“Employees should choose their own salary” – thoughts on corporate culture

On Friday, during likemind CGN, I had an interesting discussion with a couple of guys. We started off, talking about the future of recruiting and soon had a controversial debate on corporate culture and new styles of work. Both topics I find hugely interesting.

Not only have I worked as a management consultant with corporations on enterprise 2.0 and change management topics. As an entrepreneur I have a huge impact on the corporate culture at talential.com myself. We are a decentralized – almost virtual – company, thus making it essential to establish new working styles, rules of interaction and cultural values.

I will try to post more about these subjects in the next months. Some of my most controversial arguments were

  • fire (all) your managers
  • employees should select their boss (aka “leadership is defined by followership”)
  • employees should choose their own salary
  • job titles are toxic
Some more topics we didn’t have the chance to go into detail are
  • virtual teams are more productive (aka “why each employee should have his own room”)
  • trust is more important than control
  • the illusion of growth
  • planning is overrated (aka “nobody has a clue”)
  • hire lazy employees
  • perfection is the enemy (aka “good is good enough”)
  • money is not a good motivator
  • a business plan is worthless
I have to

see if I will write about these topics in German or English. I might even open up a new blog. Stay tuned…


6 thoughts on ““Employees should choose their own salary” – thoughts on corporate culture”

  1. I suggest you read “Maverick” by Ricardo Semler as well as the followup “Seven Day Weekend”. Amazing Books.Here is a bit about the first one. http://bit.ly/8bCQTwIt is important to note that they did this in the best possible way in terms of which step came after the other and there was a lot of pain that was there before because of a bad economy. But it is something that makes you think. Like Birth of The Chaordic Age of Dee Hock.Oh and by the way, the no title thing does not work for Managing Directors which need to be on the business card for legal reasons. We didn’t plan to have titles. No everyone chooses their own. I could go on and on. Money doesn’t motivate the best in people nor the best people. Software development runs along a standard gauss curve and you need to be at the top. Which means not the fastests, not the cheapest, not the best, but not the other way around either. You can have it good, fast and cheap, choose two ;)And a final one. ;)Here is the very heart and soul of the matter. If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself — your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you “work for” to understand and practice the theory. I use the terms “work for” advisedly, for if you don’t understand that you should be working for your mislabeled “subordinates,” you haven’t understood anything. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia. – Dee Hock

  2. Re unserem Gespräch von gestern: Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities. – Dee Hock

  3. oliver, thank you very much for your insightful comments. “seven day weekend” by ricardo semler i have read. he is a great inspiration for me.about your comments:- i will check out the book by dee hock, sounds interesting- titles for managing directors are necessary, i know and agree – i will write a separate post on titles later- i like your thoughts about software development and the gauss curve :-)- nice quote by dee hock about the philosophy about employees, leading your boss etc. i fully agree.- the other quote about hiring i also like. i might write a blog article for http://www.talential.com about that. i have to see how that fits in.

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