Better Business Practices
I have worked for a number of companies and nonprofit organizations; and in some of them I have found interesting and unusual practices. Some of these practices carry hope for improvement of business practices all across the board.
I worked for Oracle, which is a vast corporation. One constant criticism of large corporations is that they are alienating and depersonalizing. Oracle got around that problem by involving people at all levels in the decision-making process. And this not only helped Oracle to make better decisions. It also got the people working for Oracle to feel like they matter and that their work has significance.
I also worked for two companies run by Lebanese bosses. The companies were very different from each other, one being a computer company and the other being a food place; but the business approach was similar in both. The head of the company built personal relationships with his workers and made friends with his workers. And this created personal loyalty that led the workers to go above and beyond the call of duty to work hard and benefit the company, even as it created a warm and fulfilling climate for people to do their work.
And then there is my present boss. His approach is to be inspirational and to lead by example. He starts his work day at 5 in the morning. He does every aspect of the business, even the menial parts. When he hits a snag, he re-dedicates himself to the task and keeps going at it until he is successful. He is passionately dedicated to the work that he is doing and can be very convincing in showing it to have meaning. He has honor and demands nothing less from people around him. He has come from nothing and became effective and knowledgeable in a lot of different things. He is not just an excellent entrepreneur; he is also an excellent human being who goes out of his way to help all sorts of people. And this leads to personal respect that motivates the employee to do his best.
Neither of these is an orthodox approach to doing business; and all of these approaches can be highly beneficial. Engagement, personal friendship and inspiration stand to give workers a good climate to work in even as they stand to motivate the workers to do their best. All of these companies have had success, and all of their leaders have gained respect of their workers. And this can be an example for other companies to adopt similar practices and grow in their effectiveness.