Claim your Pantaloon Freedom

office-shorts

On standing up from my desk chair, I immediately felt the unexpected gaze of my colleagues. Some of the looks were based on admiration; others on envy, there was even the occasional involuntary gasp of astonishment. However, to me, the experience was refreshing and reminded me very much of my younger days.

Regardless of your sex, you have all experienced the feeling. It was in the days when we were unashamed to flaunt it all, our bare skin, free to the world, purposefully unhidden below any wads of consolidated fibres of corporate cloth.

We wore our innovative adventures with pride, and accumulated countless scars that testified our forays into the carefree and creative world in which we lived, unperturbed about the potential future consequences.

In our unprotected state, we immediately experienced the changing moods of our surrounding environment. For those of us with an abundance of hairs, these quickly stood erect in complete barometric harmony with the prevailing climatic conditions.

Yes, we were the wearers of shorts and our knees relished in their uncovering.

But at a certain age, our lives changed significantly when we decided, or were instructed by those that knew better, to wear trousers. At this point in time we became pantaloon conformists. No longer would our knees enjoy that continual breeze woft that symbolised our youthful exhilaration of openness.

As the years progressed, that haphazard child-like naivety and knee-free explorative thought slowly became extinct, particularly for those in the corporate office who habitually and unthinkingly wear a suit.

But relax, yours knees are quite resilient and will with the right air stimulation quickly revert back to their native state of youthfulness and inspiration. The corrective process is simple, just start wearing shorts in the office.

Don’t worry yourself about rules of fashion, you can wear long walk socks, short ankle length socks, or go ankle commando.

For that professional look, a tailored short does look the best, together with the belt that used to reside in your conservative suit trousers that will instantaneously welcome your new, and refreshing lease of life, now less rigidly “waistful”. Should you wear a business shirt, tie or jacket with your shorts? The choice is entirely up to you, but definitely not the corporate branded T-shirt, as you will want to vehemently maintain the creative personal innovation that your knees have fought so hard to physically obtain.

Yes, I was enjoying the experience of wearing shorts in the corporate office. My knees were once again unhindered, and so was my thought. In direct thoughtful knee correlation, my mind now gratefully welcomed its cloth shackle-less freedom, and acknowledged that I had once again rediscovered my true source of innovation.

The Scenic Desk

Mobile-Office-1961

You have all had that feeling, it’s 3 PM in the afternoon and your motivational levels are starting to rapidly decline. Your coffee intake is becoming dangerously high, so much so that your tastebuds have now maxed out on caffeine, and you are worried that one more cup consumed will definitely impede any potential sleeping opportunities that evening. Your eyelids are closing heavily under an unknown and dreaded forced hypnotic influence as they encourage you to place your head surreptitiously on your desk and initiate an inconspicuous state of slumber.

However, relax, you don’t need to worry about this unwanted physical eventuality, as your corporate office is equipped with the latest afternoon motivational technique, that being, the “scenic desk”.

Yes, at precisely 9 AM each morning, your desk, like all the others in your office, start their journey of scenic transition that takes exactly 8 hours to complete. The process starts with the application of a quiet, yet highly powerful high velocity air current that lifts each desk (and the matching chair) an inconspicuous 5 millimetres above the floor. By cleverly changing the angle of these air currents, each office worker’s desk can be propelled in a forward, backward or sideways trajectory. An inbuilt desk computer developed by “Google Desks” charts a unique journey that traverses the entire corporate office to ensure a different, and enthralling desk experience every day, and one that naturally avoids any possible desk collision.

Following extensive R&D testing at a soon to be prestigious Melbourne University, the speed of desk movement has been calibrated at a most comfortable 2 kilometres/hour so as to alleviate any projectile g-forces that may fling the desk occupant, or items loosely residing on the desk surface, in an uncontrollable and dangerous manner. However, for those office workers that don’t worry about the residual side effects of windblown hair, or are particularly bored at work, their desk velocity can be tweaked to much higher levels (following the requisite completion of a personal liability disclaimer issued by their HR Manager). There is also a special office “ejection option” feature that can be used for those recalcitrant employees that utilises a camouflaged sound-proof one-way exit system.

