Good and bad articles from INC.

The good

Want to increase your company's revenues by 192,701% over a five-year period? Care about your employees. Details in Happiness Pays, INC. Magazine, 2004-02-01.

Basically, give a damn about your employees. Notice I didn't say "write about your employees in the mission statement" or "tell everyone how you respect your employees" or "rename Personnel to Human Resource to People Care."

Give. A. Damn.

You'll find that your employees, once taken care of, will take care of the customer. Without prompting.

Excellent article, permalink to follow - INC. appears to delay posting articles by a month; much nicer way to put the mag on the web than Business 2.0's method.

The bad

Utterly laughable Grist column (INC. Magazine, 2004-02-01) from Adam Hanft, "The New Lust for Integrity."

I think Hanft is just lusting for attention (considering he's the president of a "Manhattan-based advertising and marketing firm", he appears to have some experience at it). His "ideas" for essentially forcing companies to have more integrity include a "Fair Profit Code" - "How much should a company be entitled to make?" he asks. My answer - as much as it damn well pleases. After unnecessary regulatory burdens and requirements, governmental interference, useless patents and silly copyright and trademark issues are swept off the table, as much as they damn well please.

You may find that companies are much more competitive, charge less but make more when they have something to prove - to their customers who have a choice. Don't limit profit - limit government interference.

His other "ideas" (and I use the term loosely) included a gem of an idea that private companies should release their audited financial data to the public. That's complete poppycock in my opinion. I am currently vice-president of one corporation, and I have plans to start a second. I will not release my information to the public - hell, not even to close friends or relatives! No one needs to know how much cash I have on hand! Hanft did a serious disservice by listing all these neat ideas and not considering the consequences - and especially by not arguing how to get what he wanted by using market forces.

I'll end with an example: given the choice between two vendors, I will go with the more open one. I don't care how much it makes in profit; I care how much it charges me - because that is one component of the value of its service.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Sun 18 January 2004. Tags: business, commentary