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Maverick: The Success Story behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace Paperback – 1 May 1995
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- Publisher : Warner Books; Reprint edition (1 May 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0446670553
- ISBN-13 : 978-0446670555
- Dimensions : 13.34 x 2.22 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The main points is to have a work place based on trust, democracy and openness.
The author fired three quarters of the management and let people be their own boss, when a boss is needed they are called Coordinators who are not necessary better payed or higher ranking than the people they organize. Also Coordinators cannot hire/fire workers. Each worker decides their own working hours and pay.
Workers vote on such topics as who gets to be their Coordinators and hiring/firing. There has been research into how people behave in groups that shows democratic groups get better creativity and are more happy than authoritarian run groups.
The author states that only source of power in an organization is information, and withholding, filtering, or retaining information only serves those who want to accumulate power through hoarding.
Once a month Semco holds open meetings for the employees of each unit, where all the numbers in the business are presented for open examination and debate. The company also offers courses to help employees better understand financial reports such as balance sheets, Profit-and-loss reports, and cash flow statements.
The author recommends businesses are deliberately kept small ( not more than 150?) so that people feel their opinion still makes a difference. He feels the economies of scale that big business have is over rated and actually creates many opportunities for wastefulness.
25% of the profits are given to the workers as bonuses with everybody getting the same bonus. This is to help motivate and rewards workers even tho it's a big drain on the businesses profits. The author states "I rather own the tail of a elephant than a entire ant".
The author makes note of the importance of behaving ethically in business even if that means losing money.
What this book recommends is a big shift in the normally authoritarian military ways businesses usually work.I am not a expert on business set up but what this book recommends sounds like a workers co-op (workers control and own business) but without workers owning the business.
The book got a sequel called "The Seven-Day Weekend" I think this original is the better of the two but get both anyway because the sequel does add a few good ideals not in the original.
It's good to see businesses like this thrive and it shows a business can have happy workers, be ethical and still do well.
Are we brave enough to emulate Ricardo? I don't know - but I would love to try!
I really couldn't believe that some of the procedures & practices this organisation implements could work. But they do - spectacularly! Has some very challenging repercussions for the way I do things in my own little sphere. Have I got the guts & conviction to carry them out?!
Minor grumble - books with spelling & grammar mistakes are a real bug-bear of mine. They're basically faulty goods. Hence it loses a star!