Once the desk movement activity progresses, the desk owner will be enthralled as they meander with gleeful curiosity throughout the corporate office. Any thoughts of feeling tired, or exhausted, will quickly mentally evaporate as they experience new visual aspects and encounter different work colleagues along their scenic desk journey.

Like clockwork, at precisely 5 PM, their desk will arrive back at the original office location ready for the worker’s timely departure, but with them now brandishing a totally refreshed and visually inspired mindset.

So should you experience that unwelcome sensation of mental boredom, don’t reach for another coffee, just send an E-mail to your HR Manager lobbying for your corporate office to purchase the “scenic desk” system. It will change your office environment forever!

All it takes is a Jump

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I felt quite smug as I sat in the middle of my corporate nest as I delightedly acknowledged the numerous platitudes from my fellow bird siblings as they complimented me on my latest innovative feat. Yes, no other bird could match my skills in nest cleanliness and twig weaving; I was a bird who had no equal. I had spent all my working life perfecting my ability and I was the envy of all those in my nest.

However, with an unexpected rustle of feathers, my formidable life as I knew it changed forever as an older sister bird unexpectedly flew in from a distant tree. How she got there, I did not quite understand, but it took all of us nest bound birds by great surprise.

She cooed up to me with a confident waddle and greeted me with a beak expression that was definitely from out of this nest. I was in awe of her and needed to know more! She folded her broad colourful wings and together we sat perched in a quiet corner of the nest.

As we jointly partook of a nice fat juicy green worm, the dialog commenced and she told me of a life beyond the nest. I listened intently as she described an array of different branches, insects, water and other birds. My eyes, ears and feathers strained to comprehend the world that was being described to me. I had to experience it and asked her to show me the way.

My older sister smiled, and with a gentle melodious voice beckoned me to tail her to the edge of the nest. I immediately followed her with uncertainty and trepidation as fear tried to stop me from waddling to the top of the nest. But I refused to give in, I was now in “no birds land”, one foolish step and I would fall to the depths below.

Once again her calming melodious voice instructed me to open my virgin wings. I copied her wing movement, became totally petrified and shut my eyes as she instructed me with confident authority to “jump”.

I obeyed the instruction. A second later, as I saw the bottom of the forest rush up to me, I began to panic! But, after a short moment, my beady bird eyes suddenly saw the bright blue sky as an intense whooshing noise accompanied me as I reached unknown lofty heights. Wow, this is amazing as I looped the loop, and enthusiastically flapped as I glided around the forest with a new perspective on life.

Now, my dear reader, I’m sure that you can see the application of this feathery story in the corporate office. Yes, many employees look to within for innovation. However, the catalyst to creativity is achieved from experiences outside the “nest”. Sometimes, employees just need some encouragement to open their “wings” and “jump”.

 

Working from Home

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It’s 8:29 AM and I’m still not dressed for that important customer presentation that I’m making in one minute. No problem, I think my new dark grey suit with the white shirt and spiffy gold cufflinks will indeed do the trick! Yep, with a simple “click” it’s achieved and I look quite professionally impressive, even if I do say so myself!

Now for that lunchtime catch-up with the girlfriend. This suit is far too abundant in clothing for that rendezvous. For this interaction, a much more informal and seductive look is most definitely required. Arrh yes, “clothing outfit #37” is the choice. I look quite good, but my hair, it needs to be a tad longer. One “click” later, the job is done. Hang on, did I just notice my girlfriend’s dress change length? Whatever, she still looks great, not sure about the colour of those stockings though, a bit different, but I’m sure I will get used to in the short term.

