It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission

An old colleague once told me “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”.

It’s always stuck with me, that one. Okay, there are some rules that we all should abide by. I’m not advocating anarchy (in the UK or anywhere else). But sometimes you just have to do it (or JFDI if you’re a potty mouth).

One of my first jobs back in the ’90s was as an in-house designer at a company where everyone wore a tie. So I turned up wearing a tie. But I hate wearing a tie. And anyway, why were they all wearing them? There was no business need. We weren’t customer facing. There was no rule that said it was compulsory.

So one day I stopped wearing a tie. Nobody complained and nothing happened. To start with. Then, over the next few weeks, one or two others stopped wearing a tie too. Then a few more. Until eventually, not wearing a tie became the norm.

Now, if I’d gone and asked for permission, what do you think would have happened? Exactly. Sometimes you just do it and see what happens.

*Image credit

7th August 2015

File under: Things Learnt