There's an interesting article in the June issue of Inc. about a company that runs itself democratically.
"Namasté Solar is an employee-owned cooperative in which more than 70 percent of workers hold stock and thus can vote," Leigh Buchanan wrote. "'A 22-year-old recent college grad who is an apprentice installing solar panels on rooftops has the same vote as I have,' says [CEO Blake] Jones. 'I regularly don't get my way.'"
I love it. It's this kind of humility and forward thinking that will revitalize the economy and worker mentality. Too many workers are just flat burned out on the ways things have always been—most notably a hierarchical job structure. When you give employees a true say in how a company is operated, you find that workers are more passionate about their jobs, which leads to increased productivity.
"[Jones] argues that the company is, in fact, extremely efficient, because by the time a decision is made, employees are lined up behind it," Buchanan wrote. "'It takes our ship longer to change direction, but once we do pick a direction, everyone is rowing with full fervor, and we reach full speed more quickly,' says Jones. 'Even if people are in the dissent, they feel like their voice was heard.'
And that's what really matters—having your voice heard. When you're working as a team, every voice is important, no matter what your job title.
"As for the constant hits to his own authority, Jones doesn't care," Buchanan wrote. "'I'd rather people look at me as a peer or a fellow business owner than a boss,' he says. 'Something I've heard from other CEOs is that they feel very lonely at the top. I don't.'"
I think this kind of management style is great. What do you think? Have you tried it? What works, what doesn't?