Workplace democracy

Would you be willing to have your colleagues decide on how much you make and what value you bring to the organization?

This type of radical transparency is bound to make a lot of people uncomfortable but it’s exactly the type of visibility that employees at Semco, a Brazilian industrial manufacturing company, have into the operations of the company.

Employees set their own wages, productivity targets, schedules and even choose their managers. Moreover, for important strategic decisions Semco each of the company’s 3000 employees votes – whether it’s about a merger, an acquisition, or plant relocations. For other less strategic discussions employees have two open seats on the Board of Directors that anybody can occupy on a first-come first serve basis. And finally in order to stimulate new ideas, the company holds a monthly “idea meeting” to put creative employees in touch with those with budgetary control – an internal VC club.

Key to enabling this culture Read the rest of this entry »

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The Net Gen meets a recession

“The swooning economy has also poured a cold shower on many Generation Yers, who grew up coddled, courted and figuring they’d have an easy career ride.”

There’s no doubt that the short-term job market prospects for anyone looking for a career change have been disrupted by the last six months of economic upheaval. We’ve gone from touting the war for talent to focusing on the impacts of delayed retirement and decimated pension funds on the workplace.

As a recent McKinsey report notes, “Eighty-five percent of the boomers we surveyed said that it was at least somewhat likely that they would continue to work beyond the traditional retirement age. Nearly 40 percent said that it was extremely likely, and of those, two-thirds emphasized financial reasons.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Measuring Government 2.0

I got an email a few weeks back from a freelancer who wanted some information related to government 2.0, notably how do you measure it’s value, success or progress, i.e. show me the metrics.

His take, “all theory and fanfare” with no real substance.

I won’t deny that it’s pretty difficult to quantify Gov 2.0 given the nascent issues at hand but it’s important to note that as we start down this road towards a Government 2.0 transformation, the business case won’t initially be made with dollars and cents. Instead progress will be measured in the following manner (which is by no means exhaustive or exclusive): productivity and efficiency gains, new ideas and innovations, and finally recruiting and retention. Read the rest of this entry »