Uncorporate Culture: How To Successfully Run A Company By Relinquishing Control.

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In the 1980′s Ricardo Semler took over his father’s company and set about modernizing management practices to form a new kind of industrialized democracy that has seen the company grow across a variety of industries from $4 million 29 years ago to $1billion+ today; further, in the worst 10-year recession in Brazil’s history, revenues grew 600%, profits were up 500%, and productivity rose 700%. How?

Inspired by imagining what would happen to his company if he were hit by a truck, Semler decided that he would no longer manage to the lowest common denominator (LCD), but instead would lead from the highest common denominator (HCD); in other words, instead of assuming as CEO that he is the most motivated, qualified, invested, and experienced person to make decisions for the good of the company (old school), he realized that employees are inherently motivated and more than capable of making their own when empowered to do so (new school)—so that’s what they do, from designing their own jobs and choosing their length of vacation time, to selecting their supervisors and defining salaries.

In this very inspiring TED talk, Semler describes this radical uncorporate culture and how it has not only revolutionized business structure, but is also now being applied to education.


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