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Recognize When to Color Outside the Lines

Updated on February 11, 2018
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Cyndi is a multi-dimensional Entrepreneur, Speaker, Business, and IT Consultant for Corporations and Startups.

ConversantLeaders blog by Cyndi Mccoy

My German shepherd, Queenie consistently performs her role of keeping intruders away. Although, the neighbors and I grow weary of hearing her bark every time someone gets too close, Queenie has earned our trust and her barking is a warning to strangers to stay away from the property. At times, her incessant barking is a sentence to the dog crate.

How confusing for Queenie to be restricted for performing her job. Can Queenie learn when to follow and when to deviate in her role as security guard?

Do you recognize when to color inside and when to deviate outside the lines?

  • Perhaps you were encouraged early in life to color within the lines: to always follow the rules. Where would business be if no one colored outside the lines…companies like Starbucks, Amazon, and Cirque Du Soleil to name a few would not exist. Certainly, individuals like Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, and Warren Buffett create lines. Extraordinary people and companies take blank sheets of paper and create markets and profits where none existed.

Learning to color outside the lines assists entrepreneurs, consultants, managers, technicians; people to take an idea and create vision, goals, add structure, and then execute.

Devising strategies to help clients take advantage of market share using e-business technology along with components from several different business models greatly benefits shareholders. Coloring outside the lines can generate profit.

The three signs that signal time to change static parameters and modes of thinking.

1. When existing patterns of thinking no longer generate desired results for example networking in the industrial age versus the information age.

2. When businesses change the amount and skill set of the workforce required to operate just compare job descriptions and hiring from two years ago with today.

3. When policies and modes of operating no longer address the needs of employees or customers, survey staff morale and customer satisfaction between organizations providing telecommuting, using social media to manage projects, and service customers to organizations that do not provide those options.

Not wanting to limit Queenie for doing her job requires understanding behavior and recognizing when communication, needs, and policies are no longer effective. A trip to the breeder reminded me the dog’s temperament, the part of her brain that is imprinted based on characteristics of the German Shepherd breed, will never change, but she could be trained to give a warning bark when a perceived intruder approaches instead of constantly barking until the passerby has moved on. Queenie, with good quality training and understanding can be trained to color outside the lines.

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