Democratic Business Principles from the WorldBlu.com Website:
1. PURPOSE AND VISION A democratic organization is clear about why it exists (its purpose) and where it is headed and what it hopes to achieve (its vision). These act as its true North, offering guidance and discipline to the organization's direction.
2. TRANSPARENCY Say goodbye to the "secret society" mentality. Democratic organizations are transparent and open with employees about the financial health, strategy, and agenda of the organization.
3. DIALOGUE + LISTENING Instead of the top-down monologue or dysfunctional silence that characterizes most workplaces, democratic organizations are committed to having conversations that bring out new levels of meaning and connection.
4. FAIRNESS + DIGNITY Democratic organizations are committed to fairness and dignity, not treating some people like "somebodies" and other people like "nobodies."
5. ACCOUNTABILITY Democratic organizations point fingers, not in a blaming way but in a liberating way! Democratic organizations are crystal clear about who is accountable and responsible for what.
6. INDIVIDUAL + COLLECTIVE In democratic organizations, the individual is just as important as the whole, meaning employees are valued for their individual contribution as well as for what they do to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.
7. CHOICE Democratic organizations thrive on giving employees meaningful choices.
8. INTEGRITY Integrity is the name of the game, and democratic companies have a lot of it. They understand that freedom takes discipline and also doing what's morally and ethically right.
9. DECENTRALIZATION Democratic organizations distribute leadership and power across their enterprise.
10. REFLECTION + EVALUATION Democratic organizations are committed to looking in the mirror and asking, "How can we be better?" -- not just quarterly or annually, but daily.
How Will You Measure Your Life?
I recently read this article by Clayton Christiansen out of Harvard entitled, “How will you measure your life?” It is what he tells his students on the final day of his class.
One of the items that he mentions sticks out to me. It reads as follows:
“One of the theories, . . . . . how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic. In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more [people think] that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."
I’m sure you can see why it sticks out.