The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Building Careers On The Fly

Growth can be horizontal too.

We’re in favor of a hierarchy of self-interest and talent and opposed to the symbols of power and control that come with it – Ricardo Semler


Traditionally, growth in corporate companies has meant an employee’s vertical ascent through the hierarchy. Organizations lay out highly structured career paths for employees to follow in the hope that their rise through the corporate ranks will motivate them to perform better. But, this traditional model of growth hardly leaves any room for personal growth – an idea that’s gaining momentum within the increasingly Millennial workforce.

It’s not to say that companies don’t already emphasize the personal development of their employees. However, in many cases, it turns out to be just lip service, with companies actually focussed on improving margins over employees. A good way to overcome this bias is to rethink our ideas of growth and to realize that it needn’t be synonymous with vertical ascent.

When companies stop limiting employees within well-defined career paths, and encourage them to explore their innate interests,it leads to better creativity and diversity in problem-solving. Leaders can foster horizontal growth by recognizing interests and potential, creating opportunities across divisions, and by rewarding risk-taking.

It will help create autonomy and make it safe for people to bring forward new ideas in parallel arenas. When people stop worrying so much about climbing the corporate ladder and attaining higher positions/ titles, it helps them think about creating variety in their responsibilities; helps them better understand their true calling through experimentation; and be more engaged and productive as employees.



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