Author Interview: Isaac Getz, “Freedom, Inc.”

Recently I “sat down” via Skype with Isaac Getz, who lives in Paris, to ask him about the new book that he coauthored with Brian Carney: “Freedom, Inc.”

The book explores a topic near and dear to the CEOFlow heart: the journeys leaders took to build environments in which employees, without having to be told what to do, have the freedom and responsibility to take independent actions that they decide are in the best interests of the company.

I love this quote that Getz and Carney use in their book: “If you put fences around people, you get sheep,” said William L. McKnight, 3M’s chief executive, in 1924.  Their premise is that If you give your workers maximum autonomy, in the right conditions and culture, they will “lead your business to higher productivity, profits and growth.”

Here’s the basic four steps the authors suggest are important on the path of creating and maintaining a freedom culture that generates great results:

  1. Excite employees about a vision for the company so that they own it and feel that they are true contributors to making it real, not cogs in a machine.
  2. Eliminate “all the symbols and practices that prevent your people from feeling equal.” If different groups feel disrespected or that they are lower classes, they won’t be energized to go above and beyond for a company.  In other words, why should they work harder or smarter when it’s others that reap all the benefit – whether in money or respect?
  3. Stop trying to motivate employees – you can’t.  All you can do is create an environment in which they are encouraged and allowed to motivate themselves (see my own post on Push vs Pull Management).
  4. Once the new culture is in place, maintain it at all costs.

Personally, I’m very excited to see another great book come out that will help give CEOs and leaders more examples of how to create these kinds of cultures.  Thank you Isaac Getz and Brian Carney!  You can buy the Freedom, Inc. book on Amazon.

Interview of Isaac Getz, Author, “Freedom, Inc.”


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