The industrial revolution turned employees into cogs. But the times, they are a changing.
McDonald’s pioneered a system that delivered world-class operational excellence while hiring the cheapest and the most dispensable labour – like and cheap replaceable machine parts. This model worked well for decades. This led to a number of other chains imitating the McDonald’s model – Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway and so on.
But the internet challenges this model fundamentally. Today, every experience with a customer is worth more than it ever was in the past. Delight them, and they are likely to spread the word. Disappoint them even accidentally, and its likely to spread like wildfire.
Take the case of this Muslim from Birmingham being served pork in a McDonald’s by mistake. Twenty years ago, this incident might have gone down as a footnote in the local newspaper. Today, the internet has proliferated it widely enough for you to be reading it right now.
Every business today is an internet business. Every cog in your business has the potential to bring it down to its knees.