- When people don't have a self-governance model, they want a strong directive leader (with the negatives that entails).
- Democracy needs structure, or power becomes personal.
- The vast majority of people don't like their jobs (yet rather than recognize this as a symptom of a serious flaw in how we run our organizations, it's simply accepted as "the way things are").
- More than 80% of managers are poor leaders.
- 50+% of peoples' time is spent fighting institutional bureaucracies.
- "First, we shape our structures... and then our structures shape us." -Winston Churchill
- Results-only work environments (ROWE) are a great step in the right direction.
- "We long for community, but settle for institutions."
- Winning companies stand for powerful ideas.
- Leadership = creating an architecture of participation (not "genius on the mountain")
But I have another issue with the co-op model. They talk about the need for empowerment, control, and trust, but then talk about how their model is like a city government. I don't think people feel all that much control, empowerment, and trust from their city government, so duplicating that model doesn't seem all that helpful. Democracy is better than autocracy, but liberty is even better than democracy (who would you prefer controlling you: dictator, elected leader, or nobody?). Liberty means free markets. How can we get that model inside organizations? (more here: Organization 2.0 briefing)
This leads to my bigger picture issue. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey talks about the damaged brand of capitalism worldwide and the deep unpopularity of big business (not to mention the other big command-and-control organizations: government bureaucracies). A few hundred years ago, scholars and nobles lamented all the bad kings (vs. the few good ones) and wrote about improving monarchies. "How can we get more good, enlightened kings?" But our Founding Fathers saw the futility of articulating principles for a better monarchy. They moved on to a whole new concept, representative democracy, and the rest, as they say, is history. As I attend conferences like WorldBlu and, later this week, Catalyzing Conscious Capitalism, I find myself asking:
Are we just trying to foster more "benevolent monarchies", or are we really moving on to create our equivalent of "democracy": a completely new form of organization that breaks from the old, dysfunctional, command-and-control, hierarchical model?