Monday, October 29, 2007

Shop Talk Podcast #3 - Traci Fenton on democratic workplaces

On this edition of the Shop Talk Podcast, I talk to Traci Fenton, CEO of WorldBlu, a business design studio that helps companies adopt democratic processes. Her company created the World's Most Democratic Workplaces list, featuring companies like Linden Lab and Rite Solutions who embody these ideals.

Traci and I talk about what constitutes a democratic workplace, how it is to work in this type of company, discuss some examples, and learn that while some decision-making may be slower due to seeking consensus, implementation is that much faster and success more assured as a result.

Click here to download the podcast.

Companies mentioned in the podcast:

Linden Lab
Rite-Solutions
General Electric
Whole Foods Market
Southwest Airlines
Motek
SRC Holdings

Errata:

  1. I continually called Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, Linden Labs. Traci said it right every time, and I never got the hint. My apologies.
  2. If you listen carefully, you will hear a couple of Skype blips during the podcast.

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1 comments:

dshefman said...

Thank you for doing this interview. The questions you asked were exactly the kinds of questions I would have asked Traci.

I have one question that maybe you might know the answer to...

What are the first changes that a company should make to begin to democratize. Is it possible to slowly democratize a company? or does there need to be some dramatic event (like a threatening bankruptcy) to get everyone to begin to work together and to decentralize?

I'm asking because I think my family's business would do well to de-centralize and become more democratic, but I wouldn't know how to begin and the only examples I've heard of are from companies that were nearing collapse.