Positive Power Over

Power over is not always about forcing, coercing, pressuring, manipulating etc. It can be as engaging as power with. In terms lazy subordination and undeveloped personal power, power over can be an engaged relationship between the autocrat and the subordinate. Some people want to be dominated and to do so is engaging them, even if it is codependence. With the possible exception of physical force, as in terrorists on a plane, power over is a… Read More . . . “Positive Power Over”

How We Decide and Why It Matters

A wonderfully readable update on brain research is Jonah Lehrer’s How We Decide that looks at how our emotions affect decisions and what the brain tells us about it. Lehrer worked in the lab of Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, is editor-at-large for Seed Magazine, and  publishes regularly in major magazines and newspapers. He has both the education to interpret brain research and the ability to write about it clearly — welcome ability. And the… Read More . . . “How We Decide and Why It Matters”

How Can Everyone Make Decisions?

How could it be possible for everyone in a company to be making decisions? There is too much information. People would be in meetings all day and most people don’t want all that information and won’t listen anyway. In the sociocratic structure of interconnected decision-making circles, everyone participates in the decisions that directly affect their daily work, but only in those decisions. Unless they are the elected representative or the operational leader they don’t participate… Read More . . . “How Can Everyone Make Decisions?”

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”

Terra Viva, São Paulo, Brazil

Terra Viva is an agribusiness centered in São Paulo, Brazil begin by the Schoenmaker family in 1959 to grow gladiolas. Though not mentioned on their website, Gerard Endenburg consulted with the owner in the 1970s to develop the company using sociocracy. They now have more than a thousand workers and focus on bulbs and plants for flowers and vegetables. Their website includes a discussion of the company’s philosophy including an organizational chart, but does not… Read More . . . “Terra Viva, São Paulo, Brazil”

The Spirit of Democracy

The Spirit of Democracy by Larry Diamond is a very readable analysis of the growth and deficiencies of democratic governments around the world. In 1974, only 25% chose their governments in free elections. By the mid-1980s, two of every five states were democratic. By the mid-1990s, the Berlin Wall had collapsed and three of five states were democratic. Further, Diamond notes, democracy had become a zeitgeist, a spirit of the time. It had also shown… Read More . . . “The Spirit of Democracy”