Successful Businesses Encourage Dissension
A short while ago I had a disagreement with a friend who told me I must be one of the worst employees a boss can have because I ask too many questions and I don’t take everything at face value.
I told him I have never needed to be a yes man and that I haven’t ever cared if everyone liked or agreed with me. He said it is a good thing I am not a politician and that I should learn how to be more agreeable.
So I offered to bake him some Ex-Lax brownies and suggested that he try banging his head against the wall so that he could adjust his attitude. I suppose that sounds kind of harsh but he told me I have a bad haircut and a funny accent.
I almost choked when I heard that, he has one of the thickest drawls you have ever heard and speaks at a pace that makes molasses seem like the epitome of speed.
Bring Out General Patton
Remember a few weeks back I talk about my old friend General Patton and shared one of his thoughts about people. Well I have another quote that is applicable here:
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
Every business should post that quote above the coffee pot. It is not a call for anarchy or for deposing the current leadership of the company. It is a reminder that thinking is a critical and often times under used skill.
We need to look at what we are doing and ask why? We need to look at our processes and products/services and ask if there is a better way or an improvement.
And we need to surround ourselves with team players who understand that sometimes you need to raise your hand and speak out. It is possible that your company has figured out the best way to do everything.
It is possible that you cannot improve upon your service and that you are operating at peak capacity/performance based upon your available resources.
But experience has taught me that is often not true.
Every day we fight inertia and it is a hard battle to fight.
Change is often hard.
Dissent Doesn’t Have To Mean Change
It is ok to disagree. It is ok to ask questions. It is important but it is also important to understand that dissent doesn’t mean you have to change.
It means you should be willing to ask hard questions and to try to find the weaknesses and holes so that you can fix them. But it doesn’t mean that you will affect change every time you do.
Sometimes it is more important to be able to say no or ask why than to do anything about it.
What do you think?