Damn. I forgot about my meeting with the boss, which is right in the middle of my lunch date. All good though, I will just replicate myself, put my duplicate in a conservative looking suit and tie, and then in a highly focussed manner communicate with her at the scheduled time, whilst continuing my much more important girlfriend interaction (both of which will be none the wiser!).

It’s now 4 PM and time for my brainstorming session with my work colleagues. For this interaction, I think I might become 6’ 5” tall, add a few pounds to my weight and grow a straggly beard. Might even change my name for additional effect! That should test them a tad.

5 PM. Phew. What a day! I’m exhausted and these pyjamas that I’m wearing are feeling a little bit too loose and shabby. I might put a different pair on for tomorrow’s business activities. However, this working from home via an avatar and computer simulated virtual meeting room does have it’s benefits, and I don’t need to travel to a proper corporate office.

IM to Self: Might go to the gym tonight, my real avatar is starting to look a little bit too rotund for my liking!

 

The Isle of Creativia

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As you fly over the Pacific Ocean at 25,000 feet in the luxurious comfort of your First Class fully reclined leather seat number 1A, the furthest thing from your mind would be the existence of the small county of Creativia located far below. In the time taken for you to scoff your second mouthful of that exquisite, and most decadent, 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage, the air turbulence from your plane would have only just tenderly kissed the peaktop of Creativia’s highest mountain. But then again, how could you know that in 20 years from now, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would prevail, and that you, and all your fellow business travellers that you typify, will then be quite literally extinct. Yes, an unplanned catastrophic business event will exterminate all those corporate organisations that are deemed not up to the required survival standard of innovation and creativity. The result will be the survival of the business fittest, and these individuals will only be the fortunate inhabitants of Creativia.

The origins of Creativia goes back to the early 1960s, when an unknown mutant variant of the human DNA, just happened to form simultaneously by a remarkable freak of nature in many leading industrial countries around the world. Those born with this undetectable and unique gene condition grew up with a distinctively different view of life, business and mankind’s role and place in this earthly environment. For these select individuals, “the glass was always full”, they saw things with a continually positive and optimistic perspective as everything they did was based on an underlying theme of innovation.

These individuals from a very early age immediately understood that they were different from the common populous, and as they grew older and more business savvy, they nonchalantly started to meet surreptitiously in hidden boutique coffee shops around the world. Here they repeatedly tried to quench their endless thirst for creative stimulation with high doses of caffeine in an attempt to satisfy their enduring innovation habits and urges. However, their individual ESP insights warned them of a greater impending creative doom that would soon engulf the business world leading to the complete obliteration of the corporate world as they, and as we, knew it. Like a homing pigeon on a lifelong mission of creative destiny, each of them were mysteriously led by some unknown personal and instinctive force to a small deserted and entirely hidden island, rich in natural resources and copious cash reserves. As the years progressed, these inhabitants waxed strong into a diverse and mighty culture of creative thought. Then, when the time was just right, they as pioneering Creative Ambassadors of Thought, journeyed from Creativia to seek out new and impoverished businesses to rectify the time consuming wrongs of many out-dated CEOs and corporate Executives.

—— 

Twenty years later, it did indeed happen. Looking back, it was a slow, potent, and highly lethal cultural virus that with time took hold and eventually killed the corporate world due to a lack of futuristic and insightful thinking. CEOs from all around the world together fell on their business swords and bleated their proclaimed selfishness in focussing on short-term financial goals and not the longer wellbeing of their corporate organisations. But alas, it was all too late. 

Long live Creativia! 

When a Building Thinks

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According to the erection date chiselled into my cornerstone, I’m a middle aged corporate building as measured by employee years. However, as all the other offices around me keep telling me, with age, comes experience, and I have seen it all.

My occupants come and go, make noise during the daylight hours, but thankfully they let me rest during the night which allows me time to recuperate and get my office back in order with the assistance of what they call “cleaners”.

