Corporate rebels
October 6, 2021

Summary Corporate Rebels

Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree are two friends who are completely done with the unhappy worklife. They’re done with the slow, political and bureaucratic life within an enterprise. Their gut feeling tells them it could be better. It could be better and with more fun. They decide to give up on their enterprise job and to start doing research in how to increase job satisfaction: within smaller as well as bigger organizations. Joost and Pim make up a list with 100 interesting people they might want to interview. Rebellious managers, dissenting CEO’s but also scientists and journalists. People with the same ideals: they want to increase job satisfaction. They travel all over the world to interview people from different businesses in the USA and China. From Brazil to Belgium and here, in the tiny, little Netherlands as well. They bundled all of their discoveries, wonders and surprises within the book Corporate Rebels: make work more fun. Even though every organization is different and within another context, you can see a red line. This red line is divided over eight chapters.

1: From Profit to Goals and Values

Employees will feel much more connected to an organization if they really believe in the goals and values of the organization and if they feel a connection than if they have to work in order to let their managers and shareholders drive in expensive cars.

2: From a Hierarchical Pyramid to a Network of Teams

A small organization (of 25 up to 30 persons) is manageable. However, as soon as the organization gets bigger, you see processes taking over in order to keep in control. This leads to less productivity of the employees and it also affects their happiness at work.
Make sure to organize things decentral and transfer the mandate to the teams so they are the ones who are responsible themselves and they are the ones who can take decisions. They are the professionals and therefore they know exactly what is possible and what is not.

3: From Directive to Supportive Leadership

Most of the employees, the professionals, don’t like being told how to do their work. They know it themselves. So, it’s better for the manager to go from directive leadership towards a more supportive way of leadership.
Ask the professionals what they need in order to do their work in a good way.
The professional will only appreciate it and be more productive as a result.

4: From Planning & Predicting to Experimenting & Adjusting

Change is the only constant in life. And in this era things only go faster and faster. Do you want to stay competitive or do you want to be in good financial health as an organization? Then it’s crucial and essential to keep experimenting to see what can and what can’t work. Next, you can decide to change things.
The professionals have to get the space to do this. They know what is and what isn’t possible in the current market as no one else knows and with their knowledge it’s way more effective to experiment as well.

5: From Rules & Control towards Freedom & Trust

Processes, protocols and a load of work agreements give employees a stuffy and oppressive feeling. For that reason it’s better to give freedom and the confidence that the right decision is made.
In the end, this will improve the job satisfaction and certainly improves productivity as well. The bureaucracy is considerably less. The costs associated with bureaucracy are reduced. Productivity increases whereas absenteeism decreases.

6: From Centralized Authority to Shared Authority

A centralized authority where the decisions are made makes an organization cumbersome and slow. The bigger the organization, the slower it gets. Unless authority is invested in a decentralized manner. “Bring authority to the informants, instead of information to the authority”.

7: From Mystery to Radical Transparency

There are different levels of transparency. Access to all documents in an organization, openness in the financial status of a company to even full disclosure in everyone’s salaries.
Of course, you’ll have to grow to this since not every level can be applied immediately within an organization.

8: From Functions to Talent & Development

The standard functions In progressive companies start to disappear more and more. Instead, people are working more on the basis of someone’s talents and they want to develop these talents. It’s all about putting someone in his or her power and to use the full potential of a person.
The employee also feels much more productive and has the feeling that he’s really making a contribution instead of performing a trick that belongs to the position.

I regularly read books and other corporate literature and I have to be honest with you: this book, Corporate Rebels, is a book that’s a great read. It’s lightly and informally written and with a lot of humor. I finished the book with over 200 pages in just a few evenings.

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