Do Your Hire Children or Adults

This is part 3 with Ron Mauer. He shares the results that come from operating the business the Zingerman’s way. He also shares a couple ideas for someone wanting to change their culture and improve their employee engagement:

Treat the people you’ve hired like adults. Perhaps move away from a parental model where you’re taking care of the team. Move to, “all parties” are responsible for the outcome. Businesses job is give you the tools and it is the employees’ job to make sure they use those tools.

The power of the group is better than any one individual. This will require listening. Which also means that all parties will work together for a solution. Ron runs the Service Network as a centralized business unit designed to facilitate essential business functions in a more streamlined manner than each Zingerman’s company could possibly do on their own.  Also they can get people with more knowledge than each company could get by themselves.

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Notes taken during the editing of the podcast.

Open Book Management is helping to bring the Finance Bottom Line up to the same level as the Great Food and Great Service Bottom Lines.

People actually own and are responsible for numbers. Not just reporting it. It helps people to be more business literate. (Also help their personal lives and financial issues.) It helps them when they become managers.

What kind of advice would he give someone wanting to change their culture and engagement.

You take input before decisions are made. 4 models for decision making:

Command – building is on fire, everyone out.

Collaborative – Hiring – get feedback and use that feedback in the decision that ultimately falls to one person (or a couple)

Consensus – all parties have to agree

Delegation – allow others to make it by giving them the right information and also allowing the decision to stand.

Be mindful on the judgmental attitudes that can come up when listening to ideas that may not be the greatest of ideas. Ask for clarifying questions and more information.

What is a challenge the Zingerman’s Service Network? Long-term business sustainability because they’re reaching transition moments in the owner’s lives. How do you transition to the next generation and how does governance keep up with business growth?

What inspires Ron Mauer?   

Books on Lincoln and other leaders. What vision did they have and how did they manage something bigger than themselves?

What’s next for Ron and the ZSN? Make sure the services keep up with the businesses and grow ahead to keep the organizations moving forward.

Do they need to change the funding model to be fair and beneficial for all sizes of businesses?

Should they take on some outside customers?

What does ZingNet look like in the future?

As he gets older he’s thinking about how its going to work when he’s not there. And, how can he provide opportunity for the younger generation to improve and provide value.