The Lazy Creative

maxresdefault-1

It can happen via a deliberate wrist glance, a nonchalant button press, or the frequent refreshing of a specifically purchased iPhone App. You have all observed it in action. Yes, it’s the now quite common hourly habit of the corporate office FITBIT wearer as they compete with their fellow fanatical walkers for the esteemed victor of the Workweek Hustle.

But in a recent study, at a soon to be prestigious Australian Institute of Sport, a rather unusual finding has been discovered that has found a direct correlation with a person’s aptitude for innovation, and their FITBIT daily step count. Contrary to what you may think, the lower the FITBIT number, the higher the innovation intellect.

The majority of the corporate office population view those in their working ranks with a very Low FITBIT Step Count (LFSC) as being rather lazy. However, the study results found this to be remarkably furthest from the truth.

Those of your colleagues with a LFSC typically commenced their innovation training early in their youth as a teenager. A visual clue to their future LFSC creative talent would be their clothes, towels and food plates being strategically placed on the floor in their bedrooms. As the days of litter and odour progressed unhindered, a frustrated parent would finally succumb to the mess and tidy their room, with no stepping activity required at all from the clever child.

For teenagers that mastered this skill, their LFSC innovative prowess continued into their working life where the role of the parent was replaced by a fellow work colleague. Here they would sit comfortably at their desk, with their ears and eyes seeking out a potential parental worker surrogate to ensure that their need for physical exertion was significantly minimized. If you are not familiar with their innovative FITBIT step reduction techniques, take note of the following behavioural clues:

  1. The Coffee Run: They will hear the murmurings of colleagues thinking of making a dash to the nearest café for a coffee. Using their creative talent, they will feign extreme busyness and will ask you to get them a coffee on their behalf. If they are masterly at their LFSC craft, you will also be paying for them, with no hope or expectation of a reciprocal arrangement.
  1. The Carpark: In the office carpark, the innovative LFSC colleague will park in the closest position next to the elevator thereby ensuring the least number of walking steps. Some may even place a “Reserved” sign to guarantee this requirement.
  1. The Video Conference: Rather than having to walk to a meeting, the LFSC colleague will cunningly schedule a video conference, even if the colleagues invited sit only a few desks away.

So next time you have a FITBIT Workweek Hustle and you power your way on a daily basis to stepping superiority, may I suggest that you have a look at the work colleague that always comes last. Yes, they are the truly innovative people in your corporate office as it takes creative ingenuity to be that lazy!

The Benefits of Man-Flu

Manflu2

In the Southern hemisphere, as the days now get colder, there is an all too familiar sound that is starting to be heard, that being; “arrrhhh chooo!” It is typically the unwelcome sign that signals the onset of the thinking man’s worst fear, that being the dreaded “man-flu”.

Yes, this condition is debilitating on the male form. All physical activity quickly grinds to a reluctant halt, accompanied by feeble pleas for female support and loving reassurance that the world as we know it will not end.

During this time, those afflicted with this thankfully curable diagnosis are forced to ponder life, the universe, and the Foxtel sports channel guide, whilst patiently recuperating in a large king-sized bed, or on a strategically positioned and well cushioned couch. We suffer in silence as we consume endless cups of hot coffee or tea, complete with the occasional snack of peanuts, chips and maybe a token lemon enriched vitamin supplement, as we blow our noses in between the TV advertising breaks.

However, as is typical with most “near-death” experiences, once the man-flu sufferer has triumphed over the worst part of this malady and can see that their short-term life prospects will actually be regained; they have time to reflect on the important things in their life. This “time of reflection”, known amongst males as “milking the best of the condition before the female knows that we are actually feeling better” is when our creativity and acting skills are maximised to new levels of innovation. Without this male innate skill that is passed secretly from father to son, our opportunity for “reflection” would be drastically cut short, as would our hold on the sacred TV remote control button.

Now for all you HR Managers reading this blog post please don’t be too quick in rejecting any requested sick leave applications where you now doubt the authenticity of the male requester. Why, because your company’s dedicated male employees have been cleverly utilizing their time at home to fine-tune and improve their imagination skills, all part of their “time of reflection”. So, just approve the application, rolls your eyes, and say, “typical”.

