I think I may have found a window in a room full of walls. Let me explain.
I have written previously about how, in HR, we are bound by some many rules, regulations, etc that the challenge lies in us finding ways to get the job done sometimes in spite of them. There are grey areas, there is wiggle room, and there are self-imposed interpretations that at times can be way too restrictive than they need to be. Part of the challenge is getting out of the way, getting out of the muck and lookng at an issue from a different perspective. In a post on Fast Company, the author, Donna Karlin, leads with a quote that is so very true:
"We don't see things are they are, we see things as we are" - Anais Nin
Getting beyond ourselves, getting beyond what was always done and suddenly realizing that what you thought was an absolute, non-negotiable truth, absolutely is not. What you thought was a solid wall might actually have a weak spot for a nice bay window - there may be a way around, or better yet right through, a perceived barrier to meeting an organizational need, to providing a service or in this case, very simply - a way to shift the balance of power that had been held in check for a number of years by about 25 words in an annoying 30 year old local supplement to a Master Agreement. There may be a way but we will need to do our homework first.
How did I get here? Not by any planful way at all but by a few different conversations, venting sessions and very frustrating union interactions all converging, blending, stirring and then at one AHA moment - spitting out a possibility on my way into work this morning. My thoughts ranged from "of course, why didn't we see that sooner?" to suddenly placing a new light on previous interactions and union conversations .
I am only able to accomplish the things that I do because of those around me and we may have stumbled upon a window in a seemingly airtight room. But you know what, even if we find out that is isn't, it has reminded me of the value in discussing issues, the value of listening to disseenting opinions of allowing all sides of an issue to be presesnted, and more so, of the value of that each and every person brings to the table each and every day.