Red Card. Green Card.

I am writing my weekly post a bit later because I’m  fighting off a food coma !!  A group of friends and I just went to Boi Na Braza – a Brazilian steakhouse. It was spectacular and way too much food, but loads of fun.  Anytime you can mix friendship and food is great.  More relationships are built and deepened when breaking bread is involved.

The system the restaurant uses is incredibly effective and very simple.  The servers walk around with skewers of different types and cuts of meat.  You can have as much, or as little, as you’d like.  The staff never has to ask if you want to consider trying something new because they follow a simple two color card system.

Green Card 2Red Card 2Green means that you would like to see what’s being offered and red means that you want to take a break or stop for awhile to catch your breath (and make some more room.)  Since I work in the restaurant business myself, I was fascinated that service was broken down to the flip of a card !!

I wondered what would happen if we could have this two-sided card at work?  What if we could use this system in HR when we had to address behavior in the workplace?  We could show the green side for all of the behaviors we liked, and quickly turn it over to red the moment a behavior came up we didn’t care for. Wouldn’t that be simple enough?

Unfortunately, I think we get stuck on the red card too much.  We think that we can affect, change and control behavior through endless policies and procedures.  We spend more time saying “No” than we do “Yes” in our jobs too.  I think we get set on this pattern of practicing HR and think that by saying no first we are addressing the situation. However, we really aren’t being effective at all.  We’re just avoiding taking the time to analyze, contemplate and come up with a resolution to the situations we face.

I’d love to see us use the green card more often in all that we do in HR.  If we tried it, I think we’d develop a more consistently positive approach to what we do.  I’m not talking about mindlessly agreeing with things as they come up.  You can face situations, look them over and then move forward.  It may mean stopping a practice or eliminating something that no longer has use.  But, that can be positive as well.

You see, at the restaurant, you kept the green card up to see new things, try new flavors and have a broader experience.  That kind of life and approach to HR is exciting and fulfilling !!  So, which card are you going to turn over when you go to work this week ??  My green one is already turned up !!

One thought on “Red Card. Green Card.”

  1. The Bubba Gump restaurants use a similar service. You have a paddle with ‘run Forrest run” on one side and “stop Forrest stop” on the other. Obviously “run” means you don’t need the server to stop by, and “stop” means , well, stop! 🙂 I think its a great way to help the servers know who needs them and who doesn’t

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