Like all thinking entities, as I get older, I do start to lose a few fibres from my carpets, the walls and fixtures take on a slightly more shabby look, and there is the occasional random odour from the basement, but a regular make-over seems to do the trick which helps me look decades younger. The key to my youthful appearance is in having a well defined, and rigid inspection regime, where a realm of specialist tradespeople annually check me over and make sure my inners are operating efficiently. If not, a non-working item is quickly identified, rooted out and professionally replaced with something more modern. Any discomfort, or embarrassment that I may experience during this operation as my private rooms are exposed to all observers, is quickly forgotten when I consider the longer-term benefits.

As I’m more “buildingly” mature, I also have the ability to be the master of my occupant destiny, a trait many younger buildings can only aspire to, and one that I’m regularly quizzed about. For those of you that have read my many interviews in the Harvard Building Review (HBR), I won’t repeat the details here so as not to sound too pompous, nor repetitive. But for those that haven’t, the key is in using your inherent building skills to manipulate those within you. For example, should I experience an internal people upset that needs to be purged, I evoke my fire sprinkler system to remedy and dampen down the origin of the disturbance. Another option is to deliberately rest a people section of my building structure by strategically removing the power supply from the offending area. For those occasions that need a rapid solution, nothings beats the immediacy of a broken sewer pipe or gas leak which seems to work every time! But as a word of caution, don’t use this last one too often, otherwise you may find yourself being served with an official building condemnation notice which can cut short your life expectancy quite quickly.

Like all buildings, there will come a time when I’m no longer appreciated and I will be asked to make way for something an architect deems younger, more fashionable and environmentally friendlier. No, I’m not perturbed, because I know that I will be reincarnated once again into yet another building as my structural DNA is recycled and used as foundation rubble fill, thereby continuing my thought, and influence, in the corporate office.

Image: https://flic.kr/p/nfyCmP

Fully Equipped by Q

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I was rather chuffed, I had just received my “00” status and was now fully licensed and about to start my first assignment.

As is customary, all “00” agents had the obligatory visit to the office of Q to get fully equipped for the task at hand to ensure a successful mission. On talking with my mentor, James, I was rather excited about what tools of the trade the famous Q would provide me for my first business encounter.

As I walked down the bleak office corridor that typified MI6, my mind wondered about what tools I would receive. Would it be a Walther PPK, a Geiger counter watch, tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder, or maybe a bagpipe with hidden machine gun? I didn’t really care I must admit, I just wanted to start my first mission which was to infiltrate a corporate office with my assigned identity as Global Marketing Director.

I nervously knocked on Q’s office door and a female voice invited me in. Once inside, I quickly discovered that this was no office, this was a room full of an overabundance of gadgets, some I recognised, some I had no clue as to their use.

Q, was not what I expected. She was a redheaded woman, I suspected in her early thirties, dressed impeccably in the latest business attire with a smile that made you melt when you first met her. Q had me at “hello”.

Q enquired as to my mission to which I provided the requisite details in rather a tedious and long-winded verbose manner. Q smiled and cut my conversation short and said, “Say no more, I know exactly what you will need”, to which I sighed in rather a too loud a manner for a “00” agent. After all, we are elite professionals tasked with one objective that can be brutal, callous and potentially dangerous.

Q walked to a large cupboard, did a retina scan security check and immediately the cupboard door opened. Q reached in and pulled out a large clear glass bottle with a cork strategically placed as a stopper. Q then handed it to me and stated that this is all that I needed for my first mission. I picked it up, shook it, peered into it and asked whether it contained nerve gas or whether the glass was an explosive?

Q then explained the power of the corked bottle. “As you are going to work in a corporate office, the only tool you will require is what’s inside the bottle and you can open it any time you like, here, now, or when you are strategically positioned at your allocated place of work”.

I couldn’t resist, I decided to pop the cork and see what awaited me. I did so and encountered no gas, no odour, no bang, just, nothing. I glanced at Q with an inquisitive look.

