For those of you who remember Hartbeat (not the one with Nick Berry), the star turn was undoubtedly Morph. He went onto to greater prominence during the hugely successful ‘Mighty Morph in Power Rangers’ series. However, as I remember him he was a small man made of plasticine. He was pretty much the scene stealer in a show which was all about teaching children about art.
Here are some reflections on Morph and Hartbeat wedged into the form of business lessons
i) it is possible to recreate yourself. You can do it a number of times. You can change into things that may be more useful for your new situation – but always remember that anybody who sees the change will always remember what you were before and be waiting for you to return to that state.
ii) Emotions matter – not just words. Morph could barely speak, but you knew whether he was happy/sad/frustrated. With the advent of ‘big data’ it is more and more tempting to reduce people to numbers and lose sight of the humanity. Even if you can reduce them to numbers on a sheet it doesn’t change the fact that, if you want to retain a conscience, you should only ever make decisions if you could/would deliver them face to face and deal with the consequences.
iii) Seeing your own work showcased has a massive impact – studies have shown ignoring work has the same impact as shredding it in front of the people who created it. Tony Hart, the presenter, used to do his work in a studio surrounded by the pictures sent in to him by children. Sections of the show would be dedicated to a montage of efforts by viewers called ‘The Gallery’. If you want people to feel valued then showcase their work, out their efforts at the heart of what you produce. If you want to operate as a team then it always has to be about the team – not just when you want it to be. Why do organistions have silos? Because the silo is the other department’s fault…
iv) creativity matters, growth is possible – I can’t draw, I can’t paint, I blurt (rather than write). I wish I could do any of these better. I am bloody awesome at writing things unintelligibly on a whiteboard. After reading Bounce by Matthew Syed I’m now pretty sure I could learn to draw or paint better if I wanted to. If you haven’t read it then grab a copy over Christmas and your ambitions for next year might become more varied and possible.
v) change is coming – since the time of Hartbeat the world has changed immensely. I backed my first two Kickstarter projects last week, including this one to indulge my passion for rubbish scrawling on whiteboards. A new series of Morph starts filming next year after 1700 people backed a Kickstarter project to bring him back. The things of our childhood resurrected as indulgences of our adulthood.
The more things morph, the more they stay the same.