Proactive Entrepreneurship Or Business As Usual?

Stork Craft Manufacturing of British Columbia (Canada), has announced the largest crib recall in history. They are recalling 1.2 million drop side cribs due to an entrapment and suffocation hazard. The affected cribs were distributed in both the USA and in Canada between 1997 and 2004, and have already resulted in four infants being suffocated, 20 falling and several others being injured. Parents can order a free kit to modify the crib and prevent further tragedy. The cribs were sold in major chains including Walmart, Target and BabiesRUs.

I’m not much of a complainer or curmudgeon, but the Stork Craft story really irritates me. While my girls are well past the age of being in cribs, I appreciate Stork Craft recalling their product and preventing further tragedy. But re-read the statistics of that first paragraph. Doesn’t it seem curious that it would take a company 12 years to realize that their crib is defective? Or more to the point, it seems curious that it would take dozens of children and families being injured (or dying) to realize that perhaps they need to investigate their product and make a correction. Twelve years on the market; what happened during the testing and federal approval phases before that?

Call me cynical, but I’m seeing big retail chains driving 1.2 million product units on a very popular crib. In the land of corporate business, Expediency is King. When you’re moving 1.2 million units at $100 – $400 each, there apparently is not a lot of motivation to be self-policing and responsible. Nor is there a lot of pressure from the Big Box retailers to get your dangerous product out of their stores. What happened to businesses protecting their customers from predatory vendors?

There ought to be an outcry against a company that pushes a million-plus units of product without being proactive about its safety, especially where children and infants are concerned. And there ought to be an outry against the Big Box retailers who let it happen. Unacceptable. The only reason the recall happened is because it had to; there were too many injuries and deaths for it not to happen. And that is just plain wrong. One death. One injury. LOOK INTO IT. Two deaths? Shut down fulfillment and FIX IT. These are children, for goodness sake.

Our corporate culture has lost its compass. We as a nation have lost our compass. There exists an “Atta boy!” response if it generates profits, no matter the expense in human life or public health. We are more concerned with doing for the bottom line than doing what’s right. We need a deep cleanse of epic proportions.

I write a blog about online marketing of small business, so why am I so darned political? Because everything the Government does affects you and I — small business owners. We need to be political. We need to enter into debate for the common good (remember, ‘We the People’?) — not Republican, Democrat, Independent or Rogue. In order to debate, we need to be informed. We can’t achieve anything while being stupefied and hypnotised by the latest dog & pony show.

We have become so obsessed with the sound byte — with “managing the story” — that we’re missing the bigger picture.

We need to become a nation obsessed with the truth. Compulsive about having a moral compass. Passionate about leading and innovating. Narrowing our recycling to metal, glass and plastic, but true innovators in products and ideas. We must stop wasting precious time chasing headlines and stories that matter not. Profiting on injuring others. Lying and “spinning” and polling to determine how to execute the prescribed agenda. Buying the right people and silencing the rest.

We should know what’s right after over 200 years of history lessons and practice; please visit USCONSTITUTION.NET for more clarity. We have a reference to consult when we’re not sure; please refer to BIBLEGATEWAY.COM for guidance. Our diplomats should wisely bend, but our Presidents should be strong.

Maybe it was Lee Iacocca who once observed that there will always be leaders and those being led. I submit that the real leadership, the real engine of growth, will come from where it always has — small business. We are the leadership of the new era.