Diversity Lessons from Bacon
Whenever you get more than one Human Resources person in a conversation, inevitably that conversation will turn to the topic of bacon. This is an inexplicable universal phenomenon known as the Immutable Law of Pork Products in HR. Thus, there was no surprise when one of my conversations took this exact turn the other night.
Being of Southern persuasion we learn to cook bacon at an early age, as it is required for any meal involving eggs; and that is at least one meal a day. It is well-known that there are only two ways to properly prepare the beloved pork strips. First, it must be maple cured bacon. Then one either fries it in a cast iron skillet or places it on a flat grill, and employs a bacon press. Any bacon press worth its weight will be of the cast iron variety, with a wooden handle, and possess an imprint of a pig on the bottom. This is the Southern way.
As my social circle has expanded, many of my friends live north of the Mason-Dixon line. I have learned to accept, and even be amused by, their “northern-ness”. One of those amusing quirks is that apparently there are alternative bacon ruination methods. Who knew? My research into this matter indicates that some insist the only way to fry it is in a copper-bottomed pan, as the evenness of the heat prevents destruction by burning. Others indicate that to bake it on a cookie sheet is the way to go, as you get just the right amount of crispness, but retain malleability. Both of the methods were as foreign to me as the idea of a company functioning without an attorney-vetted Attendance Policy.
Since these conversations, I have done field experiments with both techniques, and while nothing beats my well-seasoned cast iron and bacon press, they are quite acceptable preparations for the beloved bacon.
Diversity of thought is a good thing. Introduction of new ideas expands our horizons and from that are born new concepts, making each part better for the whole. Opening our minds to the differences that each individual possesses helps us all to grow, be it bacon, or business.