Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
I am not saying break every rule or do anything immoral or unethical. I am saying fear conformity, because it will kill you. Conformity is a jailer. It will bind you and confine you and ultimately limit your world view. How many times have you worked for an organization that demanded you conform? You must look a certain way– dress a certain way or think a certain way.
I have worked at those places. They killed my creativity and eventually my spirit. I like to follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. I did when I was 16 years old and I still do at the ripe age 45.
Do not fence me in. Do not fence in the creative souls who work for you either.
Conformity explains nothing.
Give your staff permission to experiment, push back,to speak up.
I worry when I see the same thing happening in organizations. We start to hire people who not only look like us, but they think exactly like us as well. We may not even reflect the communities we serve. We fence ourselves in by not valuing the dissenting voice or the opposing view. I like my freedom with an order of dissent please. We need opposing voices. We need to hear and understand them.
These voices may create controversy but they may also foster creativity. You do not die from having dissenting voices amongst you. You can die from the dead weight of conformity.
We do not like controversy in our homes or organizations. Controversy will be bad for our brand. It may cost us donors or volunteers. All of those statements could be true and they normally are if your organizations has done something immoral or unethical. If you are just trying something, new or different I am pretty sure you can weather the storm
Encourage creativity. Value creativity.
Your organization may create something life changing. You may blow a window wide open and find the answer you are searching for. It could light a fire.
This post is part of # Trust30. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages us to look within and trust ourselves. I will view each day’s writing through the lens of the social sector. In doing this I hope to learn lots about myself, this sector that I love and share that with you all. The Inspiration for this exercise is the celebration of Emerson’s 208th birthday. In his honor The Domino Project has republished Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson