People in Charge

People in Charge

Creating Self-Managing Workplaces

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When I first saw this book, it took me back to my MBA days when I enrolled in an irreverent course on organizational democracy, including examples such as small co-ops that get created by hippies who can’t get hired into a “real job” because of their rule-flouting, long-haired ways. Well organizational democracy has come a long way, baby, and this step-by-step guide with case studies, will illuminate the path if you want to be a contender for the next WorldBlu list (including respected companies such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life). In textbook format, Rehn delves into the definition and criteria of a “self managing workplace” in the first chapter, and by chapters 4 and 5, Rehn gets into how to design a self-managing workplace, and, as you might expect, it’s a highly participative process. Rehn provides examples from surprising sources, such as the Washington, D.C, Federal Judicial Center–a small independent agency that supports the U.S. courts through training and research. This is a far flight from hippie co-ops! This book is worth pondering if you are an entrepreneur starting up a new company or a leader of a team who has the authority–and bravery–to make some real change. The rationale for self-managing teams is provocative and meaningful–and it takes a brave and insightful group of people to move forward with that philosophy.

 

Lisa Sansom