A corporation exists by virtue of being a logical unit of functioning. However diverse its operations, they all serve a single purpose. The individual and group relegates their distinct ideas to the background to ensure the main purpose is served.
But behind this idea lies a great evil. It is often deemed right to sacrifice the smaller aspirations for the larger good. This instinct to merge and blend in with the overall trend often kills what might turn out to be beneficial to the larger good.
Standards do serve to forge a single identity, a single theme to present a unified face to the external world. But in a time of change the tendency to merge is stifling to perspectives that are different.
Standards of behavior and ethics, equal opportunity, standards of conduct should be adhered to and I have no doubt on that.
But I see standards as a marker for how low a certain function can go. They are not the yardstick with which every superior effort is beaten down lower. Standards for productivity, usability and technological progress exist to be broken by better and superior functions.
The way I have dealt with resistance to what is new, different and unfamiliar to the larger organization is by relentlessly selling the benefits, overlooking the resistances and steam rolling my way through. Until something or someone really high up the chain stops the effort.
Remember that standards are tombstones for dead ideas. That which is living and evolving will have no such markers.
[Note: All mentions of the word standard in this post refer to corporate standard.]