Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What is good for the company?

I work a company that sells fun products and has a decidedly "unfun" corporate atmosphere. I am willing to toe-to-toe with anyone, and I mean anyone, who says otherwise. There is a completely lack of smiley-ness around the place. There's so much grey and taupe that you begin to wonder whether or not color ever existed at all. When I come into work in the morning, I see employees marching toward the grey, 1970's-architecture building with the same cadence of those in the movie Antz. It's sad. Really sad....

I pride myself on having a colorful character - I'm also blunt and opinionated. Luckily, I work for someone who's also blunt and opinionated and we're starting to know enough to be dangerous. Dangerous as in we may be leading the Antz to some kind of colorful revolution. I am seeing signs of creativity and life pop up in unexpected places, and in fairly rebellious ways.

Our restrooms, like our offices, are grey and taupe. Today, I have found that several people must have gotten sick of no amenities in the restrooms and placed peach hand lotion in each one. On my way back to my office from the restroom, I passed by a cube that was in full view on the main drag with a very large banner that said in bold letters "What is good for the company?" The wheels of creativity and action are slowly, slowly beginning to turn. And then as I turned the corner of my desk, I saw people dancing, actually dancing, in their cubes. Finally, an outward expression of joy.

Organizations, particularly those with decades of history, have a tremendous amount of inertia. When at rest, they are difficult to shake into action. Luckily, once they are stirred up and in motion, they are tough to slow down. My hope is that by the time I leave the company, those wheels will be cranking full speed ahead. And hopefully, I will have been a part of a creative revolution. It will indeed be good for the company.

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