The Moodification Shirt

3f499710591d734aef3059188647ed28

Forget packing your vast array of shirts next time you travel on business because the “moodification shirt” is finally here! Yes, after years of secretive wardrobe testing by a leading Melbourne apparel designer on many willing, and some less so, randomly body shaped men and women, the fashion solution now sits comfortably on your back.

As the name suggests, the “moodification shirt” quickly adapts in a most unassuming way to all your changing psychological and physical needs.

According to the marketing blurb, this remarkable shirt provides the following phenomenal wearer features and benefits.

  1. Over indulgence rectification
    You have just consumed a little bit too much dinner and your shirt is starting to have that feeling of unwelcome tightness. Relax, as the “moodification shirt” will surreptitiously respond by expanding the fabric to the next shirt size thereby relieving the increasing tension growing your stomach.
  2. Increased heart rate
    Following some unexpected exercise, or a welcome romantic distraction, your heartbeat suddenly increases to a point where a traditional shirt no longer meets your requirements. The “moodification shirt” senses your increased blood palpitations and nonchalantly loosens your top two buttons to allow additional airflow and chest cooling.
  3. Fashion
    Although the “moodification shirt” appears to be white, it can quickly change colour and pattern via the pressing on the two buttons hidden in the lower body of the fabric. Pressing the white button changes the colour, the black button alters the pattern. Through a careful combination of the white and black buttons, the wearer can achieve a full colour array, vertical or horizontal stripes and even checks. For those that want the paisley pattern, at a small additional expense, a third shirt button can be purchased, but only for those individuals that meet the creative persona mindset qualifications.
  4. Hygiene
    No time for a shower? That’s no problem with the “moodification shirt”. Each shirt has an inbuilt odour sensor that is sewn into the collar. When the wearer’s personal woft reaches a discernible value, a pleasant to the nose sanitiser dust is quietly released from the fabric and quickly permeates throughout the shirt.
  5. Stains
    For those unexpected interactions where a pen, lipstick or other stain may find its way onto your shirt, there is no need to panic! By holding both the black and white buttons (see item 3) for 5 seconds engages an emergency colour coverup mechanism within the shirts fabric where the whole shirt changes to the colour of the stain, so it is completely unrecognisable.

So where can you buy this remarkable shirt and how much does it cost? Just go to any reputable retail store and ask the manager to see their range of “moodification shirts”. They won’t be on general display for all the common riff-raff to see, but are normally hidden in the private area allocated to the innovative business purchaser with creative clothing tastes.

The Cardigan Effect

cardigan

If you are still searching for that illusive light bulb moment of inspiration that illuminates you on how to develop a culture of innovation within the corporate office, well, cover your shrinking expectant diluted pupils and look no further!

Those organisations that publicly acknowledge that they have attained this cultural goal of ongoing creative status fully understand, and vehemently practice, a little known law that many of you I’m sure have never heard of, or have ever been exposed to. The law is never discussed in any external academic of business journals, or in a public forum. Those CEOs that utilise this law protect it, and value it on an equal footing with any other prized intellectual property that they own.

The power of this law is like that of a welcome virus, and when unleashed without any senior management constraint within an organisation, it quickly takes hold and generates an uncontrollable innovative forward momentum.

The law is known as “The Cardigan Effect”. So how does it work you may gleefully ask? Let me explain.

The “cardigan” is a metaphor and is used to describe the relaxed, unhindered mental behaviour of an employee when they are not in the corporate office. When exhibiting “cardigan” behaviour, the employee speaks their mind openly; they have an opinion that they happily express with their family and friends. They solve problems, have suggestions and are not scared to challenge the status quo. They may be introverts, extroverts, or anything in between, and are content in realising and accepting their own unique persona.

But when many of these employees enter the corporate office, they remove their snug and comfortable “cardigan” and take on the excepted foreign characteristics and behaviour of the organisation. They become a different person, and all their inherent creativity becomes stifled, suppressed or non-existent.

Those organisations that have mastered the “Cardigan Effect” to drive a culture of innovation within their businesses allow, in fact fully encourage, their employees to wear their personalised “cardigans” in the office. The have created a work environment where their employees want to be their natural selves both in, and out of the office, there is no behavioural separation. However, there is one defining and strategic filter used for this “cardigan” behaviour, that being the organisations corporate values. Here the corporate values are not used to hinder the individual’s creativity, but rather to ensure consistency and a reference point for behaviour.

