Companies Need to Elevate Their Definition of Success

And strive to be “a full-fledged democracy.”

Courtesy of Floriane Vita/Unsplash

While it’s an improvement that a number of big companies have recently raised wages and bonuses, companies still need to “think bigger,” Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company writes in Harvard Business Review.

“Why simply smooth out the rough edges of our ‘winner-take-all’ economy? Why not embrace a more expansive logic of success in which nobody wins unless everybody wins?”

Taylor cites the John Lewis Partnership as an example of a company that successfully “elevates its definition of success.” At John Lewis, he notes, there are no public shareholders and “no hedge funds gorging on management fees.” It’s entirely employee-owned.

“Democracy at John Lewis is not a metaphor or a state of mind,” he writes. “It is a system of management and governance.”

Taylor cites the company’s 50 full-time “democracy coaches” who work to increase employee participation and collaborative decision-making.

Taylor acknowledges that not every company can operate like John Lewis, but companies can still move in a similar direction.

“But is it too much to ask,” he writes, “at a time when so many big companies are enjoying so much prosperity, that their leaders imagine a more expansive and sustainable definition of success for everyone in the company?”

Read more at Harvard Business Review

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