Why it’s Not Just Business as Usual

Here we are in the year 2012.  If you’re particularly sensitive to conspiracy you could say we don’t even have a full year to live.

Why is it then that so many large businesses are stuck in the rut of the 1990’s?  I’ve seen a recent trend where you will see large scale businesses unwilling to change their very foundation in respect of the new way to do business.  Why is that?  I common answer you will receive on the topic is that it’s too expensive to change the core of the business.  To this I say – you would rather not spend money and fail as a company, then invest in the future of it?

R.I.P. 9-5

The American 9 to 5 is dead.  Our fathers and grandfathers put in long days to provide for us and what we have now, and for that we thank them.  However, we live in a different age. We live in an age where I can buy plane tickets on my cell phone, watch movies without a DVD player and stay up to speed on Miley Cyrus while I camp. Now many of these things may not be beneficial but for business it is.

Why do some businesses strive for quantity over quality?  If you have qualified workers who can get their jobs done in 4 hours instead of 9 why make them stay at work for 9?  Work should be quality and incentive based, not “follow the norm” based.

If I started a company and told my workers as long as you do the quality of work I expect, and meet the deadlines, I don’t care how long you stay, or even when you do it – as long as it gets done. Better yet, if you can do it from home why even come in?  Statistics have shown that large companies who allow their employees to work from home meet deadlines more often, do better work and are overall happier employees.

The argument can be made that not all companies can do this (retail, restaurants, etc…). The fact remains that in the non-retail world the 9-5 is dead and should no longer be enforced. It brings down moral and motivation.

Motivation and Incentive

Which is better:  going to a job, getting paid a standard salary, going home and hoping for more money on the next review, or going to a job for as long as you need, getting paid for the work you do, have an incentive based salary based on your job description, go home knowing that you’ve contributed to how much you’ve made, and the better you do the more you make?

This “new way to work” model is better for two reasons: it provides consistent motivation to good employees, and weeds out bad ones.  The employees who understand they’re employed to work will be willing to do their best and brightest knowing their paycheck is based on what they produce.  At the same time the employees that quagmire others, and don’t do their fair share will fall by the wayside.

Fire

Ever noticed how in some companies the only way some employees seem to get fired is because they do something criminal?  What happened to the days of firing people because they just plain suck at their job?  Companies that are scared of lawsuits or just plain lazy to weed out their bottom 10% suffer from lack of good work.

I’m not saying to create an environment of fear, where employees constantly worry about their jobs. I’m saying that if someone doesn’t do theirs, then they should be replaced with someone better qualified to do so. This rule not only applies to the worker bees, but trickles up to the presidents and CEO’s of the companies as well. Companies should be in a constant state of getting better and better. Bad employees are like excess fat, there’s no reason to have it, and trimming it off makes the company better, faster and just plain sexy.

Remember K.I.S.S.?  Not the Band

See how simple these principles are?  Business should always be simple.  Whether you run Apple or a small business out of your home Occam’s Razor should be the basis for your business.  Remember that change is a part of life and those businesses that don’t change both for their clients and their employees deserve to fail.

“Is it not in the most absolute simplicity that real genius plies its pinions the most wonderfully”?
~ E.T.A Hoffman

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