So how does an organisation create a work environment to fully reap the ongoing benefits of the “Cardigan Effect”? Well, it starts at the top with the Senior Executive team happily wearing their very own personal (not company supplied or corporately branded) “cardigans” publicly in the office. Some of their cardigans may not be that fashionable, may be a tad dirty, or may have a hole in the sleeve, if so, that’s even better. They need to consistently “walk the talk” and wear their “cardigans” everyday, not once off as part of a fad or promotion which most employees recognise quite quickly.

So on Monday as you dress for work, why not leave your usual corporate attire in the wardrobe and pull on your old and trusted “cardigan”. But more importantly, make sure that your home persona accompanies your “cardigan” as you enter the office. Then watch and behold just how fast this new and highly welcome innovation fashion trend quickly prevails!

Umbrellas, Be Gone with Them!

Singing

It’s a most awkward feeling, and you’ve all experienced it, particularly when you encounter someone of approximately the same height. There is a momentary sigh of slight relief when the oncoming individual is deemed to be shorter or taller, the larger the difference the better, until it is quickly replaced by the mandatory manoeuvring so as to avoid any unwelcome impact.

The unavoidable cause of this precipitous, and most stressful combative environment is rain, and its presence signals the use of the antiqued protection item called the umbrella. It doesn’t matter how hard or soft the rain may be, as soon as it falls from the sky, an array of umbrellas hurriedly appears and pedestrian life on the footpath becomes mayhem.

If there were a standard sized umbrella that just provided sufficient circumferential rain protection tailored to the average individual walker, this would greatly assist with commuter meander flow. But no, some undisciplined selfish people elect to brandish a massive brightly coloured golf umbrella, designed for maximum rainfall protection, that produces a pedestrian bottleneck wherever they walk.

There must be a better system of rain head protection, and I’m pleased to say that there is, and it’s called the Aerocap™.

After countless hours of creative thinking time, the Aerocap™ is now fully functional and ready for its inaugural market launch. Its design is simple, yet so effective. It has been fashionably styled by a famous Melbourne designer (who for some reason wants to remain anonymous), and can be purchased in an array of distinctive colours, fabrics and sizes to accommodate all heads.

So how does the Aerocap™ work you may ask? Well, let me educate you.

This innovative rain protection device comes with easy to follow instructions that are listed below:

  1. Place the Aerocap™ on your head.
  2. At the first sign of rain, gently press the carefully camouflaged “start button” that is situated just under the front cap peak.
    (Note 1: for the football team beanie version, press the big pompom. Note 2: for the beret version, press the stalk).
  3. Once the “start button” has been pressed, the top of your Aerocap™ will spontaneously open and an incredibly quiet high intensity airflow will be initiated in an upwards circular direction.
    (Note: You may feel as if you are being pushed with a downward momentum, but this is normal)
  4. Any rain will now be forcefully projected away from the Aerocap™ by the airflow keeping the wearer dry and happy.
  5. Throw away your umbrella, as you won’t need it any longer!

Disclaimer: The Aerocap™ is powered by a small amount of uranium. But don’t be alarmed, as keeping your head dry in the short term was deemed by the now deceased test user as being much more important than any long term radiation concerns).

There is another benefit with the Aerocap™ (not mentioned in the instructions) and that’s the impact it has on those recalcitrant pedestrians that still selfishly carry those large imposing golf umbrellas.

When the Aerocap™ wearer walks under one of these grossly flamboyant umbrellas, there is a detection sensor that quickly increases the air velocity that may result in the umbrella holder suddenly being projected 20 feet in the air. But don’t be too concerned, as by the time they land on the ground with a thump, you will be well gone and will not hear their verbal outbursts.

So how do you get an Aerocap™?

Any classy and sophisticated hatter will sell them. If not, just mention the brand name Aerocap™ to the sales person, and I’m sure you will be given an appropriate response.

