[via Abhay Bhagat] Excerpts from a lively Reveries interview with the “Permission Marketing” man:
The problem for most people who have a good job in a big company is that their main goal is not to lose their jobs. What big companies do is reward people for not screwing up. That is exactly the wrong thing to do, because if they don’t screw up then the company will certainly fail. The whole “safe is risky, risky is safe” paradox kicks in here.
If there are [common] threads [in my books], number one is that treating people with respect always works better than not treating them with respect.
Then number two, I believe as a corollary of that, smart individuals always do things better than dumb organizations. And so if we can empower the smart individuals and organizations to move things forward — especially if they can do it in a way that respects all the constituencies without kowtowing to them, but just respect them — then everything works better. Our jobs are better, our companies are more productive, the products that get made are the products that should be made, and everything just turns out for the best.
You can fire up Outlook Express and have an e-mail relationship with hundreds of your customers before the hour is up. So why don’t you do that? Why don’t you send an e-mail to a hundred people who do business with your company and ask them a question and see what they write back?
Then, have a dialogue with a hundred people for a week and see what you learn. Why don’t you get your staff together for lunch and tell them that the last person who comes up with a crazy idea is fired and see what happens? There are lots of things you can do that don’t cost anything, that aren’t particularly frightening, that can start this process unfolding in a bunch of different directions.
But if you just keep reading about it, nothing’s going to happen.