Monday, March 04, 2019
“We meet all Federal regulations”
I read Seth Godin's email most days. It started one Sunday about 4 months ago when I heard him being interviewed on NPR on Sunday. He didn't suck. And while I mostly don't listen to business so-called experts and writers, I found him refreshingly sensible and pleasant to listen to. Here's todays column of his.
The excuse made by large corporations for the impact of what they produce is that they simply follow the rules.
Of course, at these companies, there’s often a different department in charge of lobbying to change the rules so that they can increase short-term profits while being less beneficial to customers and communities.
It would only cost the car companies a dollar per car to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills dozens of people. When you can run the car without the key (most modern cars), it means it’s easier than ever to pull your car into the garage and accidentally leave it running, which can kill everyone in your home before morning.
When the government worked to put in a regulation requiring this fix, the car companies lobbied against it.
Why would they do that? (Now, due to outrage, they’re fixing this particular problem. But in the past, the car companies fought seatbelts and other safety measures).
Why does any organization actively fight to lobby to lower its costs when it might benefit customers and their communities? The rules are not going to lead to lower industry sales. All the standards do is raise the bar for all the competitors. I don’t think many of us want to live in the world of Sinclair Lewis.
The restaurant industry fought a smoking ban, and the baseball bat industry fought one on aluminum bats for kids…
Sooner or later, humans are involved. And when someone says, “not on my watch,” they commit to making things better, not simply more profitable. The rules are one thing, but what if you’re better than the rules?
“We can make it better” is a far better motto than, “we meet all the regulations.”