1914 - Henry Ford Minimum Wage.
"Pioneering change uplifts by empowering those overlooked, balancing ethical progress and profit through understanding the interdependency of people's dignity and shared prosperity"
👏 Happy Friday!
On this day, January 5, 1914, the Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour daily work limit and a minimum wage of $5 per day, doubling pay for line workers. This ground-breaking announcement shocked the industry and society. At the time, factory shifts spanned dawn to dusk, six days a week. The announcement was not merely an altruistic gesture, but a strategic move aimed at addressing several challenges simultaneously. The initiative aimed to reduce high turnover rates, increase productivity, and, perhaps most importantly, enable Ford’s own workers to afford the automobiles they were producing. Ford sensed that economic security depended on consumer capacity, not just elite wealth, so he shared skyrocketing Model T profits to buoy long-term prosperity. The move sparked outrage from capitalists yet overwhelming national applause which, gained traction over time. The impact on individual lives is immediate; relieved families could plan futures before only imaginable by elites. Dignity rose amid dehumanising industrialisation, a glimpse of balance benefiting both profits and people.
✅ Henry Ford told us, “The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low, it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one's own best customers.” He compelled us to consider how such transformative decisions can influence our approach to change, leadership, and the ongoing pursuit of a fair and equitable society. Ford’s pioneering change challenges conventions by radically reimagining assumptions because innovation understands the interdependency between consumer capacity and growth. Progress depends on expanding dignity through ethical profit-people balance and change leaders lift nations by empowering disadvantaged communities that are overlooked yet vital. The lessons learned from this historic event continue to guide our understanding of change, urging us to embrace responsible practices that not only benefit businesses but also contribute to the collective progress of humanity. Change Leadership Transcends Profit.
“Pioneering change uplifts by empowering those overlooked, balancing ethical progress and profit through understanding the interdependency of people's dignity and shared prosperity”
👉 Respectful leadership is about showing admiration for an employee and appreciation for their role and contribution within the organisation. No matter what role an employee plays within an organisation, they all want respect for what they do, to be treated with common courtesy, and to be valued for their skills and experience. Respectful leadership is appreciated by employees and is seen as a two-way street. Even if an employee is leaving the organisation as a result of the change, they should still be shown respect. Leaders should remember that these employees could be ambassadors for the organisation as well as future customers. More widely, respectful change leaders are respected leaders; they get better responses when modelling the new skills and behaviours with reduced employee resistance.
Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.
Further Reading: Change Management Leadership - Leadership of Change Volume 4
Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.
Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).
Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) by Thinkers360.
Business Book Ranking
Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.
Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.
Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.
Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.