I think most people who run companies have no idea what is really required for the mental and spiritual well-being of their employees.
Having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) takes up a huge chunk of your waking life.
Sure you do it for money, but do you do it for self-actualization?
Many employees at some stage dream about having their own business, or working as a “freelance” consultant, to get the “freedom” they desire. Or they look forward to retirement so that they can do what they really want to do.
How can you be yourself when you are caught in a company that dictates so many areas of your life in ways that are definitely NOT what you want?
Well one company, Semco, claims it has a solution.
Semco is a company in Brazil that runs very differently than most companies.
It is a democracy.
You don’t need to read Dilbert cartoons to realize that “democracy” and “company” are usually complete opposites.
But what would actually happen if the boss’ vote was equal to that of each of their subordinates.
How many of your bosses decisions would have won on a democratic vote? Oh, and that means if the votes were truly secret.
It would force management to persuade rather than dictate, and surely that would mean utter chaos in any organization.
Back in 1993, the CEO a guy called Ricardo Semler, wrote a book about his upstart company SemCo. I thought it was a very brave book. He titled the book “Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace“.
He was advocating that self-fulfillment could be found WITHIN a big company. SemCo was his experiment to prove that companies didn’t have to be unfriendly to humans.
I loved the book and even recommended it to a few people which is rare for me, but I always had one big reservation. What if the company falls over? All these wonderful ideas, but will it last?
Well I finally found a decent interview with Ricardo Semler that describes where the company is at with it’s democratic capitalism “experiment”. It impresses me:
-Dr Martin Russell