Episode #18 - The Marxist Capitalist way to do business

Show notes

There’s two brilliant moments during this week’s show featuring the irrepressible Simon Biltcliffe, CEO and founder of Webmart.

The first is when he describes how staff within his business are appraised and assessed. He too is assessed by colleagues on the traditional stuff – how well he leads, how well he problem-solves, etc.

But is also assessed as to how well he can take a joke (something he can do 6.91% better than his colleagues apparently). Who says you can't measure wellbeing in the workplace?

The second moment that really caught my attention is when he describes the process one traditionally goes through when setting up a business – and meeting the so-called professionals who coerce and encourage us to establish a business in the most conventional way because that’s the way it has always been. Accountants, bank managers and financial advisors are never going to suggest the approach to running a business that Simon eventually set upon.

In this brilliant video of one of Simon's presentations (below), he kicks off by explaining to his audience that establishing Webmart back in 1997 set off a 'what if?' moment. What if he didn’t have to run this business in a conventional way? What if he could have fun with it? What if he could turn a profit and share the spoils with not only shareholders, but also his staff and the communities in which it operates?

Well, he’s managed to achieve all of those things and more. It’s such a great story, mainly because the large majority of things Simon is doing with Webmart didn’t cost a thing. And yet he has built a very successful and ultimately sustainable business because he isn’t just interested in creating financial value, but also emotional and intellectual value too.

After all, businesses are just a bunch of people providing a product or service. Yes, those products and services are important - and they must be good, sound and reliable.

But without people, businesses are nothing.

For more on Webmart click here.