Flagrant® Is Weird.

Valuing inclusion without sacrificing difference.

Jonathan Broad
By Jonathan Broad
May 13, 2022

“Who would name their company Flagrant?” you might ask. After all, the word “flagrant” has a ton of negative connotations. If you fill in the blank “flagrant __”, you might come up with: flagrant violation, flagrant foul or flagrant disregard.

Let’s face it — Flagrant is a weird thing to name a company. It’s tense with pent-up contradictions.

That’s OK though. The name Flagrant is paired with a motto: “Embrace the weird!” We’ll take what might seem negative at first blush and turn it into an asset. We don’t mind being misunderstood at first, because we delight in exceeding expectations.

For us, Flagrant stands for taking pride in our authentic, undisguised selves. Even—heck, especially!—the weird squishy bits that make us vulnerable (and human!). Life is too short not to be who you are, we say.

You’ve heard of the expression “crazy like a fox?” Well, we’re “weird like an octopus.” Having no bones and lots of tentacles and those little sucker-things can be damn handy under the right circumstances. We fit into any size container.

What’s Weird?

But what do we mean by weird?

“You’re weird” is negative when it’s used to mark someone as strange and unwelcome. “I’m weird” is negative when it speaks to the feeling of not fitting in.

Sometimes it’s someone else who tells you you’re weird, sometimes it’s something you figure out on your own. Being weird means not belonging; sometimes because you’re being excluded, sometimes because you don’t feel included. Either way it kind of sucks.

Maybe you can hide your weirdness, maybe you can’t. It might be due to some deeply personal reason unique to you alone, or it might press on you with the weight of history that precedes and surrounds you. It could be a passing thing, or it might be an inescapable part of who you are.

Is it an accent you can’t hide? Your racial, religious, or gender identity? An experience of homelessness? A family history that differs from your neighbors’? A medical condition? A personal trauma? Are your neurons just wired differently?

Degrees and kinds and causes of exclusion vary wildly. There’s no erasing that. They can feel uniquely isolating when they happen.

But experiencing it can also be liberating. You learn something really important when you see a group from the outside. You value belonging more. You naturally see things from a different point of view. You empathize with others who’ve also felt that kind of isolation or exclusion.

We’ve found that being weird is a way of relating to people who are different than we are, without asking them to be the same. It’s a different kind of normal, without some of the defects that leave a lot of value on the table when it’s time to cooperate and get shit done.

Embracing the Weird

As you see, our definition of weird here is pretty inclusive. That’s no accident!

To embrace the weird you can’t pick and choose what differences to allow or exclude. It’s not a club. Pull up a chair and listen. You have to decide for yourself if you belong.

Embracing the weird is like creating a cool tattoo around some painful scar. It’s taking ownership of your difference, and using the experience of being excluded to heighten your senses and empathy for the challenges we all face.

Embracing the weird is about finding other weirdos, and not just people who are weird in the same way as you. We’ve learned that each kind of weird is a unique lens into what it means to be human. We value being educated by our weird peers in the ways they look at the world.

All this makes a difference in how we work together. We believe people the first time. We make accommodations to make sure people can be their full selves when it’s most important. We give people space when they need it and help where we can. We tap into our own differences and those of our compatriots to innovate when others see only chaos.

Welding these different perspectives together makes us extra resilient when unexpected things happen or change strikes.

Normal, everyday, regular ordinary stuff makes the world spin. It makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. We at Flagrant just believe that the sum of the parts is even greater when each part is being its whole weird self as well.

Whether you have a challenging project that would benefit from an unusual perspective or want to join our company of weirdos, drop us a line, we’d love to have a conversation.

If you’re looking for a team to help you discover the right thing to build and help you build it, get in touch.