Flowers First, Business Second

If money is tight, buy more flowers. The more flowers you buy, the more money will appear. And if not in this lifetime, then the next (or maybe the one after that).
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The other day, in a sudden fit of gratitude, I bought a dozen roses and brought them home to my wife.

Usually, when I think of buying roses, I go through a predictable sequence of events. First, I surrender to a feeling of expansiveness that takes me over. Then I get curious and smell the flowers. Then I ask the shopkeeper how long she thinks the roses will last.

This is followed by calculating the per stem price, doing the math and reaching the pitifully male conclusion that $46.95 is way too much too spend on something that won't last the week and is probably much less expensive somewhere else and it's obviously indulgent of me to be buying so many roses when I've got two kids to put through college and besides, beauty is within.

All of this, of course, is my inner Woody Allen taking the low road in response to what is obviously a Johnny Depp moment.

So I dig deep and bring the roses home -- my entire living room taking shape around them. I become immediately aware of a trend even Republican pollsters could not deny -- there are definitely not enough flowers in the living room. Somehow, the recent appearance of roses has made the rest of the room painfully barren. Tabletops and shelves that only minutes ago were doing just fine, are now utterly flowerless.

So I do the only thing a man can do when faced with such a situation -- I return to the flower shop.

But the shop is closed. Closed? Impossible! I need flowers! So I get back into my car and speed my way to the other flower shop in town. It, too, is closed -- or, should I say, closing. The owner is shutting the door and giving me the "too-bad-you-didn't-get-here a few-minutes-ago" look.

But I will not be denied. And he knows it.

"What do you want?" he asks.

"Flowers," I reply.

He signals me to enter and I buy way more flowers than makes sense. A ridiculous amount.

Let's put it this way: if I was in the federal witness protection program, my sudden flower buying behavior would have made my government handlers very nervous.

Fast forward ten minutes to my wife in our kitchen.

She is looking at me as if I am totally insane -- me, the guy who, only yesterday was making an airtight case for a more modest household budget.

Yes, I am insane, but in a good way. Here's my philosophy: Flowers first. Business second. If money is tight, buy more flowers. The more flowers you buy, the more money will appear. And if not in this lifetime, then the next (or maybe the one after that).

OK. There you go -- my not very financially sound, flower-centric view of the universe. Not quite as newsworthy as credit default swaps, but a whole lot more dependable.

Mitch Ditkoff is the President of Idea Champions, an innovation consultancy based in Woodstock, NY -- yes, THAT Woodstock. NO he wasn't at the concert in 1969. He speaks to organizations everywhere about the art and science of creating a culture of innovation in the workplace. Bats left, throws left.

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