Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler has built a global empire by engaging to two things: trust and constantly asking himself how he – as an employer – could contribute to his employees’ happiness. He even developed innovative schools to institute this mindset. The idea was to start teaching people this way of thinking as early as possible – in kindergarten.
Nowadays his employees choose their own hours, salary and boss. What? Yes, they really do. Besides that, they have the opportunity to learn how to make choices and how to take responsibility. Bureaucracy has been diminished to a minimum. Less company rules and supervision appeared to be a great recipe for productive and happy employees. What can we learn from this innovative success story?
We definitely need to let go of the leash we are trying to control employees with. Get rid of the boarding school aspects. What do you think would happen? How should we approach this innovative mindset? Should we throw away all our HR policies tomorrow and start over? How is national culture defining the success of stories like this?
Watch this inspiring video of Ricardo Semler’s talk at TED Global.
Let’s be honest, this will not work in every business. There will always be situations where tight controls are needed. I wouldn’t like flying in a spaceship unless the builder was sitting next to me. It is a great philosophy. I like the idea behind it and some parts I have adopted myself. How about you?
Please share your insights on this matter below! I’m really curious…