Radical Wisdom

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Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler shares his innovative and inspiring ideas at TEDGlobal in October 2014.

…it takes a leap of faith about losing control.

After assuming control of Semler & Company (Semco) from his father in 1980, Ricardo Semler began a decades-long quest to create an organisation 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 with much success.

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He says, “I always come back to variations of the question that my son asked me when he was three. We were sitting in a jacuzzi, and he said, ‘Dad, why do we exist?’ There is no other question. Nobody has any other question. We have variations of this one question, from three onwards. So when you spend time in a company, in a bureaucracy, in an organisation and you’re saying, boy – how many people do you know who on their death beds said, boy, I wish I had spent more time at the office? So there’s a whole thing of having the courage now – not in a week, not in two months, not when you find out you have something – to say, no, what am I doing this for? Stop everything. Let me do something else. And it will be okay, it will be much better than what you’re doing, if you’re stuck in a process.”

Credit to Ursina

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