The Joy of Male Stubicular Freedom

shaving-advert (1)

It happens every morning, and is particularly accentuated following a long weekend, or an extended period of annual leave. It’s when men throughout the world have a good hard look at themselves in the mirror, sigh loudly with despair, and then initiate that reluctant deed of mass facial hair follicle removal. Alas, a few minutes later, a corporate looking face peers back at the observer as they prepare themselves for the look, and appearance, that complies to their traditional business standards of grooming acceptance.

Let’s stop for a moment and analyse just what’s actually going on here as this facial “stubicular” growing experience is not what it first seems to the onlooker, particularly for those that are female. No, it’s not an act of corporate rebellion, nor another demonstration of male laziness. It is a feeling that men of all ages immediately relate to, sacredly cherish, and have done so since the age of time when the first hair remarkably sprouted from their noble chin. Rather, it is an innate psychological behaviour that typifies the fundamental essence of being a man which is commonly unleashed when relaxing in a non-work environment.   

But, it is more than this, it is a unique masculine feeling that is directly proportional to a man’s sense of creativity and innovation. University studies of some yet to be published academic research, will undoubtedly affirm that when a man frees his mind to think, and to allow ideas to permeate unhindered, his facial hairs have a propensity to grow.

Any Marketing Managers, or HR Managers reading this blog post, please pay attention as the clue to the development of an innovation culture within your company has just been provided. Yes, you need to encourage your male employees to resist the urge to shave. They should be encouraged to grow moustaches, beards and portray long side-burns as “hair fuzz” does indeed equate to innovation. Any advocates of corporate safety will also applaud and support your hairy male decision as the days of facial razor cuts will soon be a unwelcomed sight from the past. So what are you waiting for? As that Nike® slogan says, “Just Do it” so you can quickly reap the furry rewards of creativity.

PS: And should your organization be blessed with menfolk that have a massive hairy chest, well, you are sitting on a copious and hugely under-utilized innovation resource just waiting to be unleashed from their business shirts!

Fully Equipped by Q

M4DGOLD EC004

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.

Small, Yet So Influential

DSC_0481

I looked intently into my colleagues deep blue eyes and asked if she really wanted to do this, because once we do it, there was no turning back? She nodded with a cheeky smile and said she was up for it, after all, it should be quite an experience! We smirked with a nervous anticipation at each other and the mutual course of action was agreed.

Together, we had the global power and reach to change the corporate business world. We were about to unleash a movement that would have a profound impact on suited workers of all ages.

She was the President of the largest clothing retailer in Europe. I, as her Vice-President of Marketing, was responsible for the viral release of her latest leading edge fashion thoughts and ideas.

I gingerly picked up the chosen fashion item and with great respect, stated how I was in awe of how something so small, was going to have such a monumental influence in business. She laughed and said, “If they only knew who wielded the power in the corporate world!”

With the colour and pattern selection made, I pressed the send button on my E-mail note to which a global fashion communication chain reaction immediately commenced. In the following hours, purchase orders from all the leading department stores around the world came flooding into our New York based Head Office. Production orders were sent to China and the petite clothing items were quickly manufactured on mass, complete with our authentic world-renowned Company label. The price mark-up would be 1000%, but we knew that the consumers would expect nothing less.

For the next 2 years, our sales growth was phenomenal. Our fashion item was seen adorning business suits in all the trendy magazines of glamour, worn by celebrities and many other wannabes, and those that just didn’t know any better.

In the quiet solitude of our very expensively furnished corporate New York boardroom, I again looked into those deep blue eyes of my colleague and gave an uncontrollable laugh! She looked at the pocket-handkerchief in my suit jacket and said, “Who would have thought!”

Your Very Own Personal “Sound Globe™”

Noise reduction ! the simple way !!

I re-inserted my snug fitting iPhone earplugs, quickly turned up the volume and hoped that the prevailing musical tones would assist with masking out the perpetual, and most unwelcome, office noise. On looking around the building, I noticed that the majority of my fellow workers, all had a similar array of self-imposed audio devices strategically placed within their inner ear canals with the hope of achieving that prized goal of thinking privacy.

Arhh yes, “the joys of working in an open planned office” I hear you all say with clenched teeth as you stifle the awkward exit of these words from your feigned smiling mouths!

