This was a highly-educated, sharp, adult who had insights and advice to offer that could help the Company, but who felt restricted from speaking up because the issue was outside of what he viewed as his designated role in the Company.  Why, I asked him, can’t you voice your opinion just as an opinion of an intelligent thinking individual who wants what’s best for the Company?  Why can’t you inquire with the caveat that “this is not a legal issue but…”?  When you have so much to give and offer the Company, why ascribe self-imposed limitations on your role based on traditional definitions of job and function?

In an industry that needs so much disruption, new thinking and new approaches, people have to be encouraged to speak up and contribute when they have ideas- even if the ideas falls outside of their traditional job description.  In an industry where resources are so constrained, we have to be able to tap the resources we have and empower the people we have to participate in the growth of the Company in whatever way they can.  I firmly believe that people want to participate, they just have to feel that they are able and encouraged to do so.  In this time of change and disruption, we can’t leave any of our resources on the bench.  We need all of the new thinking and input we can get- especially when it comes from unexpected places.