That’s What She Said

Michael Scott

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=michael+scott&f=hp

Shereef Bishay on open enterprise 

What would a new agreement of work look like? Do we all dream of having a exposed brick workplace that has a coffee maker named Darren that makes lattes for you with foam artfully crafted as a unicorn?

We all look wistfully at greener pastures. Some of us found out through our organizational communications theory course that our workplaces varied greatly in terms of how vertically or horizontally inclined they are.

Shereef got us jazzed on the open enterprise model. What would this upended structure of our workplace look like?

1. No job titles.  Just the label of Human Being. There can be a functional hierarchy where not everyone was leading at the same time.

Example of such a company–W.L. Gore.  You are an associate. You own part of the company. You are voted in as a leader.

2. Transparency. Making employee culture the number one thing. We then start to feel trust and ownership.

3. True meritocracy. Based on the merit of the idea itself, not from the person.

We need to invent these new and intelligent was to aggregate our work to have our tenets of democracy carry over to where we work.

Think about walking into work tomorrow if these 3 concepts were applied to your workplace. Would everything come to a crashing halt with the executives crying and curled up in the fetal position, mailroom ladies tipping over filing cabinets in a frenzied mob mentality?

This brings me to a not-so-real life example from The Office.  Concept #3 of a true meritocracy is definitely at play when Darryl from the warehouse is brought upstairs to the executive level. He brought up a great idea and was promoted on the basis of his idea alone on how to improve paper processes. Take a COMM506 break and chill out on the meritocracy of Scranton’s paper company.

Ah… it’s a good day when we can find a connection this straight up and big from The Office.That’s what she said.

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2 thoughts on “That’s What She Said

  1. johnbayko says:

    this concept is an interesting one for me. Shereef’s comments are so easily said from the other side of the coin. if Shereef owned a business that was responsible for turning a profit to keep people employed, perhaps his perception would be slightly different. small, medium, and large business owners are among the most engaged and hard working people in the workplace today and lots of them don’t get to do what they please but they have a stake in a company and like it or not have to get things done. i understand an employee’s desire to feel engaged, but ultimately who’s responsibility is it to choose an engaging career?

    there are all kinds of reasons for employers to create appealing workplaces and it can definitely work as a win win, and perhaps that’s Shereef’s point. however, i can’t help but feel that a job is a job is a job and sometimes beggars can’t be choosers. the responsibility lies with each employee to seek out meaningful employment or at least get some skin in the game if they want something beyond the work for pay contract.

    anyway, just a bit of devil’s advocate (wish i could find the Simpsons clip of Homer playing the pinball game “Devil’s Advocate”…) love the office btw.

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