[extropy-chat] Semco

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Sat Aug 21 15:23:55 UTC 2004

--- Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> People here may have heard of Ricardo Semler and
> Semco, a $300
> megabuck Brazillian company that is organised along
> lines of
> democracy. Not the sickly doppelganger
> "representative democracy" that
> we all live under, rather its a direct democracy
> that looks a lot more
> like anarchy than anything else.
> I'm reading "The seven day weekend" at the moment,
> written by Semler.
> It's a jaw dropper. He makes the current corporate
> leadership of the
> world's great companies look like feudal warlords
> (well, really they
> already looked that way). Buy it. Read it.
> Here's a good recent interview with Semler.
> Has anyone else read any of his work, or had any
> experience of Semco? Thoughts?

I would say that a lot of small businesses in America
are organized the way he envisions, in part because
they have not (yet) attracted large capital, or the
providers of such who want security at the expense of
potential growth.

That said, I see one potential problem, if American
businesses tried to implement his model: slacker
employees.  A lot of the controls he objects to were
put into place to make sure the work gets done; I've
seen failure to enforce these controls result in
employees failing to (arguably becoming inable to)
meet agreed-upon deadlines.  In theory, one could
reduce pay or fire said employees - but one then has
the problem of completing the promised project for
one's customer anyway, and then there are the
lawsuit-happy types who will sue you for improper
termination (or whatever the legal term is).

I'm sure he has a solution to this.  I'm just not sure
that solution would work (or be correctly applied)

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