As I was writing The Responsibility Revolution, it gave me the opportunity to take an inside look at Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life – and, in particular, into one of their most compelling business practices: community review of executives. At Linden, the process was simple. Their CEO used SurveyMonkey to send out a questionnaire that asked: 1) Do you want to keep me or find a new CEO?; 2) Over the last three months, did I get better at this job or worse; and 3) Why?
It’s the kind of open and transparent community that makes a business thrive, from top to bottom.
That’s why I like the idea of crowdsourcing management reviews I read about in the Harvard Business Review. In “Crowdsourcing Management Reviews for Better Management,” the authors describe the process:
Here’s the situation we described: A group of employees has set up an independent website where all employees can use online social collaboration tools to assess their bosses on eight key managerial dimensions — such as delegation, communication, clarity of direction, and the like — taken from your company’s basic course on management. All the individuals’ ratings for a boss are aggregated into a single rating for each dimension. Individual comments are aggregated into a single review — like a wiki, which is a single document composed by multiple authors. If an individual employee disagrees with the collective assessment, there is a way to record his or her dissent anonymously.
Read the entire article here and let me know what you think. What are other instances of open communications regarding management that you have seen?
Such processes speak to a larger focus that all businesses should have: bringing employees into the fold – in its most committed sense through employee ownership. In “The co-operative advantage: a rich and varied contribution to social enterprise,” The Guardian looks at how co-operative values can improve management practices.
The cooperative model works on this side of the pond, too. As I’ve often noted, Cleveland is using worker ownership models to rebuild its economy – and they are experiencing success amidst the terrible state of our nation’s economy. Read how in “Silver Lining to Bad Economy: Move Toward Local, Employee-Owned, Green Businesses Again.”
Worker ownership models come at a desperate time: CEOs are flying in golden parachutes while full-time workers “who have put in decades with a company can now find themselves without a job overnight – with no parachute, no help finding another job, and no health insurance,” as Robert Reich reports in “Free Enterprise on Trial.”
Finally, I leave you with “We Need an Entrepreneurial President to Support Entrepreneurs.” It’s a compelling plea for the kind of leadership we need – a government that can reorient itself to serve the way Americans actually work today.