Okay – I know I talked about Seth Godin’s post last week but it makes me crazy that he doesn’t allow comments on his blog and this week I have to comment so it happens here! Â The premise of today’s post, Organizing for joy is to say that companies that focus on efficiency and procedure staff their companies with cogs and can’t innovate because they are all about squelching creativity. Â His examples? Â Several franchises. Â But here’s what I would argue – If you give a person a strict framework for what they produce, can’t they put their creative energies into the service they provide?
Since Seth picks on McDonalds, I’ll use them as an example even though I don’t eat there much. Â I do, however, run through my local McDonalds for coffee in the mornings periodically. Â This is one of the busiest McDonalds in our county so the lines are impressive. Â But they move right along and orders are managed well. Â So here’s the thing. Â The ladies that staff the morning drive through are delightful. They are all extremely friendly, outgoing, and brighten a person’s day. Â If they were at all stressed or worried about their procedures they might not be as welcoming but since they don’t have to focus on that, they can focus on service.
I’m not saying all McDonalds are fabulous or this is the way everything is, but having worked in a couple franchise organization I can tell you having those procedures and years of testing behind me gave me a different level of confidence when I started out than the places I worked that didn’t have that. Â It was much easier to confidently tell someone how fabulous something was when there were 50 years of experience behind us or locations all over the world. Â This was incredibly true in my first job out of college. Since I knew nothing, it was great to have everything mapped out for us and know I was doing the work the same way as people all over the world (my first job was placing temps through Adia Personnel Services).
So I would like to say that instead of an “either/or” mentality, we recommend people hire those who find joy in your kind of innovation. Â If efficiency is the thing that drives your company, hire people who need that efficiency to be able to provide exceptional service. Â If you have a company that thrives on change, hire those people that find joy in change. Â But let’s not categorically dismiss companies as not “joyful” based on their business model. Â Thanks for letting me comment!