It’s That Fabric

Tartan Dress

The year is 649 BC. Snuggled in front of the large open fire sits a cross-legged, middle-aged Celtic man with a scruffy reddish beard. He has just received his invitation to the official lamb annual sacrifice and he is all in a quandary as to what to wear for such a significant occasion. He looks rather forlornly at his tatty worn breaches and looks deep into the glowing wood embers for some fashion inspiration whilst quietly sipping on a wee dram of a noxious fermented barley brew. After a few hours, his throat is scourged of all feeling, his beard is nearing the stage of spontaneous combustion and his eyes are wishing they were positioned in the back of his head so as to avoid the fierce radiant heat. But with a surprising, and somewhat unexpected experience, a creative and unplanned thought begins to permeate and develop.

The year is 689 AD. A fierce battle is being fought in the land of Killiecrankie. Leading the charge is a gallant man called McDonnell. He, and his band of impressive warriors, are bamboozling the enemy with a distinctive coloured uniform that flaps loudly with repetition in the cold Scottish highland wind against their large hairy thighs as they confront their foes with swords extended.

The year is 2015 AD. A young woman walks along the platform of a London underground tube station wearing a patterned red dress that turns many a head yielding a look of awe and bashful uncertainty. The pattern is traditional, complements her lipstick, and is minimal in fabric volume and body coverage. However, the wearer is not perturbed, as it has achieved the required visual objective of individual differentiation.

Yes, there is only one fabric that can achieve all of the above unique personal requirements, and more! This fabric is a creative combination of different colours, lines and squares that the observer could only assume was initially a creative mistake. Yet, it was not made in error. No, it is a handiwork of true fashion innovation and one that has travelled successfully throughout the ages and will continue well into the future.

It is known by the name of “tartan” and it is immediately recognisable by populations and cultures across the globe. It identifies the wearer with a persona of difference, and one that is prepared to cross the boundaries of tradition, particularly in this day of corporate fashion conservatism.

So, next time you are trying to instil and propagate a culture of innovation in your corporate organization, the choice is simple. Wear a tartan item of clothing, and you will be noticed and definitely not forgotten!

Neck Naked Innovation

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It’s 6 am in the morning and many woman of all ages (and some lucky men) with long locks of hair all over the world are having to make a strategic decision that will impact not only themselves, but also their work colleagues, family and friends.

That key decision is, should my hair be up or down? Now before you scoff at this important question, please understand that this key piece of personal grooming will influence their mood throughout the day, and potentially into the evening!

As I’m follicley challenged, I’m not that familiar with this mood influence, but according to “extensive personal research”, I’m now convinced of the data validity and the direct behavioural correlation. So for those of you looking for a worthwhile topic for an elaborate and complex government funded research project, look no further, this one will keep you mentally, and financially equipped, for years!

According to the “extensive data”, it’s not actually the length of the hair, but the feeling of the hair on the individual’s neck. The presence of neck hair apparently provides a feeling of protection from the surrounding environment, whereas no neck hair (the technical term known as “neck nakedness”) yields a sensation of freedom and potential optimism for the acceptance of new challenges! (yes, it’s all seen in the “analysis data”).

So, should you be planning to introduce a culture of innovation in your corporate office, may I suggest that an internal memorandum, issued by your HR Director, be quickly distributed instructing all employees to wear their hair up to ensure the best chance of success!

Now I can all hear you asking about those with a bald head. Well, the “data” suggests that these highly valued employees are the obvious candidates for the esteemed position of “Innovation Champions” as they have no creative inhibitions!

So next time you look at yourself in the mirror as you prepare yourself for your day of work, remember, the hairbrush is your key to corporate innovation!



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!!

That Rather Noticeable Tattoo

This morning whilst lazing around the beachside pool, my gaze was momentarily disturbed from thoughts of slumber as I glanced a rather attractive tall woman slowly pulling herself out of the water. What caught my eye, besides her long straight auburn hair, was her unique and quite enchanting full length back tattoo that weaved from the middle of her waist up to her right shoulder. Once out of the pool, she steadied herself, gave me a smile, then plunged back into the pool with an artistic dive leaving a minimal splash and swam underwater for a few metres and then resurfaced.

Now this tattoo got me thinking…no, not about that particular woman in the pool, but about how people create their own individual traits that make them different and unique.

Being ‘different’ is not really promoted in the corporate office, rather, everyone is actually encouraged to look and act the same. We all wear the same corporate uniform comprising ties, suits, or tailored skirts. You just don’t see someone rolling into the office with their face painted, in surfing board shorts and bare chested, or a strapless dress showing off their impressive back tattoo!

This lack of dress code diversity I think really impacts and stifles creativity. What is the first thing you typically do when you get home from work? If you are like me…the suit, shirt, shoes and tie are immediately discarded and something more ‘comfortable’ is worn (or not worn)…and immediately my thought is more relaxed and free!

Many corporate organisations have free dress days on Fridays. Typically office morale appears to improve as a consequence. So, what about having random free dress days throughout the working week which alternates between various work teams, that way, a constant mix of corporate dress conservatism and creative free dress will permeate continually amongst employees. Why not try the concept in your corporate office, I would be interested in the feedback!

Now as a side thought, you may be asking..what happens with corporate creativity in nudist colonies where no clothing restrictions apply? Well, I’m leaving that topic well alone!!

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