Before I could ask my question, Q advised; “You don’t need any gadgets, you just need to allow yourself to be creative, to let your mind go, just like the gas inside that bottle has now done. This is the key to any marketing and innovation role. Many people think they need tools to stimulate their creativity, such as brainstorming sessions, external stimuli, etc, but what they really need to do is to just think that little bit differently. It’s quite simple really, this isn’t rocket science”.

I thanked Q for the corked bottle and slowly walked out of her office ready to commence my mission, but stopped and said, “But surely as a “00” I should at least have a Walther PPK?” Q replied, “You have a creative mind, that is much more powerful and deadly, trust me”. And I did.

“FITBIT Thought” Performance

People at the gym

For a year now I have been wearing my “FITBIT Thought” Earwig and today was the day in which I would see whether I was going to be paid my annual bonus.

Most people tend to only use their FITBIT to record the number of steps they had achieved, but not those in my company. I was fortunate to work for a large innovative organisation that was a leader in its field, and one that was prepared to think that little bit differently.

My company had pioneered the “FITBIT Thought” which when placed unassumingly into the wearers ear, measured not just steps, heart rate, hours slept, but also their “thoughts”. This particular FITBIT had some clever and unique IP built into it that was able to these filter thoughts, differentiate and classify them into various thinking categories. Now this is where it gets interesting.

My company elected to utilise the following thinking categories:
1. Creative (C)
2. Boredom (B)
3. Repetition (R)
4. Humanistic (H)

Based on feedback from our HR Director, thoughts relating to those more “private and personal activities” were excluded from the analysis data, which was probably a good thing knowing my fellow work colleagues!

Performance based “Thought KPIs” were then discussed and agreed with the employee. A daily “FITBIT Thought” dashboard was updated when the wearers Earwig was in close proximity to a corporate computer thereby allowing data synchronisation. Each night I would review my C, B, R, H achievement levels and would make the appropriate behaviour adjustment the following day should I be falling behind, or exceeding certain thought activities.

As it was now day 366, I excitedly logged onto my work computer and made the required “FITBIT Thought” synchronisation. Immediately I received 4 Badges of Performance Merit, each relating to the C, B, R and H categories. But more importantly, another message appeared a few seconds later with an avatar of my CEO advising me of my financial bonus! The gleeful smile continued as I then checked my bank account.

So, should your organisation be looking for a unique and more productive method for measuring your employee’s performance, why not explore the “FITBIT Thought”?

(Note: If only the “FITBIT Thought” really existed!)

Try using these WORDS!

I stopped in my tracks and said, “You look absolutely gorgeous!”. I walked on another ten feet, stopped again, turned around and said, “You really do, I mean it!”

Twenty seconds earlier, three woman, who I’d never met before, walked out of the clothing store onto the footpath and stopped in front of me. One of them, dressed in a green tightly body hugging winter jacket, asked her close friends for their opinion; “Do you really like the coat?”. Before they could answer, I made my initial comment of genuine positive affirmation, which I repeated without hesitation a few seconds later. The smile on her face was ecstatic and her friends laughed with gleeful intent. If I had lingered a moment longer and not continued my ‘walk of thought’, I’m sure my new ‘best friends’ would have invited me to lunch!

There is a moral here for the corporate office. How often do we compliment our colleagues with constructive reinforcement of their behaviour, their manner, a risk they may have taken, or how they dress? I suspect not that often?

Why not?

Many offices these days have become rather sterile environments where only ‘approved’ comments of corporate acceptance prevail. To demonstrate the point, how many organisations have implemented the corporate branded ‘Thank You’ card which you are encouraged to complete, then hand to HR, who then distribute it to the nominated individual some days, or weeks, later after the words have been vetted for any corrupt intentions!

