Traci Fenton is the Founder and CEO of WorldBlu, whose mission is championing the growth of democratically-run companies worldwide. Following are the organization’s 10 Principles of Organizational Democracy™ and a TEDx Talk by Fenton.
- Purpose and VisionA democratic organization is clear about why it exists (its purpose) and where it is headed and what it hopes to achieve (its vision). These act as its true North, offering guidance and discipline to the organization’s direction.
- TransparencySay goodbye to the “secret society” mentality. Democratic organizations are transparent and open with employees about the financial health, strategy, and agenda of the organization.
- Dialogue + ListeningInstead of the top-down monologue or dysfunctional silence that characterizes most workplaces, democratic organizations are committed to having conversations that bring out new levels of meaning and connection.
- Fairness + DignityDemocratic organizations are committed to fairness and dignity, not treating some people like “somebodies” and other people like “nobodies.”
- AccountabilityDemocratic organizations point fingers, not in a blaming way but in a liberating way. They are crystal clear about who is accountable to whom and for what.
- Individual + CollectiveIn democratic organizations, the individual is just as important as the whole, meaning employees are valued for their individual contribution as well as for what they do to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.
- ChoiceDemocratic organizations thrive on giving employees meaningful choices.
- IntegrityIntegrity is the name of the game, and democratic companies have a lot of it. They understand that freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right.
- DecentralizationDemocratic organizations make sure power is appropriately shared and distributed among people throughout the organization.
- Reflection + EvaluationDemocratic organizations are committed to continuous feedback and development and are willing to learn from the past and apply lessons to improve the future.
Don’t miss WorldBlu LIVE 2011, “the world’s premier gathering on freedom and democracy in the workplace.” It is designed for individuals, for-profit and non-profit organizations who recognize the power of freedom and democracy as a tool for building thriving businesses, promoting innovation, attracting top talent and inspiring full engagement. Join us in San Francisco, May 19-20, 2011.