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Good business = sensible business

Around 2008 - 2012 I was very inspired by social enterprise. I did lots of reading and research on the topics and it has had a lasting effect on how and why I do business. Ricardo Semler was one of those people.

It was interesting to see AppSumo refer to him, yet they don't really explain how or if they've implemented Ricardo's ideas. Which makes me feel a bit skeptical about it. 🤷🏽‍♀️

However, my personal take away from my journey at the time was that businesses can be more human. They don't have to be robotic, soul-sucking, money machines. They can be more. And it is the people that make that happen.

Once you realize that, possibilities of what you can create open up.

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    "No bosses. If you ever tell someone what to do it's over."

    Not sure I agree with this one. When I've hired new people, they don't have any intuition about the business and won't for 3-6 months. Not telling someone what to do can lead to a frustrating experience where they feel like they're alone to fend for themselves in the company. Customer's get frustrated as the ones who have been with us a while know more about the company and "how things work" than the new employee. You don't want your top customers "training" employees.

    Also they don't come up too often but there are certain "critical" decisions in the early life of a company that are true forks in the road and you have to pick one. Employees should not make these choices alone. Now whether there's a vote, or the CEO makes the decision is besides the point.

    I'm all for subversion, I think it's healthy. But when a company needs to behave like one to land a big customer, or pivot, or whatever, you need to be able to convince everyone of a decision and get their buy in. And sometimes you just straight up have to say:
    "We're doing it this way."

    1. 2

      Amazing things happen when people are given choice, responsibility and a safe place to fail, but it won't work if it's not a company wide culture.

      The point is that they won't be alone, or left to fend for themselves, because the cultures that are built in won't allow that to happen. Not because they have a boss, but more because everyone looks out for each other and the quality of the work.

      It's a big mindshift.

      I unschool my kids, and it's the same kind of thing. People give me all kinds of looks, wondering how he'll learn things, thinking he'll need a teacher to learn, or a school environment to make friends, or that they'll just take the piss and play the computer games all day.

      It's far from the truth, trust and empower your kids and they can do amazing things without the 'traditional system'. Because they can. Because they are trusted to do so. Because it is all team work as a family.

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      This comment was deleted 7 months ago.

  2. 2

    Businesses should use profits to make higher impact.

    Success should be around of number of lives changed, planted trees as @nscode just wrote or whatever else makes impact.

    Are money important? Of course it is. But we shouldn’t make every decision based on money only.

  3. 2

    Something I read ages ago, can't remember where, was "chooo the direction of the bus then communicate that to people and let them get on or off the bus". It was referring to these orgs that change directions ever 30 seconds or have 100 people trying to drive the bus.

    I feel like this is saying something very similar; have an overall direction but let the individuals make decisions, do their job, and get there.

  4. 2

    Couldn’t agree more with this post! I hadn’t heard of Semler so I’ll check out his work, thanks for the tip! Also,

    robotic, soul-sucking, money machines.

    This describes my time with Amazon perfectly 😔

  5. 1

    Hey @rosiesherry. Maverick is a brilliant book. In fact my favourite. I reread it 10+ times. Jason and David from Basecamp many times mentioned Maverik and they've implemented at Basecamp Ricardo's ideas.

  6. 1

    True @rosiesherry. Not everyone needs to build, aim for, can build a Trillion Dollar Business. At that scale, there are sure to be skeletons in the closets, Exhibit hypocritical behaviour, Be a monopoly or at best Oligarchy which are not good for anyone except the Investors.

    I'm not telling we shouldn't make money, quite opposite - A business which doesn't make money is just a hobby.

    But, aiming for financial security for ourself, our startup and everyone in our startup is an achievable, rational and socially beneficial goal.

    What we need to discuss are more about How to achieve financial security through Social Entrepreneurship? as there are plenty of content for 'Why' but not so much for 'How'.

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