In fact [Dan] Price’s move was simply a dramatic version of a time-honored and often quite successful business strategy: pay significantly more than market rates and get the cream of the employee crop. Costco’s wages are well above those of Sam’s Club, one of its chief competitors. The Container Store pays double the average retail wage—and believes it gets more than three times the value because of the quality of people it attracts. If Gravity can do some smart hiring, it’s likely to wind up with the best employees in the payment processing business. Two Cheers For The $70,000-A-Year Minimum Wage, Forbes.com, Nov 17, 2015.
As a young lieutenant in the Air Force, I was an avid reader of management studies. One that stuck in my mind, if I recall it correctly, was a Harvard Business Review report on a study where if we paid people well they brought significantly more value to the company than the cost of their pay. My frustration, however, was that the project I was assigned to as a junior Air Force officer was in such chaos that any thoughts of using advanced management concepts was ludicrous. We needed to get the basics of management in place before we could even think about something beyond that.
What struck me about the Forbes report on Dan Price’s initiative, was that he was doing something we’ve known could be successful for at least 40 years. In fact, too many of our best practices in management have been known for possibly centuries, but we still don’t make use of them. Often, we even denounce them as foolish and sophomoric idealism, instead of the pragmatic management principles they are.
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What well known and time honored measures are available to your project that could rocket you and your project on to success?