The Paradox Of Absolute Transparency In Business
The free-market nature of a supposedly progressive policy.
Organic food retailer Whole Foods Market communicates openly about all its employees compensation packages – all the way to the CEOs.
John Mackey, the Company’s founder and co-CEO, explains why in the book “The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers” (source: Entrepreneur.com): He wants to help Whole Foods Market employees understand the differences in compensations within the Company in order to motivate them to achieve more and in turn earn more.
This strategy is shaped by a fundamental paradox: While it applies a progressive philosophy, it can only result in the implementation of a culture based on Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand. Indeed, it is only their individual added value that will legitimate the higher compensation earned by some of Whole Foods Market’s employees.
This strategy is not only interesting because it combines progressivism and free-market capitalism. It also blends collective commitment with individual development in order to strengthen Whole Foods Market’s corporate community.