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Home Publications & Events Blogs & News What Do The Real-Life Instagram Camera and Great Workplaces Have in Common?

What Do The Real-Life Instagram Camera and Great Workplaces Have in Common?

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Instagram_logo2_80x80If you’re an iPhone user you’re probably familiar with this logo?

Yes, it’s Instagram - a simple life-sharing  app that allows you to transform ordinary photos into works of art using a range of photo filters, and then share them instantly with the world. The company was recently bought by Facebook in a $1 billion (yes, that’s $1 billion!) cash and shares deal.

Millions of users see Instagram’s eye-catching logo every day - 50 million at May 1st 2012 with another 5 million users joining every week.

One of those users, Italian designer Antonio De Rosa, drew inspiration from the the logo and this week revealed an idea that – with hindsight – is blindingly obvious.

Meet Antonio’s Instagram camera concept - The Socialmatic – complete with an interchangeable lens and onboard printer, touch screen, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

Some people love the idea.( “Must. Have.This” ). Others are calling it absurd, pointless, idiotic. For me, a Fast Company headline sums it up neatly

‘The Real-Life Instagram Camera Is So Crazy That It Just Might Work’

So what do this camera concept and Great Workplaces have in common?

The Instagram Camera is a mad idea that might just work.  It’s also a stunningly simple idea.

While great workplaces sometimes try-out crazy, off-the-wall ideas, mostly they just do the simple things well. Most importantly, they actually do the simple things that many organisations just talk about.

Great Workplaces Act on The Blindingly Obvious!

Audiences are often surprised when I share insights into Great Workplace practices with them. Not at the complexity of the practices, or their ingenuity, but at their simplicity – how blindingly obvious they are.

Because simplicity and execution are vital keys to developing great workplace practices. Mostly, the great employers have the same ideas as anyone else has – the difference is that they actually act on those ideas.

Topaz, a fuel and retail company  with 300+ service stations, wanted to boost food sales in 2011. So they held employee focus groups to ask for ideas on how this could be done. They built a programme around all of the ideas and piloted it before rolling it out to all sites. The result? A 12% increase in food sales within the first five months. Collaborating with your employees by asking for their ideas – not exactly an earth-shattering concept, is it?

Euro Car Park’s CEO Dave Cullen spends hours of every day in his car, visiting the company’s sites. He wanted to find an effective way of keeping in contact with his 200+ staff, most of whom work in small teams spread around the country. His brainwave? Put the driving time to good use by calling his people on his cell-phone – not to discuss work, but to catch up on what’s happening in their lives. Based on his employees’ comments to us, Dave is, without doubt, one of Ireland’s most-liked leaders. Caring for your employees by calling them regularly ‘just to chat’ – easy to think of, just takes effort to do it.

Kellogg’s ‘Back to the Shop Floor’ initiative allows office staff spend a day with field staff, building mutual understanding and respect for the roles that each play while at the same time offering a low-cost personal development opportunity.

Google are masters of the high-tech universe but they willingly embrace low-tech when it works best. For example, one of their Dublin sales teams keeps a ‘Love Letters’ wall where managers post all of the glowing thank you notes and praise emails from customers. A wall. Blu-tac. Simple, cost-free, and effective.

So, whether  you’re planning your great place to work journey, or are already well along the road, be inspired by the ordinary. Act on the simple ideas first. It’s what the great designers and the great workplaces have in common.

Keep it simple.

Now, say "Cheese!”

What do you think? What's the best, most blindingly obvious workplace idea that you've ever come across?  You can comment below. Thanks.

Bonus Content : See more photos and a link to Antonio's Website from our Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/GPTWIreland

Bob Lee is Communications Director, EMEA with Great Place to Work International.



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