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Brainstorms

Why Zappo’s Tony Hsieh Encourages Collisions in the Workplace

Sometimes you just need to make serendipity happen.

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TONY HSIEH, the entrepreneur who found fame and (additional) fortune with his shoe company Zappos, is a big believer in “collisions,” serendipitous encounters where workers randomly run into each other and share ideas. He recently told Entrepreneur magazine he’d even shut down a bridge linking his office’s parking garage to force workers to walk through a common area before they could get to their offices. Your staff may not be so large, but could you shake things up to spark similar innovation? Occasionally get an optician out on the sales floor, insist sales staff take turns having lunch with employees they don’t normally spend much time with, ask a new employee to review your procedures after their first two weeks, force yourself to strike up a conversation with that interesting looking stranger in the VEE lounge?

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Brainstorms

A Proven Strategy to Combat Those People Who Always Insist on Last Minute Changes

Get rid of that hairy arm!

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EVER HAD A CLIENT or even a manager repeatedly delaying jobs by insisting on last-minute changes? Then you may want to consider this strategy employed by advertising artists known as The Hairy Arm Tactic. According to the origin myth, graphic artist Joe had a client who was forever insisting on “stupid changes.” Then something odd started happening: each time the client was presented with a newly photographed layout, he’d encounter the image of Joe’s arm at one edge, partly obscuring the ad. The client would yell: ‘What the hell is that hairy arm doing in there?’” Joe would apologize for the slip-up. And then, as the client was stalking away, muttering, “You gotta watch these guys like a hawk,” Joe would call out: ‘When I remove the arm, can we go into production?’ And the client, content to have made his mark, would agree. Picky repair customer? Custom frame design? We see great potential for this in an optical.

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Brainstorms

How an Old Beer Mug and a Pair of Readers Can Create Marketing Magic

But make it fashion … and marketing!

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Writing on the Daily Optician blog, Lori Fender suggests a neat low-cost marketing idea: placing readers in artfully branded beer mugs sourced from thrift shops at your local tavern with a business card attached. “It was an instant success,” she says of the idea, which was inspired when she noticed customers struggling to read the menu. “People were not only borrowing the readers, they were putting them on and taking pictures of themselves to post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve even had people leave their old readers and trade for stronger or more fashionable ones,” she writes.

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Brainstorms

Try Bright Shoes for Your Crew

These shoes were made for talking.

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A lot of people don’t like the thought of wearing a uniform, even if it’s just a polo shirt. But how else to send a “team” message? A colleague who attended Superzoo (VEW for the pet industry basically) believes he came across the answer: bright orange Nikes, as worn by the crew at Instinct Pet Food. “You’d see the first pair and think ‘Hmm. Bright shoes! Someone’s luggage was lost,’” he said. “See a second pair and you think, ‘Wait … what’s up with that?’ See the third pair and you want to know the story.” So, become the practice whose staff wears orange, or purple, or pink shoes. People will remember you for it.

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