“We all want to live in a democratic country. None of us would accept living under totalitarian rule. So why do we accept that many workplaces are run like dictatorships?”
Traci Fenton is the founder and CEO of WorldBlu, an organization that helps workplaces around the world become more democratic and less based on “command and control”.
WorldBlu also publishes an annual list of the world’s most democratic workplaces. The 2010 list was announced in Las Vegas in June and we were there for the event, where some of the companies that made the list presented. It was incredibly inspiring to hear from companies like Davita and Zappos how they practice democracy.
From our standpoint it’s also interesting to see that democratic workplaces are also invariably happy workplaces. We are much happier at work when we feel that we are part of creating the future of the company, rather than just footsoldiers who must always follow orders.
Traci gave a great talk at our annual conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen in 2009. Click on the video above to watch Traci’s entire talk (17 minutes). In it she:
- Shows why democratic companies are happier and more successful
- Gives some great examples of democratic workplaces around the world
- Outlines the 10 principles of organizational democracy
If you’d like to put your organization on the path to democracy, you can become a member – and eventually even apply to be on the WorldBlu list.
Is your workplace a democracy or a dictatorship? Are you in on vital information and important decisions or are you kept in the dark? Do you even want democracy in the workplace, or is it easier when a few people make all of the decisions? Please write a comment, I’d love to know your take.