Yes, Brown is looking for the people of California to come up with a solution to the state’s biggest problem.
“If you have solutions that are truly viable, by all means present them. We need everyone’s best thinking,” he said.
As a parent, I can see where Brown is coming from with this suggestion. If you make the child a part of choosing the method of punishment for misbehavior, then he or she is more likely to find the punishment “fair.”
Because, really, Brown and the Legislature are in a no-win situation. There is no magical solution that will instantly balance the budget, while providing the services Californians are used to getting and depend on to make ends meet.
This tactic of involving the masses in making decisions is also used in the business world.
Entrepreneur Magazine reported in the story “Employee Benefits in Today’s Economy” what happened when one technology management firm in St. Paul, Minn. decided to share with employees important information about the business’ finances.
Next Level Café’s co-founder Rich Anderson met with the company’s 25 employees and told them the truth: The company wasn’t at risk of failing, but it wasn’t a great year and that meant fewer bonuses and perks. He also started sharing information about the company’s expenses and income and posting the names and revenue of new and former customers on a wall as a daily reminder of where the company stands.
"As soon as you (pull a perk or benefit) without having employees involved in the process, they're going to resent it and fight back. They're going to use it as a reason to leave if they're looking to leave," Anderson told Entrepreneur Magazine. "If you get them involved, they'll support the decision. They'll embrace the world that they helped create."
I applaud Anderson and his transparency and shared governance-type company model, however, balancing the needs and wants of 25 employees and getting 37 million Californians to come to a consensus — or majority vote — on any one issue is something else altogether.
But, I do have hope for California.As Brown said, “We have the inventors, the dreamers, the entrepreneurs, the venture capitalists and a vast array of physical, intellectual and political assets.”To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.