Outside the Box with Liz Ryan

Good morning everyone!

I wanted to shift away today from the tech and to a thought process I had this morning about how we all do what we do.  If you haven’t heard about Liz Ryan or read her blogposts, she’s an amazing woman who’s company, The Human Workplace, strives to remove the “Godzilla” from companies and make them a more Human place to work.  This morning, she posted an article about “Getting Outside the Box”.  In it she talked about how companies and trainings over the past 3 years have talked about “thinking outside the box” to their employees, and in turn treat those who do think outside that box like outcasts, pariahs, and undesirables.  Think about it!  That guy you know over in Sales who is always trying to find new ways to do things is being shut down by management because “that’s not the way we do things here”…it happens a lot.

The “godzilla” way of thinking…this “that’s the way we’ve always done it” or “do what’s best for the company and not the people who work there” kind of mentality, is the poison in our society today.  Why do people stop caring at jobs they used to enjoy?  It’s a proven fact that when people care, their productivity goes up.  Happy employees equals more profits for a company.  Some companies wonder why their stocks don’t improve or that their sales are flat…it’s not because it’s a “down economy”…it’s because you don’t make your employees excited to come to work and make a difference.  Doing what I do for a living in sales, I get to see a lot of companies and their cultures…and Godzilla policies are out there, holding down the creative, and rewarding nothing.

I’ve always been about pushing boundaries when I can…heck, I’ve recently made a name for myself in my own company doing trainings on one of our sales tools…not because I was ordered to, but because they needed a person to efficently explain it to people.  I just did it my way, and figured I’d catch hell for it later…and I didn’t.  Part of that comes from having good management and a great director on my end, but they stood up and said “mike’s good at this, let him work outside that box we’ve created and let’s see what happens.”  If you’re in management, one of the key things you need to do with your people is look over their skills and put them to better use!  So if you’ve got a guy on your IT team who excels at explaining how to use new software to your users, get him to train people…don’t waste that opportunity!!!

We all want to think outside the box…but to do that, we need to get outside of those confining rules that we LET define us.  Instead, good rules are made to be bent, reformed and altered to make a workplace more effective in building a stronger company.  It starts with you.

Have a beautiful day.  Peace my friends. 🙂

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