7 Day Weekend By: Ricardo Semler 2003 Type: NF
85% : effective radical management technique UPDATED
Review : Very interesting ,with great ideas for management. An update on his 1993 book Maverick (notes)
meaning : Our Thinking is stuck in our Greek ways there are others. Based on lateral thinking and anarchist principles. 30 % of staff in his fathers company were accountants. Their job was to monitor everyone else's spending. He realised this was a big waste he thought the employees are adults we don't need to monitor them ..cos they know that if they cheat the company and their job will fall. So he got rid of the accountants and pyramid management and implemented a whole bunch of radical democratic ideas.
Relax and trust your workers to manage themselves. This Brazilian company has proved it over 10 years. Money isn't the bottom line endurance is and if your workers are happy they will self manage well and your company will survive through crises and recession etc. Semco's success shows that a democratic style is the way for the future to find balance in life for the workers and therefore long term sustainable success for business.

synopsis : Actually could retitle the book 7 day Work Week... about mix work and freetime

Our Thinking is stuck in our Greek ways there are others

Semco is different, but proven (no formal structure, worker management by democracy etc)

- employees not treated like kids say Why ? Why ? Why ?

- so no business lunches

- avoids fixed assumptions by not using last meeting notes at 2nd meeting

balance- motivates workers so ultimately good for sustainabilty of Semco

- look for difficult markets (not simple), premium end, niche

FLEXIBUY - 26 everyone buys own stuff more efficient , so decisions made quickly

FLEXITIME - work has invaded leisure time so leisure time should invade work time hence 7 day weekend

FLEXIPLACE - work at home /go to the nearest satellite office.

SELF MANAGE- but what if people are like kids I suppose they leave

FLEXITIME 2 - You can take time off now and come back after retirement

39 - big happy family is a myth

40 - respects privacy

48 - let people use their talents, change jobs

- employees get to interview new boss from shortlist

- People loyal cos of atmosphere

75 - Semco staff turnover is very low. Companies sack people too readily instead of redeploying them.

- constantly criticizes MBAs

78 - Improvisation and intuition over planning

80 initiatives like
- Lost in Space (1 month placements for young employees)
- Rush Hour (traffic time classes)
- Family Silverware (preference for internal hiring)
- Seen from below (evaluation of bosses)

82 - rigid organization stifles innovation

74 - worries about unsustainable growth

- How far can you go into the forest ? about half way cos after that you're on the way out

- ponders is too much growth bad

- strong anti-corruption line it's good for future business

- stories about staying loyal to people and loss making ideas so in LT making money

102 - Big companies have fallen so Profit is not good for Evaluating Performance uses anonymous annual surveys of 1.staff, 2. customers 3. suppliers

The no rules management system is similar to anarchist principles; instead of having rules you control your behaviour on a person to person level. The problem I identified before is when the other person is not there -- you need rules like don't litter.

- Their ideal is sort out problems at an individual level. But don't you sometimes need an external authority to help control. What if you are being sexually harassed etc

Give up control (no mission statements no audits - trust everyone 118

Each individual decides -motto beg forgiveness - instead of asking permission

criticizes ISO - No ISO type rigorous procedures so sometimes mistakes made, but don't fire people cos they will learn from their mistakes

Integrity is the most important thing for keeping staff and customers

123 don't have secrets in the company ... gives everyone power... higher productivity, no strikes, no lawsuits

presents employees with clear financial info validated by the union

126 be totally honest with customers

No HR dept, handled by pod

Workers clean own machines, but sales and billing kept separate , salesmen freedup to sell

Anti- conformity ; it makes people easy to control, but stifles innovation

150 anti MBA

it's OK to make mistakes- learn from them

Doing nothing right now is an option - take time over decsions

I suppose that cos responsible workers are expensive firms prefer to hire cheap and then use inspectors and supervisors

158 Hiring process
The pod writes the template,
whole pod interviews 4 people at a time
use a relevant exam
result gets someone who fits into tribe

163 job swap so understand other's roles

Mix the Tribe it's productive

180 Authoritarian management leads to big problems

184 The idea of one big happy family us rubbish. The company is made up of 10 person pods. They manage themselves, set budgets etc.

186 non territorial workspaces open plan etc

211 "I rarely do anything anyone else can do", should this be I concentrate on doing the jobs I can do that others can't"

warns against charasmatic leaders (inc self) better to have successful sustainable systems than rely on one person. He should take his name off the cover then)
sees himself as part of the team not a leader

Exercise - team act out 3 different situation. Almost always one particular person has more knowledge in something and emerges as the leader, but in each situation it's rarely the same person. Shows you can't rely on the same leader all the time

Don't Control people (look after minorities)- if the majority rule the minority, the minority leave and risk losing good talent the company is less diverse and therefore less productive.

Board meetings 2 seats available for any employee who turns up. No secrets minutes available to all

227 mentions Italian anarchist : Bakunin

229 Don't make big plans. Instead amble, ... use intuition. (things happen so 5 year plans never work)

Information is important to feed intuition (sends employees business news)

266 NO to tramline thinking seems to talk about "we aren't as advanced as we think as we think we are" and the need for lateral thinking
don't be afraid of change
This fear caused problems for companies like Ford and Gillette

talks about school foundation. Kids are bored with school that's why they cause trouble. This tramline thinking effects ours Education system we need a radical rethink

Big Company Capitalist world is like communist world - central planning - no democracy - control

no to military management style

Semco's success shows that a democratic style is the way for the future to find balance in life for the workers and therefore long term sustainable success for business.

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