"The world of the pioneers really exists." Why burning the books, until you believe YOU can be a part of it, is key.
....Sure, people feel somewhat “inspired” and “motivated” when hearing about the amazing things that happen at Valve, Zappos, Netflix, MorningStar, Favi or DaVita. And when they learn about how much management stuff they might previously have considered inevitable simply doesn’t exist within those pioneer organizations.
Why has almost nobody dared to follow in their footsteps?
Ricardo Semler, owner and visionary of the trail-blazing “democratic” Brazilian company Semco got so frustrated about [almost] nobody following the example set by his company …that he took every book [he’d written] at his home, all translations, into the garden – and set them ablaze.
We remind ourselves that they are somehow not from this world. They stake out land that appears unknown and foreign to us. “That would never work for us here,” we say. “We’re just not ready for that.” Or “I could never swing that with my team.” and “We went to visit them and had a look; it sure was fascinating, but their approach is just not right for us.” How often have I heard those kinds of comments. The most horrific quote of all being: “It’s a long, long road to really get there.”
Our organizations can be flipped into that land of milk and honey, within the twinkling of an eye...
For a long time, this seemed to be a contradiction to me. On the one hand, the world of the pioneers really exists – like some continent of copious vegetation. In most people’s perception, however, there seems to be no way of entering that secret garden. That land of milk and honey remains out of reach, and foreign, too. In the meanwhile, pioneers like Toyota, Gore, Sweden´s Handelsbanken or Germany´s dm-drogerie markt keep telling us that there is, really, nothing magic about what they are doing!
Because we can all beam ourselves there. Our organizations can be flipped into that land of milk and honey, within the twinkling of an eye, as soon we all stop thinking about other people as “Xers”. We do not need more examples for this, we need to correct our thinking. As for Semco, Toyota and the likes: Their example remains noteworthy and potentially inspiring for all of us.