"When I took over Semco from my father twelve years ago, it was a traditional company in every respect, with a pyramidal structure and a rule for every contingency. But today, our factory workers sometimes set their own production quotas and even come in on their own time to meet them, without prodding from management or overtime pay. They help redesign the products they make and formulate the marketing plans. . . . For truly big decisions, such as buying another company, everyone at Semco gets a vote. A few years ago, when we wanted to relocate a factory, we closed down for a day and everyone piled into buses to inspect three possible new sites. Then the workers decided. Their choice hardly thrilled us, since it was next to a company that was frequently on strike. But while no one in management wanted front-row seats to a labor-management war, we moved in anyway."

-- From Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace, by Ricardo Semler (Warner Books, 1993)

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