How to run a company with (almost) no rules - Ricardo Semler
What if your job didn't control your life? Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler practices a radical form of corporate democracy, rethinking everything from board meetings to how workers report their vacation days (they don't have to). It�s a vision that rewards the wisdom of workers, promotes work-life balance - and leads to some deep insight on what work, and life, is really all about. Bonus question: What if schools were like this too?Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules | Talk Video | TED.com
Leading by Omission
If successful business depends on innovation, wonders Ricardo Semler, why are automobiles made essentially the same way today as they were in Ford's first assembly line 100 years ago? Parallel parking is one of " the stupidest things we do," says Semler, "If we had a day, could we not by tomorrow afternoon figure out a way to make a car" that handles better in this common situation -- or, on a grander scale, escape from the "silly concept" of oil dependent transportation altogether? The problem, Semler figures, is that there's "something fundamental about organizations and ' leadership that makes it almost impossible for people inside a business to change their own industry." Industries are based on "formats that are basically legacies of military hierarchies," says Semler, which neglect or deny the power of human intuition and democratic participation. In Semler's own firm, there are no five-year business plans (which he views as wishful thinking), but rather "a rolling rationale about numbers." A project takes off only if a critical mass of employees decides to get involved. Staff determine when they need a leader, and then choose their own bosses in a process akin to courtship, says Semler, resulting in a corporate turnover rate of 2% over 25 years. "We'll send our sons anywhere in the world to die for democracy," says Semler, but don't seem to apply the concept to the workplace. This is a tragic error, because "people on their own developing their own solutions will develop something different.
Leading by Omission - MIT
About the Speaker(s): Ricardo Semler heads up the Brazilian company, Semco, which is involved in such diverse ventures as manufacturing mixing equipment, making cooling towers, managing Latin American properties, and environmental consulting.
Semler has authored two best-sellers, Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace and The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works.
Semler is a Harvard Business School alumnus, and has been named Brazil's Business Leader of the Year two times.
Learn what you want - 2004
...an open, unstructured environment and allows them to study only what interests them.
There are no classrooms, homework or playtime and in place of teachers, there are full-time mentors to impart "love, wisdom and values", and part-time experts who teach singular skills such as piano, painting or Japanese culture. Learning is based on the Confucian principle: "I listen and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I learn."'Learn what you want' - Telegraph