already finished reading this book on my flight back from Russia in end of September but somehow postponed this post for sometime. But still feel like having to tell you about this impressively inspiring book… I can tell you, I folded one edge of every book page I found interesting and I was almost feeling like beginning to read one page, folding the edge and then finishing reading this page.
First of all, I want to briefly introduce Götz W. Werner to those of you who don’t know him. He founded the company I am working for, an originally German drugstore chain (now spread over big parts of Europe), in 1973. Today, he is a member of the supervisory board and is promoting an idea he really likes, a basic income for every citizen paid by one single tax on the consumption (he would remove every other tax because he thinks that every member of the industry is already calculating the taxes into the price we as consumers are paying for its products, so it is us paying its taxes). The drugstore chain he founded is quite well known, especially in Germany, for being a very social employer with some anthroposophical philosophy mixed into the corporate culture. I already told you about the process to get to a commonly accepted decision some time ago (see here if you want to) and this is only one example of a kind of different thinking.
The first thing from his book that hit me was his concept of what he calls “Evidence”: “Evidence” means to him that everybody is telling you that it won’t work but you somehow are just feeling like knowing they are all wrong because you know you are right, even if you can’t prove it now. But if you look back later at this decision, you might think that there was no other possibility to go on at this point.
He wants us to be attentive for the human beings and the world around us and to be able to be amazed or touched by the things and people that we meet. If we care for human beings and even feel amazed or touched by some of them, we still need to carefully think about them analyzing e.g. which impact they might have on our lives. So we need to be both proactive and reflective to be successful and to improve ourselves or even a part of the world/our environment.
Evidence is very much related to intuition for him. If you know you can trust your intuition, you are able to follow the “Evidence” you feel about something and are likely to be successful because the future is something you can hardly grasp by the measures of today (so analyzing the future by measurements of today will often lead to a rational but wrong decision).
He describes the spirit of entrepreneurship by a short but funny story: At the beginning of the 1950s, there were two shoe salesmen sent to Africa who should analyze the market and send a telegram (message) about their first impressions after three days. One of them found “no market, all the people are walking on their bare feet”, the other found “a huge market potential, nobody is wearing shoes yet”. The spirit of entrepreneurship is about making every problem an opportunity to create something to improve our personal and the customers’ situation (and maybe half the world are “our customers”).
One last thought for this part: His company was not always as anthroposophically influenced as it is today. It started as a very hierarchical enterprise like many companies were that time and only transformed by facing difficulties it could not handle as a hierarchically company. Will tell you more about this in Part two…
Hope you enjoyed reading, comments are very welcome.
May peace surround you and be happiness your friend,