How many millions of dollars of future sales are lost every day when front line employees utter with purecontempt, "That's our policy."?
How many brilliant, multi-million dollar ideas are lost when managers push employees to deliver on dated expectations rather than embracing innovations?
How many students fall through the cracks of our systematized educational solution when they don't fit into a box, or more importantly, when a teacher treats them like yet another box to be checked?
How many billions of dollars and untold man-hours are lost when politicians play the role of PR rather than serving as representatives of their constituents best interests?
Scaled systems are brilliant facilitators of mechanical solutions. If you are in the business of putting a sprocket into a socket, go for it. Oh, how I love the wonderful products of the industrial revolution...
But when dealing with human beings, an ethos, a culture and a mission statement are far more useful than a strict form and process. And we, as consumers and as individual human beings won't have it any other way. We aren't industry. We're Jon, Ted, Mary and Frank. Nice to meet you!
Regardless of your industry, if you want people to value you, you must demonstrably and sincerely value them. As we find ourselves struggling to break free of the assembly line-driven approach to business, this will often mean breaking all the rules. So please, go ahead and challenge what needs to be challenged, smile, shmooze and get to know your customers. They will thank you for it. Which will make you a bigger and better asset to your business and employer. Good goes around.
And one day, when you run the show, please remember what made the "little people" tick, and more importantly, what made your front line employees and customers smile and appreciate one another. Because THAT is what is going to make you successful, no matter what industry you find yourself in.