Semco has no official structure. It has no organizational chart. There’s no business plan or company strategy, no two-year or five-year plan, no goal or mission statement, no long-term budget. The company often does not have a fixed CEO. There are no vice presidents or chief officers for information technology or operations. There are no standards or practices. There’s no human resources department. There are no career plans, no job descriptions or employee contracts. No one approves reports or expense accounts. Supervision or monitoring of workers is rare indeed.

Most important, success is not measured only in profit and growth.

– Ricardo Semler

And yet they increased annual revenue between 1994 and 2003 from $35 million a year to $212 million. Read more about Semco here.

10 thoughts on “Quote”

  1. Pingback: Quote
  2. Which Semco is this? There are quite a few I’d like to check out the company a little bit more? If you have some time mind dropping me a mail?

    Love your site btw,

  3. Hi,

    The company I am working at loves the Maverick* book and all three directors encourage everyone to read it. We have adopted some of the ideas that are discussed in the book and I feel that it has lead to more happiness in the workplace. Consequently, since I joined the company last year it has doubled in size! I personally like the freedom and enpowerment of being able to manage my own work and to be treated like a responsible adult. When somebody is doing something that can affect the company, someone says something… no matter who it is. This open attitude is great for moving forward and not getting caught up in the red tape. We have an open office and meeting rooms but no CEO office. People can sit where ever they choose (we all have laptops and lockers) and each director tends to move about the place depending on what they are working on.

    If it works, why not! Yay for happiness at work! :)



    *Maverick (“The success story begind the world’s most unusual workplace”) by Ricardo Semler

  4. I’m interested in the semco way of running things, but I’d hate to have to work in an open plan office with no space of my own. I need to be able to close the door and work in private.

  5. Most companies will need to revise the way they carry business, Semco is an outstanding example.

    Nowadays companies know how to get better (optimization) but they do not know how to get different (innovation).

  6. Alex: It’s funny how open plan offices have become synonymous with new ways of organizing business when:
    1) Many old-style businesses have open plan offices because they’re cheaper
    2) New organization forms thrive equally well in a traditional office environment.

    It’s less about open plan vs. offices and more about how you make decisions, share information, etc…

    Innovation zen: Excellent distinction!

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