First off, Maverick. If you recall, Semler talks of some fundamental truths about companies, markets, about being effective, agility, and about employees. The most basic of these forms the foundational element of Lean Product Development Systems as well – the fact that ordinary employees can generate extraordinary results if they truly engage in the company’s business. It is the management’s responsibility to make it possible for them to do so with the least amount of organizational friction. The important thing is simply to remember that most people want to do the best they possibly can!
Semler, of course, also talks about a whole bunch of other things they did at SemCo, and a lot of them are worth reading the book for – for instance, employees setting their own salaries, and a transparent compensation structure. Trust me, get the book.
I already talked about the Cluetrain Manifesto. I’m excited by the possibilities of marrying the two (they’re not conflicting at all) philosophies. I wonder about the power of an organization that does what Semler advocates, and that also extends the organization to truly include customers the way the Cluetrain Manifesto describes.
What would this imply, and what would such a company look like? I can’t really say, but I know I’d like to experience one. Maybe someday, yewoh might be such a place?