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ATD Blog

Putting a Technicolor Spin on Work and Learning

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I was born in the 1960s when black-and-white televisions were becoming a thing of the past and color televisions were taking their place. While my dad still indulged in black-and-white Westerns from time to time, I couldn’t imagine sitting through a Disney classic without the vivid colors. Fast forward to the 1970s when cars were painted in bold colors like Grabber Blue and Goldenrod Yellow. What a far cry from the first decade of Ford’s Model T when the color options were black or black.

Walt Disney and Henry Ford quickly determined that consumers appreciated color options. From the beginning of time, Mother Nature has used color in fantastic ways to create identity and drive attraction. So, how is it possible that in a world with so many splashes of color, the business aspect of life is still monochrome?

We need to consider adding another aspect to the CEO job description. One of the key traits a person in this role needs to possess beyond the traditional business school acumen, it is that of an artist. Imagine looking closely at every element of the business as a paint by numbers challenge. How do we bring the mundane black-and-white processes, standard operating procedure manuals, and a potentially lackluster culture to life?

As CEOs, managers, and employees, we need to challenge ourselves continually to look for ways to engage the right side of our brain to change our business environments for the better. It is in that hemisphere of our brain where we find the ability to bring color, imagination, creativity, and excitement into the business world. Our employees deserve it. At the end of the day, what sets us apart from our competition? How do we create a workplace dynamic that removes the negative connotation of Mondays? Can’t Mondays and Fridays feel the same?


I don’t know about you, but I appreciate being a part of a company that looks for every opportunity to enhance the employee journey. From onboarding to retirement, we work to develop an exceptional experience throughout an entire employee’s work life cycle. Let’s look for ways to splash color into the shadows. It’s not that we have to create a theme park experience for our people, but if they have joy and excitement in what they do and who they do it with, it will surely pay dividends with the customers and clients they interact with.


I believe we all want a company that attracts and retains the best talent. Let’s take a cue from Henry and Walt and put a technicolor spin to all that we do. Engage that right brain then sit back, relax, and see what happens!

Want to learn more? Join me during the ATD 2021 International Conference & Exposition for the session Building a Transformational Culture to Win the War for Talent.

About the Author

Mike Novakoski is a CEO and entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in growing successful businesses. In addition to a degree in Construction Management, Mike holds an MBA, completed 240 hours of intense study to receive an “Innovation Management Certification” and just completed a 3-year Owner/President Management program through Harvard Business School. Mike thoroughly enjoys sharing the unique approach to the company’s success and helping other companies to achieve their full potential.

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