Boy, does the news make depressing listening/viewing/reading! No matter what your source it all seems to be all doom and gloom. And now, with the chaos in Greece and the possible collapse of Euro, it seems that the world order as we know it is in danger of collapsing.
Of course the situation is serious and I don’t mean to belittle it. However, it is also indicative of the extent to which we have allowed governments and politicians to dominate our lives. Consequently, we now find ourselves looking to them to come up with a magic solution that will put all to rights and save the day. However, you have to ask if we are looking in the right place?
After all, politicians and governments are spenders not producers. And while they might have been able to stimulate economic growth in the past by borrowing to spend, that well is dry. Present national debt levels simply make spending our way to prosperity impossible. Consequently it is up to us in commerce and industry to respond to the SOS and save the day.
To begin to do so, however, we need to demonstrate a better understanding of economics than we have shown to date. And not least by recalling the lessons of Henry Ford. Remember, he incurred the wrath of businessmen of his day by doubling the wages of his employees and reducing the time they worked. Yet, he still appears to be unique for, even today, the normal reaction to adverse market conditions is to lay people off. Of course making people redundant appears to be commercially justified, but economically all it does is transfer the costs of labour to society as a whole. In Europe at least, that means transferring the burden to the state and so compounds the problems of government and leaves government less able to find other avenues of spending which might stimulate the economy.
So how do you avoid this? Well for starters you can begin to look at employment in a different light. Through universal employee ownership you can make your employees co-owners of the business and automatically create an environment in which they have a vested long-term stake in its success. This will give you the additional capability and resources to find alternative solutions to your commercial problems, without any of the negative economic consequences. Furthermore it will also ensure that:-
- The overall economic situation will never deteriorate to the extent that they otherwise would;
- The downturn will be shorter-lived; and
- The business will be better placed to enjoy the recovery when the situation does improve.
More than that though, it will also create a shared vision and unity of purpose that will enable you to improve performance and hence your bottom line significantly and ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your business.
So instead of sending an SOS to politicians and government and looking to them to save the day, you need only look to yourself. You have the ability to not only sustain organisational success but, in doing so, to help save our society. What do you think? Are you willing to give it a try? You can be the hero!