Some time ago, in a C-level meeting, we were discussing about a particularly expensive souvenir that was to be produced to commemorate an important, and emotional, occasion.
There were about 6-7 people in the room and opinions were divided. One wanted to give the souvenir to all 20,000 employees, arguing that this was a special moment that should be shared with everyone regardless of positions. At SGD 50 or RM153 per unit, the total damage would have been RM3.06 million. Everyone gasped.
Another argued that such expensive memento, should only be given to long-serving employees and those in senior positions as he felt the lower level staff would not appreciate or understand the meaningful gesture. One suggested that the souvenir should not be given for free, instead it should be sold to employees – therefore only those who really wanted it would get it. And another one suggested different souvenirs for different departments, provided that the monetary value or unit cost of each souvenir is the same.
After a few rounds of discussion, the group agreed that selling the souvenir was the way to go. One person in the group said something that interest me. He said the souvenir should be sold on a staggered pricing scale with those who could least afford it be given the biggest subsidy/discount. A “Robin Hood” sales plan, he called it. RM100 means a meal for one at Las Vacas for us, he said, but it means a week’s worth of food for others.
If he were a candidate for the upcoming GE13, he’d get my vote.
Photo (c) UF Shands Cancer Centre