Many years ago I had the privilege of meeting Seth Godin. We were discussing a business transaction that unfortunately did not happen because the management team of a very conservative company could not get over the name of Seth’s company – Yoyodyne.
Yoyodyne was Seth’s first company. It was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. Seth has become an industry rock star over the last 10+ years. He has written thirteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.
American Way Magazine calls him, “America’s Greatest Marketer,” and his blog is perhaps the most popular in the world written by a single individual.
I am currently reading one of Seth’s recent books, Graceful. It is a book of short concepts/ideas/thoughts that are so right on that I wanted to share one with you. Seth, I hope that you don’t mind.
In one of the short chapters, Seth speaks about how many of us grew up in the “factory” age. No, not just manufacturing, but companies the same things that they created for years; only today they do it better, faster and cheaper. We are talking about accounting firms, banks, insurance companies and the like. What Seth says, is that these companies are about predictable scalability, scarcity and compliance.
He goes on to say that factories demand compliant workforces to succeed. Well if you are working for a company that is all about compliance, obedience and doing just as you were told, you will not succeed. These businesses are having trouble achieving their growth targets (sound familiar), constantly placing blame on existing management and employees (sound familiar) and not providing the latitude to bust out of the box and do something different (Now I know that sounds familiar).
Right now the world is exploding with new approaches, new forms of interaction and new business models, embracing the rapidly changing world and empowering their employees to make a difference. Their growth comes from change, insight, exploration and risk taking.
Employees, where do you work? Where would you rather work?
Business owners, are you forcing compliance? Are your providing your employees with the ability to fuel your business growth or stifling them to the point where they will not do anything without asking for permission.
You decide! Thanks Seth for the thoughts and wisdom.