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Articles

Vital Germaine provide content rich blogs with tips and tools to help you and your organization move forward.

 

Optimization of workspaces - The How of Cirque Innovation

Vital Germaine

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The correlation between workplace design and employee engagement is something that shouldn’t be ignored and denied. It can be the difference between your business success and market share failure. Your client base will love you even more for getting creative with your workspace environments without knowing why. We know why… because your workforce will be inspired and engaged.

Cirque du Soleil adopted and transformed an abandoned fire station in Montreal, affectionately named Angus, to become their “factory”. There was no avant-garde interior design on display. There were no Oompa Loompas meandering the premises doing strange dances. I didn’t witness any magnificent sculptures or art, nor bright colored walls to inspire or promote creativity. All these elements would have helped. Nonetheless, the fact they had chosen an abandoned fire station sent a subliminal message that they were cool, fun, eccentric, and defying context of their market place — All with the purpose to be innovative and deliver entertainment excellence. It’s one of the key factors that sets them apart. 

Over the years, I’ve provided corporate trainings to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in such industries as automotive, tech, hospitality, financial, and educational. Some of the work areas, conference rooms, and training spaces were far from inspiring. Some were depressing, confining, claustrophobic, and limiting. Yet leadership wondered why their team wasn’t more inspired, more productive, more engaged, and more creative. Well, the dull, insipid grey and dirty weathered chairs, tables, and walls, don’t make them feel very valued, let alone inspired.

Learn more in Chapter 4 of Imagination Will Take You Everywhere

Vital Germaine

President of ENGAGEteams360

Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and executive and employee development trainer. His executive leadership experiences are designed to drive innovation and inspire extraordinary performance.

BOOK VITAL TODAY for:

The business of imagination... turning ideas into $$$

Vital Germaine

How has Cirque du Soleil made innovation and excellence synonymous with its brand? What empowered them to redefine an industry and stand out like a beacon among the competition? What is that magic process and mindset and is it easy to replicate and implement into other industries and business models? The answer is a simple and emphatic, oui, yes! See you below.

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The word imagination isn’t used a lot in business; however, imagination is essentially how ideas are formed. Ideas that have an execution strategy, follow through and backed by effective marketing become scaleable money generators that bring value to the world. The world needs and loves innovation. The modern consumer is addicted to the new, the better, the faster, that which simplifies their lives and saves them time.

Today’s modern business strategies and practices exist in the fastest changing climate in the history of humankind. Differentiation has become the new orange. Imagination and creativity are necessary ingredients to stand out, be unique and maintain social and commercial relevance.

Many scholars, academics, philosophers, and modern thought leaders have declared that, “knowledge is power.” Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Don’t intimated or be misguided by the word imagination as if it’s something reserved for the artistic people or “The Creatives” of this world. Imagination is a secret super power we all have.

Imagination fuels creativity. Creativity drives innovation and innovation is dependent on risk, idea sharing and the confidence to express. In business, this mindset leads to market relevance, sustainability and scalability or $$$.

The top 10 ways to stimulate or inspire imagination are as follows.

  1. Spend time alone: solitude invites the mind to wonder.

  2. Take time to do nothing: boredom triggers the mind.

  3. Be curious: curiosity leads to exploration, exploration leads to discovery.

  4. Allow your thoughts to roam free: get out of your head and don’t analyze or overthink.

  5. Read fiction, play games, listen to music (classical and new age): synapses are stimulated.

  6. Defy conformity: get that stick out of your ass and let your hair down… I dare you to fall off the edge with your thoughts and desires.

  7. Negate reasoning and logic: they are both overrated and inprisoning. Unlock your chains. Enjoy!

  8. Connect with your inner child: that is your true super power… wheeeee!

  9. Daydream: even do this at work. Tell your boss I said it’s ok and a great idea.

  10. Express and share ideas: conversation is like oxygen to a fire… avoid naysayers and haters. They will only dull the flames of innovation.

Now that your imagination is empowered to run rampant, reel it in, add strategy, do some R&D, scrape your knees from the “failures” and adjust accordingly. Wash, rinse, repeat! Grow, innovate, deliver more value, make $$$.

Vital Germaine

President of ENGAGEteams360

Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and corporate trainer. His executive leadership experiences are designed to inspire extraordinary performance.

BOOK VITAL TODAY for:

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Learn more about the INNOVATION MINDSET, the business of imagination in the new revised book. Click on link to get your copy today.

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Does engaging your employees have to cost you time and money?

Vital Germaine

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Employee disengagement has become one of the biggest challenges organizations face in this modern economy. Some blame it on Millennials who disrupted how the world thinks and functions. Gen Z has taken it even further away from established principals and common practices. It’s time to adapt and embrace the value they’ve brought to business and commerce.

Does engaging your employees have to cost you time and money? NO.

There are endless short term magic pills on offer to “resolve this problem”. Incentives and increased salary doesn’t have the impact most executives believe. There is a much more simple and effective strategy that doesn’t require financial investment and the planning of training or restructuring.

The Power of Purpose in the Workplace

In the book, The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath, they outline how the value of meaning or purpose at work can shift the dynamics of a team. It all has to do with the element of connection to elevate engagement.

Employee engagement is based on the level of meaning your team has in the work they do, and the level of social impact your company has. In other words, if the work is just about a paycheck, you’re losing. Morten Hansen, a University of California, Berkley professor, surveyed 5,000 employees and managers to gain insight on they psychological DNA of star performers. 17% of those surveyed agreed that a sense of contribution to society made a large impact on their work.

