“Bicycletic” Benefits

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Recently I joined the globally popular group of two wheeled self-propelled transportation riders commonly known as cyclists. As I sojourned along the picturesque bike paths of Melbourne that are strategically divorced from the motorised road system, I observed numerous behaviours in my fellow riders that have direct application and benefit in the corporate office.

Leadership
As a cyclist, you are indeed master of your own destiny. There is no point following the person riding in front of you, regardless of how attractive and cute that rear view may be, as this will only result in you reaching their goal, not yours. However, if you are happy being a follower, and not a leader, then make sure you enjoy the ride!

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Yes, there are many needs in this hierarchy, but to me, the most applicable and important one relates to the Physiological. After many hours propped vertically on your bike, bottom comfort is a mandatory requirement and a padded seat needs to be a pre-requisite. If not, walking, and other forms of social interaction in the corporate office following the riding experience becomes most awkward and potentially embarrassing.

Status
Riders need to dress for success and to portray that perceived professional appearance of looking like they know what they are doing, regardless of whether they actually have no “bicycletic” clue. Here’s where a stunning riding outfit embellishing the appropriate corporate logo, complimented with an equally expensive road bike with all the latest GPS navigational gadgetry becomes a necessity.

Emotional Control
Being polite and courteous in the corporate office is a must for any manager, regardless of how annoying and frustrating your colleagues may be. Similarly, an emotional outburst at a fellow rider, or daydreaming pedestrian, that gets in your way should not be tolerated. However, for that selfish pompous cyclist that stopped suddenly in front of me yesterday as you answered your mobile phone, I do not apologise for my verbal onslaught as it was absolutely warranted! (yes, you know who you are!)

Safety
All cyclists fully understand that they are smaller than a car and that when it comes to a clash of momentum, they will come a most definite second. HSE guidelines demand that a suitable helmet be placed correctly on your head, regardless of how it may impact your hairstyle. But, there is a place and a time for the use of your bell, and protocol dictates a subtle delicate ring when approaching and passing a slower rider, or walking hazard. But, a high frequency of bell ringing is just annoying and may lead to you being ostracised by your bike path community.

So next time you are experiencing the pleasurable joy of the sound of wind rushing over bike helmet, let your mind wander a little as you contemplate the above “bicycletic” thoughts. However, shutting your eyes to increase your concentration will have a negative side effect and may negate any corporate benefit.

Seeking that Optimal Balance

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The rather assertive, and I thought rather scary young woman, dressed impeccably in the bland and very dark company coloured uniform, beckoned me forward as I was next in the line and requested my name. Without any hesitation so as to not potentially upset her, I quickly replied, “CRAMER, Steven”. My name was immediately crossed off the list.

She, although her name badge said ‘Mandy’ (I wouldn’t dare call her this for fear of appearing too friendly) then asked me and my luggage to stand on the scales to which the total weight was duly recorded with minimal facial expression nor interest.

I was then given my helicopter boarding pass which specified my seating position for the short flight out to the off shore oil platform in Bass Strait some distance off the Southern Australian coastline.

All this procedural rigmarole was apparently required to ensure the helicopter weight was balanced from a safety perspective as we traversed the fierce, and somewhat unpredictable, cyclonic wind gusts to our offshore destination.

Now this got me thinking about the corporate office and how the business tries to “balance” their people skill sets to achieve the best chance of success. Well, I say this comment a little bit tongue in cheek as most organisations unfortunately don’t actually do this aviation procedure of ‘skill balancing’ particularly well. If they were indeed a helicopter, I suspect many of them would be flying along lopsided with a predominance of accountants, HR, engineers, extroverts or introverts! No wonder many companies tend to plummet to their financial doom and fail to obtain their targeted business objectives!

As each business objective may be different, management (just like ‘Mandy’) need to plan accordingly to ensure the right ‘weight’ mix of skills are on board. This skill set will often change based on the task and velocity of the objective required.

Now when potential danger looms, a pilot may reluctantly jettison a selected item from the aircraft to avoid jeopardizing the entire mission. Should a business encounter unexpected climatic economic turbulence, it may necessitate the ejection of some awkward and oversized individuals who are exacerbating the effect. If this needs to be done, the kind and humane approach is to provide these people with a personalized parachute before pushing them out the door, but there are some mean spirited and callous managers who like the free-fall spectacle. For those who choose the latter, may I remind them that what goes up does eventually come down, and lands with a massive hard thump!

Yes, it’s all in planning which bottoms you want in which seats in your next business mission. Without the right “bottom balance” it could be a rather uncomfortable and long flight.

One final comment and it relates to the scenery the business will observe as you travel to your intended destination and this relates to your choice of navigator. For the optimum journey of learning and excitement, may I suggest placing a creative individual in this role and your flight will never be boring!