Comedy routines, Broadway plays and lots of laughs have begun with ~ a funny thing happened on my way to …
Scientists often notice when something funny happens. They call it discovery. My friend/computer wiz Warren has a great line; “hmm… that’s interesting” when he’s trying to fix something I’ve broken …
On a recent morning someone I don’t know sent a memo to their colleague and copied 18 others; inadvertently, he copied me. I got to watch, like a fly on their wall, as they volleyed one to the other – each time hitting ‘reply to all’. I got an insight which will form part of a talk (maybe I could give it at their company); not this error of copying the wrong someone (we’ve all done that, haven’t we?). The insight relates to what someone wanted to do, logic/illogic of it and actions/words of colleagues who each revealed a little about themselves and displayed so much about that company’s culture. I’m looking forward to pitching them ideas, how they could make their company better.
What is the lesson here? Be careful how you copy and who you copy! Be careful hitting ‘reply to all’. Initiative is such a precious thing, it is interesting to see some people so wholly supportive (the cheerleader), some who rain on the parade (they always have good reasons – but it’s cold water they are pouring), some reveal their own negatives wrapped in their support. Some are silent – and you have to wonder why, when an ambitious colleague puts forward an idea, they sit silent? Speaking last has value, but withholding comment is abdication – not of responsibility, but of your relationship with the eager-beaver who put forward an idea in the first place. In this case it seemed like a well thought through idea.
A funny thing happened.
For someone with zeal in their blood first thing on a Monday morning, they got cold water, unsupportive comments and a cheerleader. The rest remained silent. I wonder, demographically, if that reflects other corporate environments – perhaps many?
This is a great reminder, Mark! Sometimes we get so wrapped up that we forget it's OK to do something for ourselves! We should give ourselves permission to fail as well as succeed, and we should give ourselves permission to play as well as work! There's nothing in the "rulebook" that says we can't, right?!!, MM, Phoenix, AZ