NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Finding solutions to the most pressing business issues is more important than ever before, and it's bad business to ignore those solutions if they come from an unfamiliar place -- not to mention wrong. For reminding us of this lesson anew, we have Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn, to thank.
Regardless of what you think of the Kardashian clan, if it were not for the family and their adopted father, Olympic hero Bruce Jenner, who has recently come out as transgendered, far less attention would be devoted to the discussion about transgendered individuals and the complicated choices they are faced with. The topic would be avoided in the workplace or, at best, viewed as a sidebar and handled on an exception-only basis. And we're talking about questions as seemingly basic as "Which bathroom to use at work?" But when it's a national icon and all-American hero the rules change -- whether we are ready to accept them or not.
Through her public disclosure, Caitlyn Jenner is forcing us to consider our views and beliefs, and to reflect on the implications for us personally and for the organizations where we are employed. It is likely that Jenner's visibility will open the door for many more to choose this path. How will organization's respond and what should we expect of them? And as colleagues, what is expected of us? In a word, it is simple: Tolerance.
Innovation and creativity must always trump bias at superior businesses. The decisions about who can and should deliver fresh new ideas must be based on value -- not values. There is no room or time now to be gender- or gender identity-blind. The opportunity costs are far too great in lost ideas and revenue -- and in missing out on the creative combustion that happens when people of different backgrounds and perspectives come together to build a better mousetrap.