Democracy in the Workplace — The Time Has Arrived!

Just got off the phone with Traci Fenton who is the Queen of Democratic Workplaces.  In corporate speak that means she is the Founder and CEO  of Worldblu.  They have an amazing conference happening this May 19th & 20th in beautiful sunny San Francisco, California.  Democratic Workplace fever is catching on!  Is your workplace run democratically?  Here are the 10 principles from their website and worth repeating here.

  1. Purpose and Vision – A democratic organization is clear about why it exists (its purpose) and where it is headed and what it hopes to achieve (its vision). These act as its true North, offering guidance and discipline to the organization’s direction.
  2. Transparency – Say goodbye to the “secret society” mentality. Democratic organizations are transparent and open with employees about the financial health, strategy, and agenda of the organization.
  3. Dialogue + Listening – Instead of the top-down monologue or dysfunctional silence that characterizes most workplaces, democratic organizations are committed to having conversations that bring out new levels of meaning and connection.
  4. Fairness + Dignity – Democratic organizations are committed to fairness and dignity, not treating some people like “somebodies” and other people like “nobodies.”
  5. Accountability – Democratic organizations point fingers, not in a blaming way but in a liberating way. They are crystal clear about who is accountable to whom and for what.
  6. Individual + Collective – In democratic organizations, the individual is just as important as the whole, meaning employees are valued for their individual contribution as well as for what they do to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.
  7. Choice – Democratic organizations thrive on giving employees meaningful choices.
  8. Integrity – Integrity is the name of the game, and democratic companies have a lot of it. They understand that freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right.
  9. Decentralization – Democratic organizations make sure power is appropriately shared and distributed among people throughout the organization.
  10. Reflection + Evaluation – Democratic organizations are committed to continuous feedback and development and are willing to learn from the past and apply lessons to improve the future.

Gee.  These sound like basic human principles that we can all live by.  So are you?  Is your company?

In gratitude,

Patty Tanji


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