For those of you that have the luxury of audio solitude as you sit within the contained comfort of your enclosed corporate office with a sound inhibiting door, you no longer need to feel isolated from this “joyous experience” as I have a cunning, and somewhat innovative solution, that will enable you to leave your well-guarded “den of silence” and happily re-engage with your work colleagues. I can hear your cheers of quiet approval already!

The key is in thinking differently! Rather than hindering unwanted audible sounds from entering your ears, why not stop recalcitrant and loud voices from leaving your head?

According to a “reputable and well known” materials engineering design source “close” to the author of this blog post, there will soon be a “yet to be invented” transparent, ceramic type material that has a unique combination of physical properties that include sound absorption, light weight and breathability. The material can be easily shaped to accommodate the contour of a human head and will be internationally promoted in all good retail stores under the “Sound Globe™” trademark, so all office workers will be able to readily purchase one.

Just imagine being able to purchase your own custom moulded “Sound Globe™” with the following features and benefits:

Silence
As no sound can permeate through the patented material used to construct the “Sound Globe™”, each device will have an inbuilt mobile phone transmitter so the wearer can communicate freely with the outer world. However, to those people standing next to the “Sound Globe™” wearer, no sound will be heard, the only indication of talk being the mimed mouth movements of the head within the device.

Hair
Some users of the “Sound Globe™” may not like the look of perceived baldness from the exceptionally smooth and shiny ceramic texture. To alleviate this public look, each “Sound Globe™” can be fitted with a visually pleasing externally mounted Velcro hair piece that can be obtained in a variety of fashionable lengths and stylish colours.
An additional benefit is derived for those that don’t like getting their real hair wet when walking in the rain as the “Sound Globe™” provides complete weather protection from the harshest meteorological conditions.

Air Circulation
Each “Sound Globe™” has its own inbuilt air heating and cooling system. So on those days when the office temperature may get a little bit unpleasant, relax, as that look of facial perspiration is now a thing of the past.

Embarrassment
The “Sound Globe™” also measures facial colour change. So should you be a person who readily blushes, when this red colour is identified, the “Sound Globe™” quickly goes a solid black thereby disguising any personal embarrassment. However, should this occur, it is recommended that the wearer not move for at least 5 seconds, just in case they collide with a fellow worker owing to lack of external sight, and to ensure the requisite office HSE compliance.

Smokers
The “Sound Globe™” does have a no-smoking design policy. Firstly, it will be difficult for you to place a cigarette into your mouth owing to the poor hand access to your lips. Secondly, should you manage to sneak a lit cigarette into your “Sound Globe™”. an inbuilt water spray is immediately released in order to extinguish any potential fire threat.

Of course there are many more benefits associated with this remarkable device, but I don’t want this blog post to sound too much like a product advertisement (as I do have a potential “conflict of interest”), so I will curtail my list to only those key ones mentioned above.

So the future of the open plan office does indeed look positive and one that ensures maximum sound productivity for all employees. Rumours are that the “Sound Globe™, will be available in the “near” future, so may I suggest that you quickly pre-order your own device to ensure that you do not miss out, and thereby avoid any personal disappointment.

Macabre Murderer of Marketing

Murder

The senior manager sat down exhausted in his large corporate black leather desk chair. The worn fabric felt so cool and relaxing as it snugged his body in a welcoming and inviting manner as it had done for the past thirty-five years.

He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his ragged company monogrammed handkerchief and looked at his hands now shaking with fear, thankfully he had achieved his objective before any “damage” had been done.

He carefully took out the black bound book that had lived in solitude and secrecy in his top desk draw and entered another name under the vast array of other recalcitrant employees that he had quietly “murdered” from a career perspective.

Yes, that was a close one he thought. If he hadn’t have acted, that employee might actually have changed the corporate status quo and may have injected some marketing creativity and innovation into the business. We can’t have that! But it was getting harder and harder to stop these employees infiltrating the company. He was also wondering what would happen when he retired at the end of the year. He was now despondent as he couldn’t find other younger employees that had the same unique business insight as him, nor his perceived flair of maintaining the existing corporate culture.

Mmmm, you might be thinking to yourself, as you may have already allocated a name to this senior manager in your business? If so, may I suggest that you publicly ‘call the behaviour” of these archaic and sorry individuals and lobby support amongst your colleagues to raise up a corporate mutiny for the long term betterment of your company! Don’t let this negative and destructive behaviour go unchallenged to avoid anymore creative casualties!

