Don’t Ask Your Employees to Obey In Advance

July 18, 2017
By Zack Poelwijk
Top view of creative business team sitting at the table at loft office and working. Woman manager brings the document to mixed race group of people. Colleagues discussing the project.

The free market is based on the idea of corporations forcing their employees to all work in concert as giant cogs in a smoothly turning gear.

The market is not very free, for the employees. While corporations are not the same as tyrannical regimes, they often behave in similar ways. Corporations keep their market position by removing all risk to the corporation. They do this by signing long-term contracts. They achieve monopolies on products and pricing, and never share their mechanisms or techniques. And, like tyrannical regimes, they keep their market position by asking employees to obey in advance.

Corporate employees are trained to anticipate what the corporation will want them to do, and then they do it, with no variations. This also means that it is very slow and costly for corporations to change. There’s no mechanism in place for growth or change. When a business asks their employees to obey in advance, they say no to courage.

This is exactly what you don’t want. Your small business may not ever be as profitable as a large corporation, but your nimbleness will let you survive when the next social media trend develops, or consumer tastes change.

This is all not to say that your business should be a complete democracy, where employees decide how they want to work. You set the pace and the tone for your workplace. Will it be one of freedom?

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