My brother and I had a short chat on business changes, and I offered the opinion that one might want to adapt to the Mennonite business culture. The thing is.....no one has ever written a book on the topic. I sat and pondered over the subject, coming to ten basic Mennonite business topics:
1. Everything you do....has to be done in a frugal way. You would not go and put a $500,000 statue up in the entrance of the building. Nor would you offer leased cars to any of the executives. Nor would you let people stay in four-star hotels while on business trips. Nor would you pay some loser-employee more than what they are actually worth.
2. Never overstate your intentions. Mennonites don't hype things much....either it works or it doesn't. If you developed a product that does exactly what it was supposed to do....you simply stand there with your arms crossed against your chest, grinning from ear to ear, and state your success in a very limited way.
3. No booze or drugs. Clean lifestyle is expected, period. If you need to celebrate something....coffee and cheesecake are acceptable.
4. Trashy talk and how to handle it. Basically, you take the employee into a private toilet area, and wash their mouth out with soap. If they can't handle it....take them to HR and let them go.
5. A true Mennonite comes into work prepared to stuff twelve hours of work into a normal eight-hour day.
6. In a true Mennonite business culture....every joke that is told in the work-place....is clean enough to tell Grandma.
7. In a Mennonite work-place, you don't waste money on AC or extra heat. You keep the windows open. And none of those modern screens for the windows either.
8. If you cheated the customer.....you should expect to be shunned.
9. You tend to rise at 4 AM, drink an abundance of coffee, face the rising sun with almost tears in your eyes that you can only work till the sun goes down, and feel enthusiasm burning in your gut.
10. You feel a sense of wickedness and sorrow, when having to touch anything built with technology beyond 1890. The guilt bothers you daily, and you just hope that folks wise up eventually and resettle to the 1890 way of life and business.