Just Let Go of the Handle

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Yes, I was getting rather red-faced, and quite ashamedly puffed, as I slowly walked up the steeply inclined hill, dressed in my conservatively fashionable grey striped corporate suit as I struggled to pull my now permanently attached heavy personal load of legacy.

Just then, a woman furnishing a strikingly long blond bouncy pony-tail in a smashing dark blue skirt, and might I say equally impressive matching business jacket, whooshed past me in high heels with a remarkably larger suitcase. I looked in awe at her powerful and decisive walking strides as I tried to fathom out how she managed to do it with such energetic ease!

But my gaze was quickly interrupted by another two sprightly dressed managers running at an even faster pace, both pulling their custom designed Samsonite luggage four-wheelers, each embellished with their own names in large gold font.

Then something happened, I know not why, or how, but that’s irrelevant.

For some unpredictable reason, I’d had enough of this torturous pulling task and quickly made a strategic life-changing decision to let go of my suitcase. A few seconds later, this thought vacuole representing all my personal hang-ups dropped to the footpath with a sound deafening thud.

Everyone around me on the pristinely manicured corporate pathway of business life immediately stopped at this most unexpected strange sight. Many of my work colleagues looked dumbfounded as they tried to comprehend my unforeseen spontaneous action. Those that despised any change in their corporate routine passionately pleaded with me to quickly bend down and pick up my personal baggage, before it was too late to correct. They had obviously assumed that I must have made some unprecedented forgetful error of judgement, or I was suffering the result of various undiagnosed terminal medical conditions.

But it was no mistake.

“Are you OK? How do you feel?”

Questions exploring my sanity repeatedly permeated from all the travellers on the well-worn corporate path. A crowd had now gathered resulting in massive suitcase puller traffic chaos that continued to radiate in an exponentially increasing larger circumference. As the minutes progressed, more and more office workers quickly became entangled in my individual thought encapsulated suitcase stoppage.

Eventually, as my shock subsided, I was able to talk, and the words just naturally came out.

“I feel spiffily brilliant! A mind deadening tumorous weight that has been curiously burdening, and labelling me, for all my working life has now been lifted. More importantly, no longer will I carry the mistakes from my past. From now on, I will start each working day with no encumbrances! I can only urge, and encourage all of you, to join me in experiencing this unique thinking sensation!”

Then to my surprise, one by one, those on the corporate footpath of professional life slowly started unshackling their tightly gripped hands from their own emotional chains of longstanding baggage ownership. A few minutes later, the once neat business path now resembled a crowded luggage carousel at London’s Heathrow airport where a stockpile of randomly placed suitcases littered the path’s perimeter extremities!

The sound of joy, laughter and intoxicating chatter quickly prevailed and reverberated through the surrounding corporate environment as no one elected to pick up their once owned thought baggage.

And so it remained from that eventful day forth.

So next time you travel on business, have a good look at your luggage, and remember with confident assurance that your past has no influence on your future, however, you do need to make the decision to consciously let go of the handle, and never look back.

Oh, what a feeling!

Jockey Underwear

“Now these do feel a bit different”, I thought to myself. Yes, the colour was rather flamboyant, not particularly subtle, quite tight and rather a snug, all encapsulating, body hugging fit. However, they did feel fantastic, so I purchased three pairs and I looked forward to wearing one pair under my suit trousers to work the following morning. Yes, in case they are what you are thinking, you are correct, they were some spiffy new underpants!

As I’m quite shy and reserved, although some of you who know me better may beg to differ, I am not showing you a photo, nor am I providing any additional information on the style of underpants. So those of you who were wondering if they were Y-front, low-cut hipsters, G-string or whether I’ve gone with the famous “commando”, you will never know!

So what has this got to do with the corporate office you may be asking? The answer is actually very relevant. No, I am not proposing that you promote an underwear parade at your place of employment where employees, both male and female, model the latest in underwear fashions. However, the concept would be rather unique and may lead to a new revolution in team bonding, but somehow I suspect that the HR team will find some harassment rule that may be applicable?

