Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pyramid is for the dead, cells is for the living

After reading "Maverick" half way, my thoughts about company system and construction is: "Pyramid is for the dead, cells are for the living."

I have thought of running a company more like a cell church would be more beneficial and more affective because everyone would know their team. (and I am seeing more and more company using this method, including google, amazon...)

Semco did exactly just that. In their experience, the limit of 150 people is the maximum size for any department or section of the company to run efficiently, when their factory workers reached 200, they split it at an expensive cost. The new sections needed their own financial adviser, their own marketing department, like a small company.

To my surprise, they needed less people on their team when they split up, and they perform more efficiently with less workers, the extra workers were moved to do other works.

They cut down 9 levels of management to 2-3, cut away jobs like receptionists, personal assistants... everyone do jobs like these, from workers to bosses.
Every worker do more than one thing, they switch hats and perform all tasks that's needed to be done.

The workers get to evaluate their bosses based on their inter-personal skills every 6 months.

They have no dress code, only suggested work hours, (meaning you can come to work at any time you want, work at the best hours for your own proficiency.) All workers are assigned to their own team to complete their task on deadline, they also run and set their own goals for the production line.

They don't fire workers that went on strike, nor treat it with hostility, they treat it like an "absence" from work instead. They stress the workers must take 1 month vacation.

All finance in the company, including the salaries are public, transparent, and the workers get to set their own salary rate in a group setting, after being educated about how the company runs and how much the company can afford to pay them.

They have policy for long approvals before firing any senior workers, to give their worker a sense of security.

People can choose their work space, there are no "dividing walls" but a lot of plant life between work stations. People get to paint their own walls in their office, change and customize company cars as if to their own cars.

This certainly challenges even my own thinking, but it is indeed the direction I want to take to build a studio/company.

I couldn't help but yelled "This is it!!" when I read the book and how this company operates.

This is it! This is the model that's most like Yehweh himself!

A natural business model that runs on principle rather than rules, on trust rather than mistrust, on cooperation other than domination. This is what a corporation should be made of, this is what truly can make a company expand into a great scale and adopt to different time currents.

Animation industry, or the game industry.... all have similarities to a factory business. Even in artistic sense, we are not very different from these businessman.

I believe I can take this model, change it's platform, modify it with innovations in a team. Excerise what is true democracy in a work place, where everyone is important, and everyone can be their own boss at some point.

It's also after critically thinking about the system, that I realized US has yet to reach true democracy, it is merely a partially adopted democratic system that branched itself out of a monopoly with bitterness.... so in many ways, the system we have in US is not the most efficient, not the most democratic.
That's why people can still feel powerless, waiting for the world to change, that's why people can still call Bush a tyranny, that's why people still expect the government to do everything, that's why people still don't ever trust their government to do the right thing.

What is better yet.... I have an example like Semco to study from.

Oh, yes, something else that's awesome about Semco.... their rule book is a survival guide comic!

What is better than that?!

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