Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules

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After assuming control of Semler & Company (Semco) from his father in 1980, Brazil’s Ricardo Semler began a decades-long quest to create an organization that could function without him,

by studying and then implementing what could best be called “corporate democracy”, allowing employees to design their own jobs, select their supervisors, and define pay levels. He has then applied the same principles to education, banking and hospitality. All with very good results.
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He’s now promoting the idea of designing organizations — companies, schools, NGOs — for wisdom. With a question as a starting point: If we were to start from scratch, would we design organization X the way we have done it?
Two decades after transforming a struggling equipment supplier into a radically democratic and resilient (and successful) company, Ricardo Semler wants organizations to become wise
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What if your job didn’t control your life? Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler practices a radical form of corporate democracy, rethinking everything from board meetings to how workers report their vacation days (they don’t have to). It’s a vision that rewards the wisdom of workers, promotes work-life balance — and leads to some deep insight on what work, and life, is really all about. Bonus question: What if schools were like this too?
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