Saturday, December 7, 2013

Building a Mercedes versus building one for Nelson Mandela

Would you want to build just a Mercedes, or would you want to build a Mercedes for Nelson Mandela? Especially if you have been on the darker side of racial segregation, have been stripped of your voting rights, have received segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services. That too in your homeland!

Would you still be motivated to build a Mercedes?

Nelson Mandela changed the culture of hostility towards productivity. But that was only made possible through a stronger call to action, stronger persuasion, and powerful stories! One such story is that of Mercedes for Mandela.

Rosabeth Kanter  writes that, "The head of what was then Daimler Chrysler South Africa, who had returned to his native South Africa after apartheid ended, motivated a hostile, unproductive black work force by engaging with them in their dream of building a Mercedes for Mandela."

Mercedes for Mandela is stronger story. Making a Mercedes for Mandela is not an act of making money or contributing to the economy. It is a service for the crusader against apartheid. A crusade that helped abolish racial segregation. Such stories transform behavior and can build powerful cultures.

Check out this short film "Labour of love" on the making of Mandela's Mercedes.