WorldBlu Founder + CEO, Traci Fenton, speaks at a TEDx.
The word "democracy" usually conjures up images of voting booths, political pundits and town hall meetings. When we hear "democracy," we often think "politics."
So what is organizational democracy and how is it different from political democracy?
Organizational democracy is a system of organization that is based on freedom, instead of fear and control. It's a way of designing organizations to amplify the possibilities of human potential — and the organization as a whole.
The concept of democracy comes from the Greek words "demos" and "kratein" which mean "the people rule".
So the core of organizational democracy and political democracy is the same — allowing people to self-govern and determine their own destiny. What is different is the context — one is in the political arena, the other is in the realm of organizations.
Here's a quick look at what organizational democracy is – and isn't.
|Organizational Democracy is:||Organizational Democracy is not:|
|Decentralized Networks||Being Flat|
|Universal Ideals||American-only ideals|
|Knowing when to be fast AND when to be slow||Being Slow|
|Giving up the delusion that you're in control||Giving up control|
|Profits and people||Ignoring profits|
|Creating meaningful work||Cosmetic office parks|
|Being a great workplace for those who can thrive in a decentralized and dynamic environment||Being a great workplace for everyone|
|Making Decisions||Analyzing decision-making techniques|
|A quadruple bottom-line (financial, community, external environment AND internal environment)||Only a triple bottom-line|
|Ongoing participation in things that matter||Voting on everything|