The Paper Doll Effect

Author: Christine Howitz

So here with a question to start firing up those neural path ways….Did you ever make those cute little paper doll chains when you were a kid? 

You would fold the paper concertina style over backwards and forwards on itself and then cut into it, half a little person.  You would then pull apart the concertina, and hey presto!  A gorgeous little chain of paper dolls!

For the  mums and dads out there have probably had this little memory re-ignited when their kids have come home from kinder to show this very same work of art, repeated over decades. Now there’s a whole topic up for discussion right there….and hence my inspiration behind this month’s topic.

It’s quite an ingenious design.  So simple, yet so entertaining.

But this got me wondering…

Were you the type of kid who would cut the dolls out, and leave it at that?  Thinking, wow, look how clever I am?
Or did you get out your crayons, pencils and texters, and draw individual little dresses or pants on them.  Did you draw on little faces and hair, all slightly unique, with their own little personality?  Did your chain of paper dolls turn into a work of art, worthy of being put up on the fridge?

I’ve been reading a lot about leadership lately, and I’ve been thinking about the workforce and how so many choose to have cookie cutter jobs.  The kind of jobs where you clock in an out of work each day, do the same thing day in, day out.  Where you look at the clock each day waiting for the day to be over.  Where you live from holiday to holiday because you yearn to escape from your mundane everyday life.  

The kind of job where you are easily replaceable, where you could walk out of your job tomorrow and they would slip another cookie cutter person straight into your position. In a month’s time, you’d be forgotten.

And I’ve been thinking, what a terrible drone like mentality that is, and how come so many people out there do this every single day… 

Somehow in between the industrial revolution and now, we carried across the idea that we should be able to easily replace ourselves.  The need to get the job done at the lowest possible cost. The idea that you go to work to just get the job done. 

You deliver the same cookie cutter (or doll chain) template every single day, because that’s what the job requires.  Right?
But what if we made it our mission to make our work each day a work of art? 

What if we were all artists and we all took the time and care and attention to deliver something extraordinary to our clients?  
Why don’t we all get out the crayons and texters and draw faces, hair and clothes onto our cut out dolls? 

Rather than follow the same template as everyone else, why not jazz it up a bit? 

Give it a mission, a persona and a great big ‘WHY’ so big it won’t fit out the door. 

I say, do what you love, care for your work like you did for your paper cut out dolls when you were young.  

I say, create something that is worthy of putting on your fridge.  
I reckon you would never work a day in your life. 
So how’s your work going? 

Is it fridge worthy?

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