You in or out?


Many companies are wrestling with how to allow employees to express themselves in the workplace in a way that does not infringe on coworkers, reduce productivity or impact the business’s success.

Unfortunately, *absolutely everything* in our current culture has become politicized by various factions, and calls for boycotts follow any action / stance that does not please those factions.

Therefore, increasingly, businesses - and particularly B2C businesses - are finding themselves trapped in a nightmarishly dynamic Venn diagram, where every action sparks factional outrage that reduces the amount of overlap among the intersecting circles. Soon, the number of customers who deem the company pure enough to buy from becomes problematically small. Even those companies who have embraced and succeeded with the political Balkanization of the market are doing so out of necessity.

Unfortunately this is also playing out interpersonally among Americans. We increasingly include or exclude people as friends based on this Venn diagram approach: Who did you vote for? Do you hate absolutely everything about the opposing team? Do you reject every idea from the other side out of hand? Are you on the righteous side of immigration? Abortion? Islam? Guns? Single-sex marriage? Was American Sniper a “good” movie or a “bad” movie? (Incidentally, that movie is where I really noticed the “POE” - Politicization Of Everything - effect really take off.) so you love or hate Bill Maher? (the “correct answer for that flipped for both sides after his statements on Islam.)

For too many people (I’m speaking both emotionally and intellectually now), the “wrong” answer from someone to any of these questions and many more questions results in excluding that person as a friend.

As I wrote a couple years ago (, this is bad for us as humans and bad for our country and I don’t know how we change it.

Happy Saturday!