If you picture the iconic fences that outline horse farms, they would be white. There are still miles and miles of white fences along the Kentucky roads, but now there are a growing number of black fences as well.

The darker wood does not provide nearly as beautiful of landscape, and it is also harder for the horses to see (and, more importantly, avoid!). 

But what it does provide is longevity, as in two to three years of additional wear, less noticeable disrepair when it is near painting time, and thus, monetary savings. So more owners are switching to the black fences for their farms and paddocks.

Someone made an intentional choice to prioritize economy over appearance, and that made it much easier for others to follow. Think about the trade offs that you make in your organization. Have you thought about the implications your cost reductions will have down the road? Are you intentionally choosing to place one value over another, or do you only look at the bottom line? Perhaps there is another way to gain savings without giving up something you value?

One owner’s desire to save some money will change the landscape of Kentucky forever. Think twice before you paint that first fence black.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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