Wanted: suggestions for new Bucket list pioneers
We are always curious to discover potential pioneers for our Bucket list. Do you have suggestions for us? If so, please share them with us, and tell us why you think this pioneer should be added to the list.
I also just included three new cases on our bucket list:
* Nucor, a steel manufacturer in America running with high levels of self-management.
* Mainfreight, a global logistics provider big in warehousing, transport and distribution services. Founded in New Zealand and high levels of decentralization throughout the company.
* JetBrains, a progressive Russian software development company based in St. Petersburg.
Thanks for the suggestions! Keep them coming please...
Have you spoken to Jean-Baptiste Dernoncourt?
He started a wave of change in Carrefour Romania when he was the CEO there. Maybe the only example I know of someone who has succeeded in initiating the liberation of a large enterprise (the process is still ongoing, but he since left, once he made himself irrelevant). He has very inspiring stories and comments to share.
He is the reason why I still believe the large enterprise can and should be liberated from its own internal devils, regardless of how many people are telling me to focus on scale-up's (500 employees at the most).
Have you come across 'Open Minds' by Andy Law, about setting up St Luke's - the London based advertising agency run as a co-operative? It started in the mid 90s, Andy is now retired, but St Luke's is still going.
I imagine it's probably still a pioneering sort of a place - I have no firsthand experience of it.
A couple of playmakers in Australia who are making a difference.
1. Kerwin Rae - Helping people find their purpose and then creating high performance environments for humans to excel by following their passions. He uses social to push his messages and he has helped me personally in my quest to be the best I can be.
2. Dara Simpkin - Runs a company called culture hero who inject play based learning into the workplace using acting and improvisation techniques. Dara is an obsessive creative making rap's and launching campaigns like https://www.bringyourselftoworkday.com.au/
I started reflecting on a recent trip pre I had to Japan. Always being on the lookout for better leadership and org. forms, I really sucked in the impressions. I would never have thought, that a country such as Japan, which is known for "karoshi" (overwork deaths), would feature such contrasting experiences. They call these bad companies for "Black companies" by the way.
Although the language barrier was tough, we had a Japanese born Canadian amongst our group. I learnt from some of the corporate visits that we paid, that there are also "white companies", and I actually saw some examples.
In one particular company (Mirai Industry Co. Ltd. - Kumamoto plant) - which was a metal production site, the founder would "threat" employees doing overtime by saying: "Go home, or I'll charge you for the electricity" :-)
The factory manager (Mr. Mizoguchi Kumamon) actually earnt less than the factory workers, because he - according to himself - did less work.
There were signs of wholeness in the building, at least the walls were decorated with children drawings. They had an internal saying which hang from posters all over: "Always think - ask WHY WHY WHY".
Each worker is entitled to 140 vacation days a year.
Generally, they believe "management" causes a lot of frustration. Hence, they try to limit this as much as possible.
Their belief is, that "the fewer rules - the better".
They refuse to put a product to market unless it has some uniqueness to it. That way, everybody is waiting to see, what kind of product they will come up with next.
They disliked the use of KPIs and encourage their employees to think instead.
They all take social responsibility and collect garbage in the vicinity, every now and then.
The factory manager told us, that he liked "underdogs" when he received those people, that HQ did not want (he was appreciative of any type of people).
They had no system of reporting to the upper echelon - "those who know the Gemba the best should decide" was their saying.
They really had Kaizen mind (idea generation). They regularly send their employees on paid holiday abroad (every 5 years).
They believe in use of "the carrot" and less of "the stick".
Generally, for companies in Japan:
- I noticed several places where even the CEO himself is taking his roster when they have to sweep/clean the stairs.
- In the event of a crisis, they might go for pay-cuts, but in the opposite direction than the one typically used in Europe: From the top.
I can't say this connects directly to self-organization, evolutionary purpose or wholeness, but overall it was still a positive impression, that made me extremely curious, and I promised myself, that I - one day - would explore this further. But again - the language barrier is tough.
How to survive a major crisis in an organization? How to thrive after? These are relevant, even crucial, questions. Especially today. Recently, I found valuable answers to these questions, as I was developing a case study for our Online Academy. This case is about Panelfisa, a NER Group company.
For many organisations, it’s been more than six months now working remotely. The team Zoom quizzes are a distant memory and recently it’s been difficult to keep the virtual coffee chats going, if they ever started in the first place. It’s just not the same as bumping into a colleague and having a spontaneous conversation right?
We are working hard to develop our very own online Corporate Rebels Academy, as mentioned in a previous post. The focus of this post will be on understanding the designs of progressive organizations—especially the large ones that organize without middle-managers. Think Buurtzorg and Haier.