When opportunity knocks the door....values often shut blind.

Read a thought provoking post on Seth's Blog about the tacit honor system in our society,  the notion of 99% of people are good and only 1% of the people are actually bad. So if you treat everybody as if they belong to that 1%, you might loose the 99%.

Just about everything in civilization works on the honor system.

No armed guards at the local grocery store, no pat down as you leave the library. Most people cross the street without fear of crazed hit and run assassins.

Great marketers are able to deliver customer service because they're willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. They tend to take your word for it.

Of course there are bad actors. One out of a thousand people will cheat on that test or rip off that store. When LL Bean or Patagonia offers a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, some jerks decide to buy an outfit, go on a trip and then return it all.

If you spend all your time worrying about these folks, you end up underserving the other 99% of the population. Take the write off. That's what successful marketers do.

Though I agree to an extent to the notion of 99% on one side and the other 1% on the other side of any such argument, I believe that there is a great portion of that 99% actually will jump to the otherside when there is an opportunity or necessity.  Very few people will always stand up to their values.  And very few people will always be bad no matter what you do. Whatever we do, people on either extreme might not change a bit. But they represent a very small portion of any system. So to establish an honor society it is very important to install additional checks which will keep this 'great portion' of cats-on-the-wall in check. Atleast, create an illusion that there is such a system watching them.

An intersection with cameras (though not-working) will keep most drivers in check. Closed circuit monitors in shops keep most of those itching hands safe in pockets. Regular audits by IRS keep a majority of people report exactly what they earn. When nobody is watching, almost everybody act strange.

The code of honor rely on the security checks installed on the system.  Have an optimal level of those checks and monitoring systems and have a good insurance to cover the 1% bad guys.

Let them enter through the door heads high by closing down the windows.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )


[...] by opportunity, ambition, greed  or desperation. As I mentioned in my previous post When opportunity knocks the door….values often shut blind. I argued that for most ,  the decision to stay on one or other side is directly [...]
[...] had such an experience while reading this article blog entry by Murali. All along in the back of my mind I know that our value systems are opportunistic but my exposure [...]

Popular posts from this blog

Newsworthy News in Red October : Dow Jones & Tax Dodgers

USCIS Selects Final H1B Petitions by Random Selection - Almost a 50% chance for each Application

Wanna-be an Entrepreneur? Get Started