The Tasteful Application of the iChup™


A soon to be conducted research study by a famous, yet remarkably unpretentious University located near Oxford, has yielded a highly plausible theory regarding the primary catalyst that supports a truly innovative mind.

The theory examined the resources used by the leading creative thinkers prevalent in the 1940s with those commonly found today, and the results were indisputable.

The majority of the great thinkers of the 1940s relied on a common, and most readily available thinking tool that transcribed their thoughts onto paper for private contemplation, mass distribution, and eventual critique amongst their peers. This tool was highly malleable and could be customised to the palate of the holder following long thoughtful periods of mastication. The tool was typically made from wood, with a pointed graphite core that blunted with continual use. Its name was the pencil.

However, with the advent of the computer, the role of the pencil slowly disappeared from the hand of the thinking person and was surreptitiously replaced with the keyboard, and the mouse.

The researchers, from that University located near Oxford, spent many hours studying the chewing habits of a small, yet highly representative sample of computer users (about three actually). Those observed, were found to exhibit no visible characteristics of creativity, but more importantly, not one of them placed any IT implement in their mouth. Besides shouting the letters Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum) quite loudly following this remarkable observation, they smugly realised that they had indeed discovered the true supportive tool for innovation.

Yes, there is a direct correlation between those with a creative mind, and those that thoughtfully chew a pencil.

A few years later, a Research Scientist at Apple just happened to read the findings of this chewing link to innovation and a strategic project was immediately funded. Following the expenditure of many millions of dollars, the consumption of endless cups of soy-milk chai lattes with honey, the iChup™ was finally invented, even more quickly commercialised, and can now be seen in the mouths of many innovative computer users today.

As the name suggests, the iChup™ does have the appearance of a Chupa Chup, and the method of operation is indeed via mouth placement, but that is as far as the similarly goes as the iChup™ has many more mind pleasing features.

Feature 1: Bluetooth Connectivity
The iChup™ has a small surface sensor that measures the tension applied by your teeth as the device is gleefully moved around your mouth thereby ensuring minimal dental damage. The measurement output can be linked via Bluetooth to your computer, or your mobile phone utilising the iChup™ App.

Feature 2: Stress Relaxation
For those thinkers that are stressed, the iChup™ has been designed for under tongue placement. Once in position, the iChup™ has a range of vibration settings that can be selected by the user to obtain maximum stress relaxation.

Feature 3: Taste
The iChup™’s hollow centre has been designed to accommodate a variety of tasteful liquids that are pleasantly discharged over an 8 hour workday. A range of flavours can be purchased, the more popular ones being mint, cola, honey, and for those that like the taste of pencils, there is even a special wooden one.

The iChup™ has been a real success for Apple and one that reinforces that old saying; “Don’t Forget the Past. Learn from It”.

And yes, I still like to use a pencil, still have the taste for it, and find that many creative thoughts quickly appear when applied to paper.

The Office Well-Being Executive Manager


The corridors of corporate life used to experience it at least once a day, typically around 3 PM. Those of you with a longer memory say it also occurred in the morning, but alas, those days are reluctantly gone, possibly, never to be repeated.

The eagerly awaited activity heralded an opportunity to have a short break from your normal work routine and to refresh your mind with small morsels of needed sustenance.

It was a welcome time for all pens to be lowered, inky nibs blotted, and writing paper pushed aside on your desk to make room for the appreciated earthenware additions.

For a brief few minutes, the worker could engage in a pseudo-flirtatious social dialogue and build a non-threatening personal rapport with the service provider, who was usually wearing a bland coloured corporate pinafore apron. Their official work title was “Tea Lady”, but they were the backbone of many successful organizations.

No office door was ever closed to the Tea Lady. They traversed the building pulling a trolley that was equipped with a large teapot, hot water, coffee, milk, a selection of biscuits (or cakes if you were lucky), and an array of cups and saucers, some of which occasionally matched. Their arrival could be heard well before they reached your desk, owing to the rattling of the crockery and the heightened conversation that they would always generate.

The role of Tea Lady was an unrecognized strategic cog in the corporate organizational hierarchy as they were privy to all levels of the business, from senior management, right down to the new starter or graduate. They could sense the mood of the corporate office, whether it was dynamic and innovative, or one that was struggling and ready to implode. The Tea Lady became the confidant of many employees, a person that they could talk to about work, home-life or their personal ambitions.

Business today needs a modern version of the Tea Lady, which would probably now have the more acceptable corporate title of “Office Well-Being Manager”. Many organizations have tried to foster various methods of casual communication within the corporate office with the introduction of “Chatter”, “Yammer” and other electronic applications, but none have been as effective as the old fashioned Tea Lady.

So why not reinvigorate the Tea Lady role with a more modern version?

Many employees want to have access to their senior management team, but may be too shy or a tad embarrassed to engage them in an open forum. One solution is to have a weekly (or monthly) roster where your Executive Team takes it in turns to be “Office Well-Being Executive Manager”. Yes, they would walk the office corridors with an electric powered beverage trolley fully equipped with the latest coffee (short black, long black, latte, cappuccino, flat white), tea (Early Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, herbal), soymilk chai lattes, and a selection of cakes (high fat, low fat, gluten free) or fruit. Besides your Executive Team learning new catering skills that they can add to their already impressive CVs, they would have instantaneous access to the pulse of the business and an opportunity to gain an insight on the nuances of their staff (and vice-versa).

So, when next you plan to have a well-earned rest break from your computer, may I suggest that you first stop, and listen. Hopefully you will hear the buzz of your corporately branded electric beverage trolley as it happily approaches your desk. Bon appetite!

%d bloggers like this: