Leading by Omission – Ricardo Semler

If successful business depends on innovation, wonders Ricardo Semler, why are automobiles made essentially the same way today as they were in Ford’s first assembly line 100 years ago? Parallel parking is one of ” the stupidest things we do,” says Semler, “If we had a day, could we not by tomorrow afternoon figure out a way to make a car” that handles better in this common situation — or, on a grander scale, escape from the “silly concept” of oil dependent transportation altogether? The problem, Semler figures, is that there’s “something fundamental about organizations and ‘ leadership that makes it almost impossible for people inside a business to change their own industry.” Industries are based on “formats that are basically legacies of military hierarchies,” says Semler, which neglect or deny the power of human intuition and democratic participation. In Semler’s own firm, there are no five-year business plans (which he views as wishful thinking), but rather “a rolling rationale about numbers.” A project takes off only if a critical mass of employees decides to get involved. Staff determine when they need a leader, and then choose their own bosses in a process akin to courtship, says Semler, resulting in a corporate turnover rate of 2% over 25 years. “We’ll send our sons anywhere in the world to die for democracy,” says Semler, but don’t seem to apply the concept to the workplace. This is a tragic error, because “people on their own developing their own solutions will develop something different.

About the Speaker(s): Ricardo Semler heads up the Brazilian company, Semco, which is involved in such diverse ventures as manufacturing mixing equipment, making cooling towers, managing Latin American properties, and environmental consulting.

Semler has authored two best-sellers, Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace and The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works.

Semler is a Harvard Business School alumnus, and has been named Brazil’s Business Leader of the Year two times.

Event date: 09/22/2005

MIT Tech TV Ricardo Semler

About kwalitisme

Een eigenwijze, dwarse, innovatieve denker. Een echte Child of the sixties, anti autoritair, liberaal, republikein maar verantwoordelijk. En is ervan overtuigd dat het teruggeven van eigen verantwoordelijkheid aan burgers veel zal verbeteren. Business Innovator. Ambassadeur van 'Use Your Own'. Ruim 30 jaar IT ervaring en nog steeds verbaasd over hoe slecht IT gebruikt wordt. IT zou vanuit de gebruikers moeten komen, niet opgelegd aan gebruikers. Maar niet alleen geïnteresseerd in IT. Ook financieel economisch groot voorstander van andere montaire systemen, niet gebaseerd op geld als handelsmiddel, maar gebaseerd op waarde. Kwaliteit is zijn passie: organisatie die gedreven worden door het leveren van echte kwaliteit van hun producte of diensten, zijn de organisaties die het verschil gaan maken en uiteindelijk overleven. Daarom nu Kwalitist, en een onderneming genaamd 'Kwalitsme': het opnieuw inhoud geven aan kwalititeit.

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