Rick: The fastest growing job sectors for the so-called knowledge workers, there seems to be a popular conception in the business media to just hire these people for their brains and then get out of their way.
This appears contrary to your teachings which I’ll go a bit about that before about the owner and managers needing to develop their own ideas into the system. I think I know what your thoughts on this but where have they gone wrong and how do we get them right?
Michael: First of all let’s assume that your description of the knowledge worker is true, that we hire people for their brains, get out of their way, and let them do their job.
Rick: There’s a lot of press on that.
Michael: And what a horror story. I don’t know how much experience you’ve had with people but I’m 82.
Rick: I’m 52.
Michael: I’ve had a lot of experience with people over the years, and getting out of their way isn’t what I recommend anybody do. Effectively a company can’t get where a company wishes to go by hiring the smartest people on the planet and getting out of their way. There’s no truth to that at all.
Effectively what has to be done is you need to hire the brightest people you wish to hire. And then absolutely be in their way to shape how their intelligence is to be used to produce the outcomes we’ve designed or defined for ourselves to produce.
So it’s not getting out of anybody’s way. It’s first of all this company of ours is a culture. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has a reason for being. It has a personality all of its own. It stands in a way in the market place and says, “I am this. And this is why I’m important to you.”
Rick: And we know how to do it or make it.
Michael: Of course. And if we don’t know how to do it and make it we’re lost.
Rick: Trust me, I agree 1,000% with you. I just read this all the time and I don’t agree with it because somebody knows how to make a great product, a great Ty, a great Urban, or a great Neil.
But if I have the knowledge within the business that we’re looking to expand with other bright people, not hiring people to tell us how to do it, right?
Michael: They get it right. They learn how to do that someplace else. And someplace else isn’t what we intend to be. We intend to become the someplace else that everybody else wants to copy. And if that’s true we can’t do that by using what he knew someplace else, you’ve got to begin it here a new.
The process for engaging our smart people is effectively definitive process, step 1, step 2, and we talked about that, and so forth, toward the evolution of our enterprise.
And so I talk about the eightfold path that we deliver in Radical U, our entrepreneurial development trade school. And effectively we say that those eightfold steps are absolutely essential to turning a company of one into a company of 1,000. And you must take them first step 1, second step 2, and so on and so forth, meaning process.
Rick: And I think most companies have it backwards though. Would you agree most companies have it backwards?
Michael: Most companies don’t have it at all. Most companies are living in hope. Most companies are hoping for tools. Most companies are looking for experts to solve their problems for them, when in fact solving your problems for you is like fixing a broken business. And I’m essentially saying it’s exactly the wrong outcome and the wrong process for achieving great glowing results.
Rick: Good thing they seek out guys like you and me, right?
Michael: What can I tell you?