Let’s explore this further and consider a highly functioning sports team. What is the key to their success? Nothing too complicated, really, it’s just called ‘talking’.
But, those involved ‘talk’ with ‘words’ of encouragement where they compliment each other on what they did well, or provide words on impending danger from the opposition, or give words of constructive criticism. The words of feedback tend to be immediate, or whilst the game is fresh in the minds of those involved.

So why not give it a go in your corporate office? If you are a tad timid to praise a colleague publicly, then use an E-mail or an SMS, but make sure it has your name on it as this personalised message of word positivity is much more powerful than words of anonymity and will mean much more to the recipient. Make praise a habit, and I’m sure that you and those around you will benefit greatly from the word experience.

And if that gorgeous woman in the green coat is reading this blog post, yes, I’m still available for lunch, just send me the “words”!

Image: Sophiaclothing

Negative Thoughts…..Gone!

Why Depression Leaves You With ‘No Room To Think’ You can escape from those negative thoughts that build up like a wall and leave you with no room to think about other things.

The looks I quickly received from my colleagues sitting around the table told me instantaneously that I had indeed stepped over the mark of corporate acceptability. If looks could kill, well, I would be at least 6 feet under with no hope of potential resuscitation, or any viable afterlife.

But it was OK, I knew what I had to do, and to make sure that I did, an array of index fingers quickly pointed me in the direction of “the room” within I was to purge my history of corporate indiscretion.

Unfortunately “the room” was all too familiar to me as I had been there many times before so I knew what to expect. However, the experience is never a pleasant one.

In our corporate office, all “these rooms” are positioned in the southwest corner of the building. There are 18 office floors, so the 18 “rooms” are all strategically aligned vertically above each other. It is said that those using “the room” on the ground floor feel the full mental negative force of “the room” users above them, which limits this particular “rooms” activity to a minimum. Those who have over used the ground floor “room” facilities have been mentally scared beyond creative repair, and can no longer participate in any long-term strategic innovation discussions.

I obeyed the directive from my fellow workers and quickly walked to “the room”, unlocked the door with the large brass key, entered, and then closed the door behind me. The pitch darkness only lasted for a microsecond before the dim blue light appeared illuminating the small leather bound brown stool in the corner. As was the custom, I then sat down and pressed the fluorescent central red wall button to start the process of negative thought eradication.

Yes, the purpose of “the room” is to painlessly remove and quickly eliminate any thoughts that can hinder or impede innovation, creativity or positive thinking.

Once the red wall button had been activated, I then started to rethink those awful thoughts I had expressed with my colleagues a few moments ago. As I did this, I noticed the negative thought gauge meter needle starting to rise from zero negativity to the maximum red zone that signified extreme negative naughtiness. No wonder my friends gave me such a nasty look, I really had reached the depths of de-innovation with my negative comments! Once purged of my extreme negativity, the thought needle slowly fell back to the zero position thereby confirming that my creativity and inspirational thought processes had returned. I was now cleared to re-join my colleagues in the discussion.

Now what happens to these negative thoughts you may ask? At about 11:30 PM when there is no one left in the building, a dark black liquid “thought slops” tanker truck surreptitiously parks each night out the front of the building. A flexible metal reinforced hose is attached to the negative thought “slops tank” by a man fully dressed in a white decontamination thought resistant body suit. The thought “slops tank” holds the accumulated negativity of all employees and needs to be dutifully emptied on a daily basis owing to the large number of negative thought deposits. Rumour has it, that the negative slops concentration is so powerful, that it is now being used as a uranium substitute in nuclear reactors owing to the immense energy released, it is also believed to be more environmentally friendly owing to its green thought rating.

So, should your company suffer from a high frequency of negative thoughts, the answer is simple. You just need to purchase “the room” and all your negativity will immediately be eliminated to ensure your long-term business innovation success.

Sorry, did you want to know the cost? This is privileged information, but I’m happy to provide additional details once you have sent me your corporate AMEX card number!

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