Dirt IS Good

muddy-woman

An office colleague of mine was trying to convey the attributes of infrequent showering as a benefit to the environment, and her body, after reading an article in a leading Australian newspaper*. My altruistic persona understood the associated advantages with water and soap conservation, and for that individual sacrifice I was indeed grateful. However, I must admit that I was struggling to find common agreement with the potential impact on her personal hygiene and that unique, and highly distinctive human odourfication.

That night, whilst driving home in my air-conditioned clean car cocooned from all external negative atmospheric influences, I thought objectively about my colleague, and I came to the conclusion that Dirt was actually a very good thing, particularly for the process of fostering innovation in the corporate office. No, I’m not suggesting for a moment that a dirty unwashed body should be encouraged, particularly as I am still a strong believer in the virtues of daily ablutions, but I am purporting the advantages of having a “dirty mind”, one that is openly shared and encouraged amongst all employees.

Now for all of you that do have a “dirty mind”, immediately stop, go no further with your thought processes!  When I use the term “dirt”, I mean; mud, soil or clay….yes, that Dirt.

In the corporate office, there are many ideas generated, some great, others, well, not so great. However, many of these hypothetically brilliant ideas experience a relatively short creative life that quickly evaporate before they can be progressed to a state of potential future commercial benefit.

Think of a plant that needs time to cultivate roots in dirt from which it obtains the necessary nutrients for growth. If it is left unprotected without the life giving benefits of soil, it soon withers and dies. Similarly, your thoughts require a “dirty mind” to take hold, grow and develop. Here the “dirty mind” is your business culture and it needs to be one that is rich in a variety of ideas that support these fragile seeds of creative thought. Should your business be lacking the “Dirt” and be more like an arid desert where endless restrictive procedures prevail, then innovation has no hope of developing.

Yes, Dirt is good and a “dirty mind” should indeed be encouraged.

* http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/how-often-should-we-shower-much-less-often-than-you-think-20150310-140487.html

Your Personometer Count

Jogging around the reservoir #1

There is a noticeable surge in the flurry of corporate feet at the moment as they focus on one thing, their step count! For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s called the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) where work teams from all around the world compete with each other to achieve the greatest number of steps.

The step measurement device, called a pedometer, is strategically attached to the individual’s waist and accurately measures the number of “up and down” hip movements of the wearer. During the GCC, you will observe many corporates constantly on the move. They will be jogging on the spot, suggesting that business meetings be held whilst walking in the park, they will visit the café for their coffee that is located furthest away from the office, they will find any excuse to be mobile, they just want to be on the move. I’ve even heard of some people going to the gym late in the evening and walking the treadmill for hours whilst watching TV to achieve that optimum pedometer reading! At the end of each day, their pedometer count is recorded and compared with their competition.

Now this got me thinking!!!

It is said that innovation is stimulated through interaction with other people where ideas are exchanged. This can be done via informal discussions, meetings or anything that involves a degree of social intercourse. The key objective is to talk to your work colleagues and to bounce different thoughts of each other.

Now what if we could utilise the GCC pedometer concept to measure the number of people interactions that an individual has had during the day? The measurement device could be called a “personometer”.

There could also be a “personometer scale” where an interaction is defined by the following:
1 Personometer count = Talking to someone you know
2 Personometer counts = Talking to someone who you have not met before (which will provide the greatest opportunity for new ideas)

There would also need to be a distance and time receptivity built into the personometer so it deduces the length of the social interaction and how friendly and beneficial the encounter was between the recipients.

At the end of the day, the “personometer” count would be automatically collected and summed for those people in each corporate office. The results could then be used to identify which corporate offices are the most social, and those that are rather boring and “stand-offish” in their people interaction nature. It would also identify those employees that are best suited in building people relationships.

I also have a suspicion that there would be a direct correlation between the personometer count and the number of innovations devised by employees located in the more social corporate offices?

In summary, may I suggest you just get out there and talk to people, get to know new colleagues and try and optimise your personal personometer interaction count! It could also be rather fun….

