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”

The Fixer

Many communities—cohousing, religious, etc.—believe that conflict resolution is based on loving and understanding. That if we just care more and understand each other’s needs, conflict will go away. They emphasize how hard this is. “This is the hard work we all need to do.” Peace workers, in particular, are big on love and understanding and couple attempts to acquire it not only with hard work but with courage. “It takes a lot of courage to… Read More . . . “The Fixer”

Conflict Resolution: The Fixer

Many communities—cohousing, religious, etc.—believe that conflict resolution is based on loving and understanding. That if we just care more and understand each other’s needs, conflict will go away. They emphasize how hard this is. “This is the hard work we all need to do.” Peace workers, in particular, are big on love and understanding and couple attempts to acquire it not only with hard work but with courage. “It takes a lot of courage to… Read More . . . “Conflict Resolution: The Fixer”

Circle Size

Circles should be of any size that allows inclusive and efficient deliberations, generally no larger than 40 members with 20 being the optimal maximum. While circle policy directly affects the people setting the policies, it is beneficial to have circles of sufficient size to include a range of experience and expertise.