The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Bid Goodbye To Privileges

Walk the talk

There are companies which are prepared to change the way they work. They realize that nothing can be based on what used to be, that there is a better way. But, 99 percent of companies are not ready, [they are] caught in an industrial Jurassic Park– Ricardo Semler


In a Nutshell

If someone had to describe a hotshot corporate executive in a game of Pictionary, what might they draw? A luxurious corner office? A dedicated parking spot? Or, a do-it-all assistant? And, they’d totally win the round because these are the symbols most associated with the top management of any organization. These privileges have become so intrinsic to the image of a corporate leader that it’s difficult to imagine one without them.

However, these symbols of power do nothing but increase the distance between the management and employees of an organization. And, more importantly, they make the managers and leaders lose touch with reality. As soon as someone enters the realm of management, they get swallowed by a bubble that inches them away from the people who do the actual work in the business. The privileges become invisible to the leaders and managers who enjoy them because they take them for granted.

Managerial privileges are some of the most dogged hangovers of the industrial era that have the power to reinforce workplace inequalities. They are invisible silos that separate people into those who make decisions and those who execute those decisions. Getting rid of these silly privileges and symbols of power is one of the first things an organization must do if it decides to take the democratic leadership route.

The transformation should begin within the leadership, with top executives and managers walking the talk on closing the gap. In theory, it might sound like a simple practice to implement. But, in reality, this is one of the toughest transformations to achieve because there’s bound to be a lot of psychological resistance from mid and top-level management.

 
 

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