The transparency of information is a key principle
Digital principles which are a meritocracy, transparency and open-minded must progressively take part in the organization. A lot of digital startups relay these values and even transform them into a mechanism of intern gestion. For example, VALVE is a 300 employee American company which develops softwares. In this firm, there is no chief, when a new employee comes in, they are given a manual to explain the singularity, the particularity of the company and they are told “here, you won’t have a job with high responsibilities, you will have to find a project, the team with whom you will spend this journey…Many don’t make it to the end of that very journey, but those who do are real entrepreneurs in the company, real intrapreneurs”. Buffer is also an American company, where salaries and public reports are published on their blog. Automatic, Worldpress company has 250 workers spread in 37 countries in the world. Nevertheless, they organize video conferences each Friday to allow their employees to meet, discuss and confront their ideas which generates innovation.
The importance of autonomy
In 2017, when two partners were on the verge of a financial ruin, as mentioned in the first part of the article, we made the decision not to lower our head in front of a customer, it was the beginning of an internal process of deep digital transformation. It was a digital company when seen from the outside but not innovative when seen from the inside. Thus, we decided it was necessary to apply these new principles, the autonomy of the employees had become our priority. Sometimes, I talk with the directors, the CEO of the company, about autonomy, liberty, and it is always the same thing, “yes, yes” they all agree but in the end they hold your hand and guide you to what you have to do, and people take advantage of it. This behaviour couldn’t work in this company, the knowledge also being distributed in the different areas of the company. The direction had to delegate, it had to grant its confidence to people it hired.
The meritocracy, at the heart of preoccupations
Obviously, “a high power involves high responsibilities” as Spiderman’s father told him. In this company, meritocracy is radical.
Every worker evaluate each other, pressure comes from colleagues, not from the top to the bottom. The employees are encouraged to create links which will enable them to be supported by their colleagues to make them feel the importance of their role, whatever their job may be. When somebody is not up to the task, they are invited to leave. Currently they have 100 employees. In 6 years, they hired around 300 people. In the 200 who are not here, only 25 left on their own free will. But the ultimate aim is to transform these digital principles into concrete mechanisms. We have implemented home office, which give employees the freedom to work at their own pace. Everything is based on trust. They don’t have predefined schedules, and they don’t have a limited number of vacation days. This freedom allows employees to be more involved and share their ideas.
The sharing of ideas is vital
Conversation and the sharing of ideas are essential in modern business. Everyone has their voice and their ideas which should be heard. We schedule a meeting, each Friday at 9am, a breakfast where an external guest comes in to share his experience and ideas. Now, it is considered inappropriate to schedule other meetings from 9:30 to 10:30 on Fridays, neither for customers, nor with salesperson. A lot of people love these meetings. They often say, “Wow, what a great idea” when in reality it is a very simple idea. The newcomers are often impressed by these conversations which are so open and honest and where everybody can give their opinion and say to the boss what is on their mind. There are no restrictions, no fear.
Keep this kind of leadership when the company is growing
Growing and expanding is a very difficult thing to accomplish. It will be difficult to maintain this type of community, to maintain this type of leadership when they grow. However, there is no other option; with the digitalization imposed on companies, tcompanies that do not put humans at the center of their focus, it will not give them autonomy, confidence, and they will not obtain the necessary motivation to follow this frenetic rhythm of innovation. We are saying that one of the first causes of resignation is the bad bosses. Obviously, bad bosses are a huge cause of misfortune at work. So having a boss who has time to focus on the climate of the company, due to their time saved from using certain digitized tools can lead to a more successful company overall.
Last element which seems important to precise. We are talking a lot about company liquidation due to poor payment practices of customers or even temporary causes. But wouldn’t the truth be that one in two companies which shut their doors is the direct result of a bad boss management ?
If you didn’t read the first part, click here !
If you didn’t read the second part, click here !