Sounds rather melodramatic doesn’t it? However, without creativity, innovation and marketing, it is the organisation as a whole that is suffocated as it loses the requisite lifeblood to ensure its longer term success and survival. May I suggest you don’t let this happen to yours, and if you see the signs of this occurring, try and quickly nip this potential “murder” in the corporate bud before it takes hold.

Just a thought to make you think that little bit differently.

Jockey Office Thoughts

Silks

The jockey adorned in an impressive satin quartered racing silk raised her white covered jodhpur pantalooned bottom above her mighty steed; her black crop was poised as she awaited the start of the race.

The masses that had come to see the great event cheered and shouted with such volume that the roar permeated throughout the racing track and the surrounding suburbs. It was so loud that those with hearing aids had to reduce the receptivity for fear of blowing the last remaining remnants of their fragile eardrums! The charming ladies looked absolutely gorgeous in their fashionable dresses and fancy stylish array of hats. The gentlemen all dressed in suits and bright ties complemented the occasion and looked quite spiffy. It was going to be a grand day out!

Once the race started, the booming announcer’s voice kept those punters informed on the status of their various Castillo boot cladded jockey as they competitively galloped in a rather uncomfortable looking postured position up high on their horses towards the winning post. For the winning jockey, the crowd would go wild, a voluminous frenzy would erupt and it was party time!

According to a “prominent blog writer”, a question now needs to be asked, and that is; “Why do such grand occasions not occur in the corporate office”? Why is it that when a new innovation is being developed, those employees working on it tend to sulk around the office in a mode of stealth. Is it for fear of failure, or perhaps that new innovations are not that exciting and interfere with the normal day-to-day business activities?

A “prominent blog writer” postulates that innovation should be greatly publicised within the corporate office. It should have the same sense of occasion and festivity associated with an important horse race. Those working on the innovation should be given a high profile and their progress broadcasted throughout the organization so all employees can feel part of the process of creativity and celebrate that winning feeling once the product/service is commercialised. So how do we do this? The key is communication and a function that lends itself nicely to those within your Corporate Affairs and Marketing teams. A “buzz of excitement” needs to be created and maintained along the innovation journey.

By the way, in case you are wondering, that “prominent blog writer” does not suggest that those members of the innovation teams should wear white jodhpur pants and silk shirts (OK, maybe the shirts, but definitely not the jodhpurs!), but it would make them a lot more visible within the organization?

The Novel Process of “Bookovation”

llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR

When walking into a bookstore you are immediately greeted with a vast array of books strategically positioned on the bookshelves with their spines pointing out at you saying “come closer and have a look at me”!

As a way of encouraging you to clasp your eyes upon them, each book is ordained with its own distinct marketing appeal that is a complex blend of colours and words to entice the potential book buyer. I must admit, I am one those people who does judge a book by its cover so first impressions in this instance do indeed count.

Once tempted by a specific book, you gently slide the chosen article from the shelves and study the outer cover and artwork more closely to further justify your initial selection. At this stage, you have not yet opened the book and do not know what the story could be about, but you are already speculating in your mind various story permutations and plot combinations. If all goes to plan from the publisher’s perspective, you will eventually be seduced into reading the blurb and may then personally commit to purchasing the book for a greater analysis of the numerous pages to justify your expenditure.

This process of judging a book by its cover got me thinking about with the generation of ideas in the corporate office.

What if each employee was given a book with the same title (which represented a work problem to be solved), colours, design and branding on the outer cover of the book? The inside of each book would contain blank pages.

Each employee would then be asked to scribe inside their book the thoughts and ideas that came to them on initially viewing the exterior of the book. These thoughts would only be derived from the title and the complementary artwork (just like in the bookstore). The books would then be collected and the contents accumulated into a combined narrative.

The results I’m sure would be most interesting and I suspect would vary greatly in content. But, what a rich and extensive source of innovative ideas this process would generate! Let’s call the process “bookovation” (short for innovation derived from books).

So next time you are in need for some creativity in your business, may I suggest you give “bookovation” a go, I’m sure that the process would generate a lot of intrigue and enjoyment for your employees along the way. It would also make for the establishment of an impressive corporate library of thought!

%d bloggers like this: