Black, white & gray…

The work place can often be reminiscent of school days, when the beginning of politics & inner school democracies originated. You have David who is a strictly black and white person. Meaning that he operates his company under a format of rigid rules & somewhat oppressive behavior. Then you have Cathy who is all about the gray. What is the gray you ask? It is the meshing of two very stark & different atmospheres, opinions & view points. Cathy’s workers thrive in on a cloud of communication & representation.

Let us take for example a simple work problem for both CEO’s. You have a competition problem & you need to stream line the work ASAP. David has top performers that are already working under the scope of how to win the bid out. They present David with the means to succeed. David wants to do things by the old format. He is all about what usually works will always work & he does not want to mess with it. He is presented with an out of the box proposal to go in at a very high bid, with built-in incentives for the client if they take the bid. David shuns the idea at first glance not even looking at the proposal in full depth. He leaves his employees mystified & disgruntled. Their hard work squashed by the inability for David to be open minded & compromising. In other words with a needed gray mentality.

Cathy is presented with the same operation for success. She relishes in the idea of something new & innovative that can take the client by surprise as well as, their competitors. She praises them for their minds & progress. Her employees are left feeling optimistic & enthusiastic ready to get their hands dirty & work longer hours to see its succession.

I was told a long time ago by a respected client of mine that sometimes you have to play in the gray. Let the colors mix as you will & in return get a little messy & uncomfortable if you are wanting to expand. This goes towards pretty much anything in life business or not. If you have a very non confrontational stance than people will not come up to you with ideas & new concepts. They might not want to even converse with you. There is a lot to be said for open mindedness.

When I first started off working from college I was all about not breaking the rules. Things had to be done to the highest ability at 110% perfection. No room for gray. I had to learn that through the years. Just because it is being done one way, doesn’t mean that way will always work. There is often times unseen power in the unperfection. You build from that stance & see things in that beautiful gray area that often times you might not have noticed.

Are you black & white? Or do you often times find yourself swimming in the gray? Were you once one & switched sides? What swayed you?