Little by little...

Little by little...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Throw the Hammer

I work at a nice company. The people are friendly. The benefits are good. The grounds are well manicured and there is beautiful artwork throughout the complex. It’s nice.

Yet there is something wrong here. Not Stepford Wives wrong, but just this feeling that I’ve been struggling to understand. Reading Seth's Blog the other day, a phrase jumped out at me:

“They institutionalize organized cowardice.”

I noticed my head nodding instinctively. I am surrounded by cowardice. I am surrounded by people who waste their creativity playing the prevailing politics game, people who stay silent while their team languishes, people who accept technology tools because they don’t want to fill out an exception form.

When you praise people for completing their TPS reports on time, rather than for questioning the purpose of the reports, you foster compliance. You create Docker-wearing drones who don’t share ideas, don’t question decisions and don’t color outside the lines.

Some days, I want to be the hammer-hurling girl in Apple's 1984  commercial. In my version, I run through our mazes, tearing down cubicles and the polite, little signs that say, “Please be quiet. This is a work area.”

But I still need my job, so maybe I’ll just wear forbidden flip-flops to work and spend my lunch walking through the well-manicured grass in my bare feet. I might inspire a few people to kick off their shoes and join me. That is until they put up a sign that says, "Keep off the grass."