There is another level to consider beyond the social mission (or lack of), of your company or brand. Employees often times have a personal purpose... they want and need flexibility to nurture that personal purpose. If your company acknowledges, feeds and encourages their personal purpose, you will experience a high return on engagement.

As executives, make time to put your finger on the personal pulse of your employees.

Get to know them personally

  1. Who are they?

  2. What drives them?

  3. What inspires them?

  4. Why do they wish to become (personally and professionally)?

  5. What keeps them up at night?

Leverage that connection and their purpose to the benefit of all involved, starting with yourself and ending with your customer base.

Vital Germaine

President of ENGAGEteams360

Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and corporate trainer. His executive leadership experiences are designed to inspire extraordinary performance. BOOK VITAL TODAY for:

Sales versus loyalty? Inspire versus influence?

Vital Germaine

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Sales versus loyalty.

Any good sales rep can persuade a customer to buy more (upsell/cross-sell). A great sales rep will inspire the customer to come back again and again because a meaningful and emotional connection has occurred. Influence and persuasion are only short term solutions.

I am a huge admirer of Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) though believe we’ve long entered a new thought era where “persuasion and influence” are yesterday’s business approaches (some of you are groaning). We are now in a purpose-driven climate. Thank you Millennials for inspiring this needed shift. Connecting to people’s heart is what evokes action and drives sales.

Emotions drive human behavior. It’s that simple. 2 for 1 deals and slashed prices are only a short term incentive. When the deal is better across the street, your customers will jump ship. Now what? You’ll need more and new persuasive or influential tactics.

Do this instead.

  1. Provide customer’s with relevant and valuable information (personalized solutions)

  2. Offer your customers meaning that connects you and them to a bigger picture

  3. Have relatable core values that motivate

The intention of the sale should be to empower by bringing value. The intention of the sale should be purely to solve a problem. The intention of the sale should be to emotionally connect with the consumer. This shift in intention will actually increase sales and drive customer loyalty. Your sales strategy should be relationship or connection driven and not numbers driven. Some already know this and implement effectively. For others this is a huge shift. The most adaptable survive if not thrive.

Inspire versus influence.

Leadership is the same. If your objective is to persuade people to do things, or influence their decisions, it means it’s an ongoing battle to maintain that influence. If you inspire them, they navigate the journey on their own their own terms and with their own fuel. They’ll travel further, faster, longer and better.

Hopefully you feel inspired and not influenced or persuaded!

Vital Germaine

President of ENGAGEteams360

Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and corporate trainer. His executive leadership experiences are designed to inspire extraordinary performance and promote the INNOVATION MINDSET.

BOOK VITAL TODAY for:

Workplace design and employee engagement

Vital Germaine

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Here are 3 tips to help you maximize workspaces to elevate engagement.

1. WORK AREAS: Design environments that inspire creativity and happiness.

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It can be done very cost effectively and with a great ROI if you get creative. Location, location, location. Cirque du Soleil adopted and transformed an abandoned fire station in Montreal, affectionately named Angus, to become their “factory”. There was no avant-garde interior design on display. There were no Oompa Loompas meandering the premises doing strange dances. I didn’t witness any magnificent sculptures or art, nor bright colored walls to inspire or promote creativity. All these elements would have helped. Nonetheless, the fact they had chosen an abandoned fire station sent a subliminal message that they were cool, fun, eccentric, and defying context of their market place — All with the purpose to be innovative and deliver entertainment excellence. It’s one of the key factors that sets them apart.

2. MEETING LOCATIONS: The environment in which you hold meetings will heavily influence the level of inspiration and collaboration.

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Do something different, new and unexpected (crazy) to disrupt. Pleasantly shock your team to life. In the book, Everybody Always, author Bob Goff shares the story of how as an adjunct law professor at Pepperdine Law School, he was required to have office hours. He saw beyond the limitations of regulations. Nowhere did it stipulate where his office had to be. He established a very unique office. He told his students they could find him in his ‘office’ at Tom Sawyer Island in Disneyland to meet. There is no admission fee and there are no lines. Walt Disney is the consummate businessman driven by imagination and the freedom, which is provides. Even important people enjoy being a big kid at heart.

Bob apparently always had more than ten students show up at meeting times. 

Adding to the story in regards to being creative to establish something different and memorable, The Supreme Court Judge of Uganda once visited the U.S and wanted to see Bob’s ‘office’. Bob picked him up at the airport with custom Mickey ears made for the visitor and took him straight to his ‘office’ at Disney Land. They apparently had a great meeting! Location, location, location. 

3. EVALUATE AND ADAPT: Take the time to evaluate your workspace environment and act accordingly. Change your perspective physically, emotionally and intellectually.

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Look in the mirror to better understand what your brand is about and what your doing to inspire reaching that objective.

A simple design shift could be the change your company is looking for and needs to reenergize your workforce. Build an environment that is visually pleasing and stimulating… also, emotionally and intellectually safe. Employees must feel confident and supported to step out of the comfort zone, risk and fall. Setting the right tone and mindset is crucial to your company’s growth.

You client base will love you even more for getting creative with your workspace environments without knowing why. We know why… because your workforce will be inspired and engaged.

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The insight from Cirque du Soleil’s highly effective business and culture process in this blog is taken from Chapter 4 (The How of Cirque Innovation) from the book, Imagination Will Take You Everywhere. The full chapter does a deeper dive into solving this easy to fix challenge.

Vital Germaine

President of ENGAGEteams360

Vital is Las Vegas' most dynamic keynotes speaker and corporate trainer. His executive leadership experiences are designed to inspire extraordinary performance. BOOK VITAL TODAY for: