room and I was left alone with Megan.

For the next 30 minutes, Megan explained to me the secret of this company’s success. The key, was how they passed on their experience to the new employees to ensure that the young graduates quickly obtained years of wisdom from those who were like minded. Apparently, Megan and I had a 99.99% “ENFP” personality match!

Megan, then with my permission, then commenced the secretive “wisdom transfer procedure” that “transmitted” her years of professional, social and people logic into my inexperienced and quite naive persona. At the end of the process, although I was only 22, I had the business experience of a 59 year old. I would have the unique skill set combination of youth and seniority not typically found in a person who had just commenced their first day of employment. I soon learnt, that all new starters in this company went through this procedure.

Wouldn’t it be great if all organizations could exchange knowledge between employees in this way! Although, the “wisdom transfer procedure” indicated above does not yet exist, it does so in a slightly different format that is not science fiction. The process is available to all those in the workforce right now, is relatively simple, needs no additional financial expenditure, except for one strategic prerequisite, that being “time”.

CEO’s reading this blog post take note. Why not give your young and older employees more time and opportunities to learn off each other by establishing work groups that encourage and facilitate greater communication? In these days of corporate diversity, consider age as one of your untapped resources for innovation and creativity!

PS: Yes, this photo is from the film “The Devil Wears Prada”. 

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