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.

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… Read More . . . “The Six Problems With Holacracy, and Others”

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 characterizes… 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 overlapping, self-governing… Read More . . . “Zappos Goes Democratic”

Outside Experts on the Board of Directors

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 organizationsThe Delibrative Democracy Consortium (DDC)u is an alliance o... More 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.… 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). Sociocracy… Read More . . . “Sociocracy at Endenburg Elektrotechniek”

Maverick by Ricardo Semler

Photo of Ricardo Semler This is a wonderful little book by the CEO of Semco, a corporation in Brazil. His father started the company and in the 1980s passed it along to his rather young son. Semler built a new kind of corporation using “open management” and advocating a “natural” and “democratic” workplace for “industrial citizens.” Lunch Hour Ideas In 1984, Semco acquired a Brazilian subsidiary of Hobart and Semler and describes how he began changing the structure of… Read More . . . “Maverick by Ricardo Semler”