Thursday, October 25, 2007

I vote for more vacation days

Our executive editor pointed me in the direction of a provocative OpEd ("Making a better world, one office at a time") by Traci Fenton that ran recently in The Baltimore Sun.

Fenton's workplace democracy platform has been gaining national attention by way of The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor and through WorldBlu, her company, and its blog.

WorldBlu's mission: to convince businesses that democracy isn't just for governments.

As Traci wrote, "Democracy is ... understanding that the traditional hierarchical workplace structures that operated on disengagement and the delusion of control are now a recipe for defeat in today's collaborative world."

She also adds that democratic organizations trim "unnecessary layers of management," improve employee morale and increase innovation.

WorldBlu named the Most Democratic Workplaces for 2007, and you'll recognize several: 1-800-GOT-JUNK; Bethesda's Honest Tea, Linden Lab (creator of virtual world Second Life), GE Aviation's Durham Engine Facility.

Our question for you: Can a workplace function without the traditional chain of command? What decisions within a company would be better made democractically?

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

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