Business As Unusual

Another piece of Strange Fruit

When it’s your first time in a new office, you tend to notice things, and I was definitely observing! This place was certainly different!

I sat down with one of my new work colleagues and noticed that he was wearing different coloured socks. Nothing unusual I thought, at least he wasn’t wearing a brown shoe on his left foot, and a black one on his right one, like the guy walking past us!

I then noticed that a young woman sitting near us was wearing a white stylish shirt, but there were no buttons, rather an array of brightly coloured loops that when intertwined kept the shirt together. This was complemented with some stockings under her skirt that had a most unusual motif.

Another work colleague was sipping their steaming short black coffee with a rather transparent bendy straw, the ceramic coffee cup was blue, but the cup saucer was red.

On checking the time on the office walk clock, I saw that the clock hands were reversed, the minute hand was short, the hour hand was long, to add to the confusion, it also went backwards.

Was there nothing “usual” in this office?

I just had to find out what was going on and leaned over to my new colleague and asked him why this office was “different”?

He responded with a most curious reply. He said that here in this office it is “Business as Unusual”. I was sure that I’d not heard him incorrectly and said, “You mean “Business as Usual”? His reply was immediate, “No, it’s “Business as Unusual”. Here in this office, innovation is not a separate business activity defined by a Department of Innovation, nor a Chief Innovation Officer, here innovation is naturally and effortlessly demonstrated in every activity and behaviour undertaken, by all employees. Innovation is not a process that you turn on and off when there is a business need, it is part of your corporate DNA and it needs to be continually expressed, what’s more, it’s expected. Business should never be “usual”, if it is, then innovation has no hope in succeeding”.

“What a great organisation”, I thought. Upon which I decided it was definitely time to do some corporate clothes shopping, I urgently needed some new business attire before I took one further step in this office!

Yes, it’s “Business as Unusual”!

Hairovation

Kaela

So as to keep the gender balance politically correct with respect to innovation in the corporate office, I thought it was appropriate to focus on a topic that was targeted more at the professional woman. So this blog post is aimed at the lady readers of my blog.

No, I’m not going to talk about skirt length, stockings, shirts, bras, lipstick, shoes or perfume, in fact, I’m not even going near it, particularly as there might be a few HR managers perusing these words, and let’s be quite honest, my knowledge in this area is somewhat limited. But, what I will talk about is hair colour!

Women have the option to change hair colour depending on what mood and image they are trying to convey. It can be long, short, wavy, curled, spiked and even shaved, and yes, people in the corporate office do notice! Hair colour appearance seems to directly influence confidence and behaviour. If you feel good about yourself, well, this permeates into how you react with your colleagues and those you come into contact with from a business and personal perspective.

This got me thinking…what if we now expanded this hair creativity not just to woman, but also to men? Just imagine the possibilities!

I am one of those men who enjoys that ‘free from head hair’ appearance. Why shouldn’t I also explore various hairstyles to generate some innovative discussion in the corporate office? Why shouldn’t I wear a variety of hairpieces of differing length and colour? One day I could be a red head, the next day a longhaired blonde, or even adorn a couple of ponytails? I’m sure that it would be noticed and would lead to some interesting dialog, potentially even a compliment or two?

Let’s just not stop at hairpieces, why not consider eyebrows, beards or moustaches! I hear you say, why not expand the hair creativity also to woman? Well, absolutely, if woman also want to try a hairpiece, fake beard or moustache, well why not! I’m all for equal opportunity in the workplace!

The key is to make people think differently and to crack open the corporate mold of conservatism. I challenge you to give it a go in your office! Why not have a ‘free hair day’ on a Friday? Go on…..I dare you!!