As I have written in previous blogs, the options to personalize and customize abound.  Almost everything today comes with options, choices and ways to make it your own…

…unless you look closely.

Our infrastructure is remarkably standardized.  Houses are built on a 2×4 platform with uniform sized drywall sheets and rolls of insulation.  Electricity in the U.S. comes out of same-size outlets through AC 110 circuits.  Residential plumbing has standardized pipe sizes.  Cabinets come in uniform size increments so they can be mixed and matched.

Computers run on very similar operating systems to allow sharing of information.  There are a limited number of gasoline choices for our vehicles, which fit into standard size garages and parking spots.  Coins are the same across the country so they work in vending machines and meters.  Telephones can call other telephones and radio plays on all radios thanks to airwave standards.  

Our Christmas lights and hair dryers will work in any home in America and my butcher will give us the same pound of meat as yours will.  Calendars, clocks and cups all measure the same increments.  

Instead of focusing on all that is different or celebrating the choices we have, take a moment and pay attention to what is the same.  How is your workplace the same as another across the country?  What does your school teach that others do as well?  How is your organization like several others?  

Just like the basic 2×4, a common platform can be the basis for building greatness.

— beth triplett

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