It does however lead to the question, are you a creature of habit? If I was to continue with the theme of underpants, do you wear the same style and coloured underpants each day? Are you set in your ways, and are you reluctant to change and explore new fashions and ideas that may better meet your underwear requirements?

The key is to explore new experiences in your work life that may lead to exciting and stimulating innovations of thought that you may have only dreamed about. If we stay in the same job and don’t challenge ourselves to test new frontiers, you will quickly fall into a rut and corporate boredom will prevail. This applies to the organization as a whole, not just the individual.

So if your business has that stayed underwear feel about it where corporate life is becoming a little bit faded, shabby and a tad loose fitting, may I strongly encourage you to introduce some creativity into your work routine as the resultant feeling, with something a little bit different, may just provide that required motivational step you are looking for in your career and place of employment.

Go on, give it a go!

The Suit Trouser Length Creativity Index

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Does the length of your suit trouser leg influence your creativity in the corporate office?

Yes, this is rather an unusual question! Personally, I must admit that the thought of it had never really crossed my mind until I had to kill two hours in the Virgin Lounge at Melbourne airport this morning as my plane was delayed owing to fog. When you have two hours to ponder the “real meaning” of corporate life, your mind does indeed explore the more important innovation correlations and the length, or lack thereof, of one gentleman’s suit trouser initiated this serious thesis of study.

As I slowly swallowed the remaining remnants of my long black coffee, I noticed a man in his late fifties sojourn past me. My stare was not focused on his slow walking style, nor his olive tweed suit, nor his impressive bald head (of which I am a fellow supporter), no, the deciding attribute was that the bottom of his trousers were about one inch above the top of his black shoes thereby making his distinctive green socks rather prevalent to the eye. My gaze then started to methodically search the Virgin Lounge looking to see if this was a one off, or the start of a common dress code with which I was not partaking.

To my amusement, I noticed a variety of trouser lengths prevailing. Some were too long and were gently kissing the carpet on which they walked. There was a range of trouser lengths that just touched the bottom of the heel, but the majority were about half an inch above the accepted level as deemed by corporate fashion correctness.

So how does this all relate to creativity? Well, I believe that there is a direct correlation! Let’s consider the following “facts”.

If the trouser length is too high, the wearer of the trouser has the option to display their socks to the passing world. These socks can be brightly coloured, patterned or even non-existent. Alternatively, the wearer could also go with the full naked ankle look (commonly termed the “commando ankle”).

If the trouser length is too low, those observers that the trouser wearer is walking past don’t have the opportunity to wonder at the endless array of potential sock possibilities. In this instance, it is quite common for the black boring nondescript sock to be worn. Yes, these people are your typical non-creative types.

The other and less known benefit with high trouser length is the “health improvement” derived from air current woft up the trouser leg that facilitates a perceived freedom of thought. Those that frequent the wearing of a kilt on a breezy day would know exactly what I’m talking about!

So my hypothesis, which I would be honoured if some bright PhD student elects to explore further in the not too distant future (that I’m sure would also be written up in the Harvard Business Review), is that your trouser length is a simple and direct measure of your creativity in the corporate office. So, make sure you wear your trouser cuffs high and maximise the derived benefit of creativity!

Coat Buttons Undone

Winter Walk

In the colder months of the year, should you quickly glance at the commuting business person when they are travelling to and from the office, it is most likely that you will notice a common corporate appearance – black coat, single coloured scarf and the occasional dark gloves. If it is raining, the umbrella is usually of a colour to complement the coat, once again…black.

However, when this worker arrives at the office and disrobes their black coat and scarf, there is an observed vibrancy of coloured shirts, ties, suits and skirts.

To me this is an interesting conundrum.

All these workers have a similar external appearance as typified by the black coat, yet once the “coat buttons are undone”, each of them has their own unique dress style that expresses their individual personality.

So in the office environment, don’t judge a person’s character and capability by their external persona. Try to get to understand them better when they have been given the opportunity to demonstrate some of their hidden talents!

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