Say it with me: Too many of the decisions we make are driven by fear of confronting things that suck.
Case in point: The New York Mets and Major League Baseball forbid players to wear 9/11 hats on Sunday. To be more clear: The Mets and MLB said no to 9/11 hats in NYC, on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.
Why would they do that you ask? If you're in HR, you know there's a horribly flawed policy interpretation coming up.
ESPN's Jason Stark reported this morning that the real reason the Mets and MLB said no was to have the ability to enforce their strict uniform rules in the future. Apparently, the Washington Nationals had asked to wear "Seal Team Six" hats a few weeks back, and were told "no" under the same policy.
Of course, saying no to 9/11 hats wasn't about having the ability to say no to "Seal Team Six". It's about saying no to the owner who wants to wear "Masonic Lodge 234" hats because that's what he's into. You get the vibe...
"We're saying no to this one so we can say no to the terrible ones that are coming. It's a slippery slope"
Yes - just like the non-solicitation rule you have at your company. You say no to distributing marketing material of great local organizations because you don't want to deal with Jenny from accounting being pissed off because she can't distribute 200 flyers in the call center. And more importantly, also because you want the ability to say no to the Teamsters if they want to distribute their stuff. Legally, you have to do that.
"We're saying no to this one so we can say no to the terrible ones that are coming." 9/11 hats in NYC on the 10-year anniversary of...wait for it...9/11.
Use this example to say no to an incredibly inept policy interpretation in your company today, and in doing that, say yes. Give your team some credit for knowing the difference between good and bad.