Ricardo Semler

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Apr'03 interview The core of Semler's philosophy is that employees must be challenged and given freedom... Semco's staff work in small, autonomous units (Self Governing Workshops And Offices) of about a dozen (the size, says Semler, of a close family group) (Creative Network). They make the decisions, choose their leaders, set objectives and decide who they need and what they should be paid: someone who wants too much pay for what they are doing might be frozen out by the group... There is little bureaucratic control beyond financial accountability; almost everything depends on Peer Pressure. "We have a higher trust in human nature," says Semler, "but we're also convinced that peer control is fabulous as long as there is a common interest."... His next project is to develop a school (Educating Kids) in Sao Paulo based on the principles of Freedom and flexibility. "The schooling system seems very stupid, much as the business world is," he says. "As with cars and airlines it needs someone from outside the business to rethink it from scratch."


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