December 1, 2008

Managing without managers

A while back I blogged about ROWE - results orientated workplaces and a fab book called "Why Work Sucks and How to Fix it". ROWE is based on the radical statement "adults deserve to be treated like adults". I've come across a Brazilian company that is living its own ROWE. They like to "manage without managers". They too believe that their staff are grown ups. They encourage people to change seats everyday so people can't monitor "who is here and who is not" - because they are not supposed to. They don't care how many hours staff work, they care about what they are going to deliver this month. Every employee has full access to all financial statements (which are also presented in cartoon format) and everyone votes on their business units spending. One business unit brought cheap chairs as they wanted to budget for something more important to them. There are also 2 spare seats at every directors meeting available on a first in first serve basis.

Every six months employees set their own salary. Ask for too little and you'll be told to set a higher price. Ask for too much and you risk fellow employees sacking you. If they feel you don't work hard and you are not worthy of a share of the business units profit share you'll be shown the door. There is peer pressure on bad behaviour - everyone holds everyone to a high standard.

Before you decide cartoon financial statements are just madness, listen to how much this company makes! Further proof that those that are sticking out, being crazy and totally unafraid are truly succeeding. Our workplaces shouldn't even be as they were 5 years ago - times have changed so much. It is time to stop being so scared of sharing the 'control panel'.

Click here to see a 14 minute video about this awesome workplace.

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