Being Remarkable · Leadership

Not Safe For Work?

The term “Not Safe For Work” has made it into the lexicon of the web.

Of course, it’s typically used to denote something patently offensive or completely inappropriate for the workplace. Labeling something “NSFW” alerts the reader to steer clear when working on company time. Click on it and you risk a nasty surprise or possibly even getting fired.

But what about a wholly different category of Not Safe For Work constructs? What about those innovative ideas–or challenges to business as usual–that never see the light of day? What about those concepts that we TELL ourselves are not safe for our particular place of employment?

Maybe you are the sort of person who fears speaking up because you might be criticized or look foolish?

Maybe you work for a leader who has become a predictable defender of the status quo?

Maybe you think your job is to not make waves?

Just realize that you’ve made the decision to make your idea not safe for work.

But also realize that just about every breakthrough concept or market share grabbing new business venture was deemed “not safe for work” at some time by somebody.

Ultimately some one had to decide to walk through their fear and risk bringing the idea to the light of day–or taking it somewhere else where it could be appreciated.

Labeling a new idea “not safe for work” is a choice.

I hope you choose wisely.

 

2 thoughts on “Not Safe For Work?

  1. Unfortunately too, sometimes, it’s the “leadership” that thinks good ideas are unsafe for work. When I worked for one of the largest metric motorcycle parts distributors, the vice-president came to visit our office. At a meeting with employees he “sought ideas” from employees.

    Usually, I’m pretty quiet, but I was the first to raise my hand. This was the early 2000’s and I proposed that we set up a web site so our distributors could order from us online. He listened, and then promptly made it clear that while this was something that would happen in the future, it wasn’t a priority.

    A few months later, the company conducted a survey of its dealers to learn how they could better serve them. Guess what was at the top of the list? Yes, the dealers wanted to be able to order online. So, the not-so-urgent idea moved to the front of the line.

    There were lots of other not safe for work ideas that the company didn’t listen to either. After a series of different vulture capitalists firms in succession sucked capital from the business, and executives milked it for all it was worth, the company, mercifully, went bankrupt and died. Of course, it didn’t die from natural causes, it was killed by lack of leadership.

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