Category: In the Workplace

The last place we can expect equal and humane treatment is in the workplace.  In difficult situations, equality and fairness disappear and the autocratic order returns. The workers at the top overrule decisions made by workers below. Sociocracy, however, developed in workplaces. Its principles and practices are designed to guarantee democracy in the most competitive businesses and associations. These entries discuss how sociocratic democracy ensures democracy in the workplace.

Worker Cooperatives Correcting Wealth Distribution

Arizmendi Bakery entrance

Cooperative ownership doesn’t guarantee that a cooperative will be a worker cooperative, nor do they necessarily correct inequities in wealth distribution.

Shaila Dewan titled her New York Times Sunday Magazine article on worker co-operatives, “Who Needs a Boss?”, undoubtedly reflecting the publicity from Zappo’s recent decision to try Holacracy, a governance method developed from sociocracy. A flurry of articles that included some variation of “no more bosses” or “no titles” became very … Read more “Worker Cooperatives Correcting Wealth Distribution”

Valve Software: Guiding Principles

Valve LogoIn 1996, we set out to make great games, but we knew back then that we had to first create a place that was designed to foster that greatness. A place where incredibly talented individuals are empowered to put their best work into the hands of millions of people, with very little in their way. This book is an abbreviated encapsulation of our guiding principles. As Valve continues to grow, we hope that these principles

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The Six Problems With Holacracy, and Others

My disclaimer… (1) I am NOT an expert in holacracy, (2) I love new stuff, and (3) I absolutely love people and concepts that challenge the status quo. That’s that.

Why am I discussing a commentary on Zappos adoption of holacracy that begins with that particular picture of the author and that particular quote from the author? Because the picture is fun and the comments are good. When he says he knows nothing he means

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Holacracy, Zappos, Forbes

An article by George Anders on Zappos in Forbes appeared this week. Anders writes about “innovation, careers and unforgettable personalities” for Forbes Magazine and formerly for the Wall Street Journal, two of the most respected and long-lived business sources. I honestly never thought I would see Holacracy, Zappos, Forbes in the same sentence. Kudos to Brian.

This is one of the more sensible articles on the Zappos adoption of Holacracy, less sensationalistic though Anders … Read more “Holacracy, Zappos, Forbes”

Zappos Goes Democratic

An article by Jena McGregor In her column, “On Leadership,” appeared in the Washington Post today on Brian Robertson’s contract with Zappo’s, “Zappos Says Goodbye to Bosses.” Zappos is owned by Amazon but runs independently and has long been known for its unusual employee-responsive culture.

The unusual approach is called a “holacracy.” Developed by a former software entrepreneur, the idea is to replace the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of

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Outside Experts on the Board of Directors

Image from the Getty Museum of a Council of war from the 19th century.Residential communities customarily do not have board of directors members from outside the organization. Corporations normally do, but they may not be chosen by their ability to balance expertise. Non-profit organizations and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers.

Balanced Expertise

Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives. Balance can be achieved with experts on larger community … Read more “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors”

Sociocracy at Endenburg Elektrotechniek

Statement from the Endenburg Elektrotechniek Website about their sociocratic governance:

The word “sociocracy” is derived from the Latin word socius,  neighbor or fellow, and the Greek word kratein, to rule. As a form of governance, sociocracy is based the equivalence of individuals, but not in the sense that “the majority rules,” as in democracy. In sociocracy a decision may only be made if one has a well-founded counter-argument. (This is called the consent principle). … Read more “Sociocracy at Endenburg Elektrotechniek”

Aptivate, Cambridge, England, UK

“Ethical IT for International Development”

Aptivate company logoWebsite and software developers providing technical  support for international development initiatives by other non-profits, charities, NGOs, facilitators, and trainers. Aptivate provides hosting services and advice on strategy, policy, implementation and procurement and build robust, accessible and usable software, mobile and web services. Specializes in low-bandwidth solutions for the web .

Mission

Aptivate believes in the power of knowledge and communication to alleviate poverty, suffering and conflict, and in the right

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