88Pro Thinking

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Moving into an apartment : The Other Story

Recently Chooties and I moved into an apartment together here in Palau. Whenever an implementation team goes overseas, and when an apartment is shared, it’s always the case the responsibilities are divided among the guys who share the apartment. This time was no different, as soon as we moved in, the questions came up, “how are we going to handle the washing of dishes?”, “the Cooking?”, “Cleaning?”, etc. Mostly adopted solution by our guys is taking turns at things or dividing the work among them.

However it struck me that, if Semler can bring democracy in Semco, the most unusual multimillion dollar work place in the world, and at the same time be profitable, why we can’t implement the same democracy in our apartment. Semler built a company where no one had any job description, everyone decides their own salary, and subordinates decides whether to fire their bosses or keep them, flexible time, employees can work from anywhere. Most importantly “Semco’s standard policy is no policy,” Semler claims. If you are thinking this company would have doomed to fail, here is something for you to read:

Semco's revenues have jumped from $35 million to $212 million in the last six years, and the firm grew from several hundred employees to 3,000—with employee turnover of about 1 percent. The privately held firm has eight businesses, or, says Semler, "nine, depending on the week," having expanded into outsourcing management (for four of Brazil's five biggest banks), to environmental site remediation and engineering risk management. extracted from CIO Insight.

Adults should be treated as adults and when there is freedom, work gets done. The company doesn’t have a mission statement.

Semler says Semco’s unwritten policy is “to find a gratifying way of spending your life doing something you like that is useful and fills a need.” But the company doesn’t call this philosophy a mission statement, since Semler believes that by not writing it down, employees are obliged to think about what they’re doing. He also feels that when his people are given freedom, they’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done. Extracted from the Conference Board

So Chooties and I decided to this democracy and behave like adults. At the apartment there is no rule that governs who does what. Whatever ever we think is our share of work we do it. Now we do loads of cooking and still the apartment is clean, nothing is kept to wash later, we eat like kings everyday, and most importantly work gets done.

posted by 88Pro / Thursday, June 24, 2004

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