Just listened to an interview with Goetz Werner, founder of dm-drogeriemarkt, Germany's largest pharmacy/drugstore chain. He started with a single store. Now he has thousands. The guy is completely contrarian.
He said when he was 32 (he's 69 now), his grandmother asked him, "You have so many people working in your shops, aren't you afraid they steal from you?" He says you will never scale with such an attitude. He says he likes to think that "each is better than the other". Such an attitude at the top, he says, permeates the whole org and filters down to the customers.
The interviewer then asked him, "Aren't you disappointed in your trust sometimes?"
Werner says, "Of course. Constantly. But that's not the point. You cannot scale unless you trust people to do the right thing."
Asked if there is anything in his assortment that makes his shops special, he says, "None. Anything you buy from us you can buy elsewhere. Our job is to make you want to buy it from us, instead of from others. You know, we do not live in a world where people buy the naked product. We live in a world of add-ons. You're not just buying the product; there are all the little things that you buy as a package with the product."
He says we all have the wrong concept of money.
"When you buy a tube of toothpaste and go to the counter, you think you are paying for the toothpaste. You are wrong. The toothpaste has already been paid for -- otherwise, it wouldn't be on the shelf. What you are in fact paying for is for the replacement for the toohpaste you took from the shelf. In other words, you are paying us to continue doing what we do."
He thinks differently about salary than most. "You do not get paid for the work you do. We pay you so you can do what you want to do. Your salary is not compensation. It is support for you to continue doing your work."
He says work is what people do in order to learn more about themselves and to become a different person. He says it would be a tragedy if you remained the same 20 years from now.
Werner is an advocate for a concept of unconditional basic income. He thinks every human being should never fear not being able to survive. He thinks the "community" should have ready for each individual about 1000 Euro/month. Once survival is out of the way, he says, "Think of how people would make decisions differently in their lives. Think of how much human potential would be released this way."
The interviewer asked, "But wouldn't people work less?"
He replied, "Well if a mother who now works full time in order to make ends meet starts working part time in order to care more for her child, do you think she has worked less?"