The Office Runner

Sherrin (201/365)

Equipped rather splendidly in my black sports shorts, bright fluorescent yellow T-shirt and spiffy football boots, I stand by the Australian Rules Football (AFL) coach awaiting my detailed instructions to personally deliver to the targeted players during the game. My esteemed and strategic role within the game is that of “Runner”. As the name suggests, I have the privileged position of being able to run out on to the football field during the game to motivate the players and to deliver words of encouragement and tactics that have a direct real-time influence on the outcome of the contest.

Besides demonstrating my extreme athletic prowess with which I sprint out to the players at top speed (however I must admit some less kind people have called me a “Meanderer”, rather than a “Runner”) to deliver the coaches instructions, I also need to have the skills of an actor and a mentor. Each instruction needs to be customised to meet the listening requirements of the various player recipients in order to achieve maximum receptivity and message understanding. Some players can accept a message that is bold and direct, other players need to be encouraged and wooed in order to fully absorb the details of the instructions, however some players just need a good verbal tirade of abuse.

The role of “Runner” in the corporate office got me thinking. Many businesses use a common form of communication that is designed to reach the largest number of employees as possible. This may be done via E-mails, Bulletins, Newsletters and other such mass distributions. The information take-up and understanding by the individual employee is in most cases rather poor, or rather confused. So why not have a number of cleverly trained Corporate Communication Runners (CCR) that frequent the office corridors?

The CCR would be dressed in a special corporate uniform. Many of you reading this blog post may be thinking runners, tracksuit pants and a T-shirt, but that’s a tad too boring for the CCR. Rather, I’m visualising the CCR dressed in a tight fitting bright body suit (pink, yellow or green) with the corporate logo branded on their back and a nice sounding bell attached to a belt hanging from their waist to announce their arrival as they leap through the office.

The CCR would be entrusted to take specific instructions from the CEO and then personally deliver them to the various key employees throughout the building to provide maximum message impact and acceptance.

However, there is an additional role for the CCR in that they would also convey messages, or employee mood back to the CEO so they fully understand the feeling within the organization.

Yes, these CCRs would be very busy! But the role of the CCR is a very important one within the corporate office, and one that I would suggest be considered somewhat more seriously than this blog post suggests?

Just a thought….

Having the Right Ball Pressure

Pumped - 248/365

Let’s focus on the humble ball for a moment.

If it is too soft, it just flops on the ground and is of no use to anyone.

If it too hard, it bounces out of control and cannot be managed by the user.

The key is to have the air pressure inside the ball that is just right for the intended sporting application.

Similarly, we also need to have the optimum internal pressure in our lives to operate effectively, otherwise we could be too lethargic in our work practices and social activities, or we will spin out of control and bounce uncontrollably in all directions.

With the right balance of pressure, we will be much more consistent in all that we do and will continue to enjoy that happy bounce in our step!

Mannequin Motivation

Interview Series, Arlington Street between Boylston and Newbury Streets, Store Window Displays, Ida Claire and Esther Dorothy, Inc.

When walking past any clothing department store, you will typically observe a mannequin in the shop window parading the latest fashions and accessories.

The purpose of this promotional activity is to attract your attention and to entice you into thinking about how those clothes may look on you. As part of this process, you may visualize where you could wear these exciting items of clothing, and also the reaction you may receive from your friends, family and work colleagues. Your thoughts are no longer standing in front of the shop window, they are now travelling to various geographic locations and different emotional states via the use of your imagination.

What about using the motivational benefits derived from these mannequins in the corporate office?

Just imagine having a mannequin strategically positioned in the office foyer as you enter the building. Each Monday morning, the attire of the mannequin would change to provide a theme for the week and to act as a thought provoker. Some potential clothing options:

Personal Wellbeing: sporting clothes (eg tennis outfit)
Creative Thinking: 1960s “flower power” clothes
Watch out for the competition: a suit of armor
New Business Development: a mountain explorer
Appraisal Time: a corporate suit
Holidays: swimwear

The mannequin could also hold message signs to highlight specific business events and communications. For instance, if it was the boss’s birthday, a sign stating “It’s my birthday today, so please enjoy a longer lunch break to celebrate!”….the possibilities are endless!

So next time you walk past that clothing store, think about the “motivational mannequin” and how it could improve the morale in your business.

%d bloggers like this: