The Happy Manifesto

Creating freedom-centred democratic workplaces, with Traci Fenton

Creating democratic workplaces lead to accelerated growth and a culture that people love. By giving power to employees and treating them with dignity and fairness, companies can tap into the full potential of their workforce.

Transitioning to a democratic workplace takes a specific mindset, democratic leadership skills, and the implementation of systems and processes that value transparency and accountability. But not only does it increase employee satisfaction and engagement, it can also result in significant revenue growth.

Traci Fenton is the author of Freedom at Work and the CEO of WorldBlu, an organisation focused on democratic workplaces. Traci has been working for decades to help build freedom-centred democratic workplaces and has collaborated with hundreds of companies around the world.

Traci believes in giving power to people and creating environments that value transparency, accountability, and the inherent worth of every individual. In her discussion with Henry and Maureen, she emphasises the transformative impact of democratic principles on organisational success, and highlights the accelerated growth and positive culture that democratic workplaces can create.

Traci’s tips for a happier workplace

  1. Adopt a mindset of valuing every individual’s worth and giving power to the people. Treat employees with dignity and respect.
  2. Develop democratic leadership skills, including meaningful conversations, active listening, fairness, and transparency.
  3. Implement systems and processes that support freedom-centred principles, like transparency, accountability, and choice.

Links

Transcript
Henry:

Hello, I'm Henry,

Maureen:

And I'm Maureen,

Henry:

and today in our podcast we have Traci Fenton who talks about democratic workplaces.

Henry:

So what?

Henry:

What's brought you joy, Maureen?

Maureen:

Well I mean, when I think about joy, I'm thinking about this moment.

Maureen:

And I may be repeating myself, but I have to celebrate.

Maureen:

I have got one apprentice who's just told me that they've got a distinction.

Maureen:

Uh, I know, and it's from the Global Majority Apprenticeship and it's fantastic.

Maureen:

But the thing is, it's not even just for the fact that they got the, the distinction, but it's the joy that it gave the group as well.

Maureen:

So the impact of that, you know, so, you know, when you spread joy, you know, it's infectious.

Maureen:

So everybody was happy and motivated.

Maureen:

So what's been giving you joy Henry?

Henry:

Well, today I had this session on Liberating Structures.

Henry:

So the idea is, you know, do you ever go to a meeting where a couple of people dominate?

Maureen:

Oh, yes.

Maureen:

Oh yes.

Maureen:

There's been

Henry:

yes.

Henry:

So the idea of Liberating Structures is it's 33 structures which enable an equal voice for all.

Henry:

And we do it at Happy, don't we?

Maureen:

We do.

Maureen:

It's really impactful.

Henry:

It's very impactful.

Henry:

And this time, uh, I did it, did it with a client.

Henry:

Um, so we did one, two four, all, where you had spend one minute in private reflection, two minutes in pairs, four minutes in fours, and then you all share together.

Henry:

And we did Troica where you get three people together.

Henry:

One person gives their challenge and then turns their back so that the other people then get to discuss that challenge.

Henry:

Yeah, it's really exciting.

Henry:

It's liberating structures.

Maureen:

It, it really is, and I do recommend people to check it out.

Maureen:

You know, come come to us and check it out

Henry:

Absolutely.

Henry:

Okay, well, let's go now with Traci Fenton.

Henry:

Now Traci, you are author of Freedom at Work and you are also CEO of WorldBlu, uh, which involves democratic workplaces.

Henry:

Tell me what is a democratic workplace?

Traci:

Oh, Henry, it's so great to be here with you.

Traci:

As you know, I've been working for almost 27 years to help build freedom centered democratic workplaces, so had the opportunity to work with.

Traci:

Hundreds and hundreds of companies all over the world that work this way.

Traci:

But what exactly does it mean to be a freedom centered democratic workplace?

Traci:

Well, democracy or organizational democracy for us, in, in the simplest terms, is all about how we give power to our people to realize their fullest potential, so that the fullest potential of the company or organization can also be realized.

Traci:

Now, what does that mean?

Traci:

You know, giving power to the people?

Traci:

Well, I, as you know, and you and I have worked together and for

Henry:

we have.

Henry:

We have indeed.

Henry:

And we are a democratic workplace, aren't we?

Henry:

We are.

Traci:

That's right.

Traci:

Absolutely, worldBlu certified freedom centered workplace.

Traci:

So what, what this all means and, and what, that was a question I was sort of in, early in my career was like, what is democracy?

Traci:

You know, we all throw this word around, do we even know what it actually means?

Traci:

And, uh, I, I find a lot of fun in asking people, how do you define democracy?

Traci:

You know, and some people will say, oh, it's voting.

Traci:

And I'll say, no voting's a way of making a decision.

Traci:

It doesn't mean you have democracy, because you can make decisions through majority vote, you can make it through consent, or you can make it through consensus based decision making.

Traci:

So how do you define what democracy is and when I was in, uh, college and undergrad, that was the question I started to ask, and I did both my undergraduate and graduate research identifying what are the principles that actually create a democratic system?

Traci:

Because democracy is not only a system for how you do things, it's also a style of leadership.

Traci:

It's kind of multiple things all in one.

Traci:

So you'll hear people talk about, um, authoritarian command and control leadership, right?

Traci:

That top down pyramid structure, that's gonna be that command and control.

Traci:

Synonymous with that is sort of dictatorial leadership, community control, authoritarian right.

Traci:

You'll hear, hear people talk about servant leadership.

Traci:

Also very popular phrase, which I think is a, is a wonderful concept.

Traci:

But I think, you know, kind of the next step beyond that is democratic leadership.

Traci:

And clearly, as you know, we're not talking about.

Traci:

Politics per se here.

Traci:

We're talking about a style of leadership.

Traci:

Democracy means demos, crot in the people rule.

Traci:

So how do you give power to your people to create the best outcome?

Traci:

And what we've seen at WorldBlu time and time again.

Traci:

This isn't just some nice utopian, kumbaya idea, but when you actually structure your organization and lead your organization on democratic principles of which we identified what those are at WorldBlu, once you do that, it actually accelerates growth.

Traci:

In fact, we've seen independent research that companies that work this way average 700% greater revenue growth over a three year period compared to SP 500 companies.

Traci:

So we're not just talking about, wow, it's just such a nice idea, you know?

Traci:

We're talking about an actual strategy for how you accelerate the growth of your company and create a culture people love in the process.

Maureen:

so just so that I can just visually put this, see this.

Maureen:

So can you give me an example or a story of an organization that looks like this and one that doesn't?

Traci:

Well, I think most don't, right?

Maureen:

Okay, yeah.

Traci:

We all tell our horror stories, right?

Traci:

I mean, I remember when I first started, um, I went to work for a Fortune 500 and I resigned after three months.

Traci:

I mean, I was fresh outta college and I started ing on this side.

Traci:

I resigned after three months, and when I went to my boss, he said, Traci, I knew you weren't gonna last here very long, because I knew you wouldn't let yourself be treated the way we treat people here.

Maureen:

But, that's funny because if he was aware of that, then why would he continue behaving in

Traci:

Exactly, and I think it's because, great question Maureen.

Traci:

I think people don't know how to do it differently.

Traci:

It's kind of like if, if all you've ever eaten is McDonald's, you don't know how great, you know, a Michelin star restaurant could taste or, you know what I mean?

Traci:

Like, if you just don't know, you don't know.

Traci:

And so let me tell you about a great company that made that transition from fear and command and control to a much more freedom centered democratic model.

Traci:

It's a, it's a company.

Traci:

I love telling the story about DaVita.

Traci:

Um, they're a Fortune 500 company and a number of years ago, they were on the edge of bankruptcy.

Traci:

They were under investigation by the SEC.

Traci:

Their morale was, you know, in the crapper.

Traci:

People were jumping ship, you know, it was a complete disaster.

Traci:

And they, they weren't even called DaVita at the time.

Traci:

At the time they had a really sexy name.

Traci:

It was Total Renal Care.

Traci:

So anyway.

Traci:

um, what happened was they brought in a new CEO named Kent Theory, KT is what they call him.

Traci:

Uh, KT, Harvard MBA guy, so you expect kind of that slash and burn mentality.

Traci:

We've gotta turn the ship around, let's get rid of everybody, let's whatever.

Traci:

No, he came in with an entirely different mindset.

Traci:

And this is absolutely the the starting point when you're thinking about how do you build a freedom centered company, you have to have the mindset that KT had, which was guess what?

Traci:

Every single person has value.

Traci:

Every single person has worth.

Traci:

Every single person deserves to have a voice.

Traci:

So we're gonna structure ourselves as a democratic community first and a company second.

Traci:

Okay?

Traci:

We're gonna lead with this idea of being a democratically run community first.

Traci:

So they did all kinds of cool stuff.

Traci:

They, they call themselves a village.

Traci:

He calls himself the mayor.

Traci:

Um, he invited people to vote on decisions that impact them.

Traci:

People will say to me often, oh, Traci, gosh, you know, democracy means voting at work.

Traci:

Does that mean nothing ever gets done?

Traci:

No, things do get done.

Traci:

And in fact, it's a little bit of tortoise and Harris.

Traci:

Sometimes you have to slow down to educate people to make that informed voter decision, but then you're able to accelerate in the implementation because people are bought in.

Traci:

They had town hall meetings.

Traci:

Um, they decentralized, um, out to their, uh, their healthcare company, do dialysis, so they de decentralized out to dialysis or out to the different dialysis centers across, uh, America now around the world.

Traci:

And one of my favorite things that they did in, as they made this transition to giving power to their people and treating their people like adults rather than children, is that they created, uh, symbolically, this giant wooden bridge, and they would invite people at their conferences to walk across that bridge

Traci:

when they felt ready themselves to make the transition from being, uh, just an employee and a company to being a citizen of their democratic community.

Traci:

And I've had the opportunity to walk across that bridge myself, I have to say it was kind of an emotional moment because I obviously, I believe so strongly in this.

Traci:

And so they were able to turn around from bankruptcy to being a $15 billion company, 52,000 employees now worldwide, and they've sustained it.

Traci:

KT, um.

Traci:

recently rolled off and Javier Rodriguez, who's speaking at our summit at the end of February here in, in, down in Miami, he is now CEO.

Traci:

Again, they just, uh, got re-certified as a WorldBlu Certified Freedom Center company.

Traci:

They've retained that certification straight from 2008.

Traci:

So these guys are the real deal.

Traci:

It's the real deal.

Traci:

And the secret is you have to have the right mindset.

Traci:

You have to have the right leadership style that you train people in democratic leadership style, not just like generic leadership, okay?

Traci:

But the third thing that cements these kinds of culture is you have to put the right systems and processes in place, meaning the people, systems and processes, how you get things done.

Traci:

You all do this really well.

Traci:

At Happy one of your systems and processes, right?

Traci:

Is letting people choose their own manager.

Traci:

That's an example of a system of process.

Traci:

You know what they did at DaVita?

Traci:

Having people vote on key things.

Traci:

They voted on changing their name from Total Renal Care to DaVita, which means give life.

Traci:

Okay?

Traci:

Much better name.

Traci:

Wouldn't you agree?

Traci:

And so, and so that's really, um, they're just a shining star example.

Traci:

Uh, we just had, I always telling you, we just did a webinar yesterday with the group of Electra.

Traci:

They're an 80,000 person, uh, newly WorldBlu certified Freedom centered company.

Traci:

Um, big companies in Mexico City and Adriana de Laputa, their head of, uh, people and culture was just on talking about how they also have transitioned into this model.

Traci:

So,

Maureen:

so I'm gonna ask and Traci no, because that's a big number.

Traci:

Yeah.

Traci:

Yeah.

Maureen:

So how can a big organization, what would you say are the first steps that a big organization like that would have to take?

Maureen:

Because it feels like it's a a lot to do for such a

Traci:

Right.

Traci:

And it can sound scary 'cause you think, oh my gosh, what does this mean?

Traci:

Like, are we going nuclear and like blasting?

Traci:

How do you do this?

Traci:

And, and honestly, it's really not that hard.

Traci:

I mean, it starts with, look at what, um, was the mindset of, of KT, uh, the mindset of Roberto Salinas, um, group of Salinas, group of electors, a part of it.

Traci:

Their mindset is freedom.

Traci:

Their mindset is people, people have worth.

Traci:

You know, fundamental to democracy.

Traci:

Is understanding our self-worth.

Traci:

If we know we have value, then we want to create environments that value people.

Traci:

So it starts with the right mindset, which the every, we worked with hundreds and hundreds of companies around the world.

Traci:

They all have the right mindset.

Traci:

Look at Henry's mindset, you know, in setting up Happy, he had a different mindset then I am going to, you know, squeeze every bit of life outta my employees.

Traci:

That's not the mindset we're talking about here.

Traci:

So it is a different mindset than, like I said, it's training your people in the democratic leadership skills.

Traci:

How do you have meaningful conversations?

Traci:

How do you listen to others, you know, how do you have, how do you have fairness and dignity to everyone?

Traci:

You know?

Traci:

How do you have transparency of information?

Traci:

And then it's putting those right systems and processes in place.

Traci:

At WorldBlu, we have a program for our members when once they join WorldBlu that they can access called Grow With Freedom, and that's where we teach CEOs the different systems and processes that they can put into place.

Traci:

It's not the same for everyone.

Traci:

You know, it's not that what, you know, choose your own manager might work great at Happy, might not work well in a bigger company.

Traci:

But I mean, how hard would it be to go into a big company and say, choose your own manager?

Traci:

Really not that hard, right?

Traci:

So this isn't scary, and it's not really that hard, and that's why it's just shocking to me that more companies don't do it because it allows you to attract or retain the very best people and it, um, grows your company so much faster.

Traci:

But here's what keeps people from doing it.

Traci:

It's the low self worth of the leaders.

Traci:

If that CEO, he or she is not secure in who they are as a person, they are not going to create an environment where everyone can flourish and excel.

Maureen:

And I remember you sharing that at Happy as a great tip.

Maureen:

And I think you were saying something about the different, different differentiating between self-worth and confidence.

Traci:

Yes.

Traci:

Thank you.

Traci:

Yeah.

Traci:

Confident self-confidence is situational.

Traci:

Like I'm confident talking with you about Freedom at Work, the method we teach.

Traci:

I'm not confident flying an airplane because I have no clue how to do that.

Traci:

Okay.

Traci:

Confidence is situational, but self-worth is understanding our inherent value that each and every one of us has.

Traci:

It does not mean you're a narcissist.

Traci:

Narcissism is low.

Traci:

Self-worth.

Traci:

Okay?

Traci:

You know, high self-Worth says each one of us, and it's a humble, joyous sense of, of way of being.

Traci:

It says, I have value.

Traci:

You have value.

Traci:

We all do.

Traci:

Let's create an environment where everyone can excel.

Traci:

And what I've seen in doing this, right, most people really struggle with self-worth, and so we see, I have never seen a CEO of a WorldBlu certified freedom centered company that had low self worth, it's just not gonna happen.

Traci:

Never.

Traci:

They all are really very secure in who they are.

Traci:

Because you have to be able to take feedback, you have to be able to, um, be wrong and, and pivot, you know, and you have to have that commitment to creating an environment for everyone to flourish.

Henry:

So tell us some real life stories of, of, of democratic workplaces.

Henry:

Some, some things that really happened.

Traci:

Oh, well, lemme tell you about a really cool company we've been working with that's making the transition because we're kind of talking about well how do we, how do we do that?

Traci:

And we, uh, ha this company, I'm not gonna tell you the name for obvious reasons, but they're, they're a small business, 13 people.

Traci:

Um, and you might think, oh, well that's makes 'em easy to transition to democracy.

Traci:

No, no.

Traci:

It doesn't make it any easier, because you can have two people running a company and have a total dictatorship, you know?

Traci:

And so again, it's that mindset.

Traci:

So the CEO actually came to us a few years ago and wanted to work with us, and my wonderful colleague Miranda, interviewed the C and said, you're not ready.

Traci:

You're not there, we won't take you on as a client.

Traci:

Because we, through our process that we do to vet, we knew he wasn't ready.

Traci:

So three years went by and he came back to us.

Traci:

We gave him some tips of what we thought he needed to do.

Traci:

He came back to us.

Traci:

He had been running his company for 30 years, and he says, if I don't turn around our culture and make it more freedom centered and democratic, I'm losing my best people.

Traci:

And we said Wow, you're ready.

Traci:

I wanted to see that humility that that humility of like, I'm ready to learn.

Traci:

And I mean, kudos to him.

Traci:

I mean, this gentleman is in his early sixties.

Traci:

He's been running his company this way for years.

Traci:

You know, it takes humility to come forward and say yes.

Traci:

So first thing we did was we worked on him.

Traci:

We helped teach him how to be a democratic leader.

Traci:

So we have a whole process we do.

Traci:

We have, um, over a hundred different leadership courses where we work with people.

Traci:

You don't have to take all 100, but there's key things that we see.

Traci:

Okay, these are the skills, this is the mindset that we need to shift.

Traci:

So we did that.

Traci:

Then what he did was he didn't have necessarily a leadership team.

Traci:

He created a leadership team of people he calls the stewards.

Traci:

And what they're there to do is to steward forward freedom at work.

Traci:

So then we trained the leadership team in these principals.

Traci:

So we spent a year just on the leadership team, putting them through our different courses and getting them understanding this is what this is about, you know, this is how this works.

Traci:

Because sometimes we had to D program that command and control thinking that most people have.

Traci:

And thenz what we've moved into now is the next phase I was talking about our Grow with Freedom program, where we assess the company, so we see how well they are already doing against the 10 principles of organizational democracy.

Traci:

I talked earlier about what exactly is democracy?

Traci:

Well, we figured out what what it is and what it takes.

Traci:

it's these 10 principles like transparency, accountability, choice, the, the valuing of both the individual and the collective.

Traci:

Not just the collective, you have to value the individual, you know?

Traci:

So there's 10 principles.

Traci:

All this is on our website at worldblu.com where you can see it.

Traci:

But what we do is we have an assessment tool that we evaluate how well those 10 principles are lived at an individual leadership and systems and process level.

Traci:

We ran that scorecard assessment on them so that we could zero in specifically on where those systems and processes need to shift.

Traci:

And so we're, oh, wow, transparency is low.

Traci:

You know, purpose and vision is low.

Traci:

And so then we got going on, what are the new systems and processes we could implement?

Traci:

So you always wanna start.

Traci:

Now this sounds super basic, eye roll, everybody knows this, but it's really true.

Traci:

You have to start with a clear purpose and vision statement, not mission.

Traci:

Mission is what we do.

Traci:

Purpose is why we be, you know, why are we here?

Traci:

Vision is what we wanna achieve.

Traci:

So at WorldBlu, our purpose is to transform the way humanity leads with freedom at work, our vision is to see a world where at least 1 billion people can live, lead, and work in freedom rather than fear.

Traci:

And that purpose and vision is gonna create your river banks that keep everything flowing in the right direction.

Traci:

You don't have those river banks, what do you have?

Traci:

You have a flood.

Traci:

If you don't have those river banks going in the right direction.

Traci:

Your mission is what you do.

Traci:

So I love to think of WD 40.

Traci:

They're another WorldBlu Certified Freedom Center company.

Traci:

Their purpose.

Traci:

You think of WD 40, the spray.

Traci:

We all know the, you know, the lubricant spray.

Traci:

But they don't think they're, they don't think of themselves as in the business of, you know, making your wheels turn better.

Traci:

They're in the business of creating positive, lasting memories.

Traci:

That's their purpose, to create positive, lasting memories.

Traci:

Why?

Traci:

Because when I put WD 40 on my bike tires, you know, squirt squirt, I can go for a bike ride with my niece, you know, and that creates those positive lasting memories.

Traci:

So you have to start.

Traci:

So this is what they did.

Traci:

We got helped them figure out their purpose and vision, and then you have to figure out your core values.

Traci:

Why?

Traci:

Because core values, as you all know, are Happy, they're will guide the behavior of your citizens within your company.

Traci:

So how are we supposed to behave?

Traci:

Here's how we're supposed to behave.

Traci:

Those are those core values.

Traci:

Then we got them going on town hall meetings.

Traci:

So they start doing town halls.

Traci:

Then they, and they decide what they wanna do.

Traci:

This isn't prescriptive, it's not one size for every company.

Traci:

Then they looked at what, what best practices we had.

Traci:

They opened their books up.

Traci:

They started to practice open book management.

Traci:

They realized they had a big accountability problem, so they created accountability buddies to team people up.

Traci:

to be accountable with each other.

Traci:

And we're slowly but surely working through, we're, we're working now on, um, how to hire, fire and promote democratically.

Traci:

We're working on how to have more, uh, compensation, not just be about somebody going to the CEO saying I want more money, but how do we decide?

Traci:

Do that in a Democratic way.

Traci:

And then we're also working with them right now on how to democratically decide bonuses.

Traci:

And I can tell you more about, that's a really cool practice.

Traci:

I can tell you more about in a moment if you want.

Traci:

So they're making that transition and oh my gosh.

Traci:

Their CEO just told me last year as they were imp at the end of the year after they've implemented all of these new systems and processes democratically, their, um, year to date the revenue was up 40% just in that one year.

Henry:

So, tell us about bonuses.

Henry:

'Cause I know at NeoSoft they have an absolutely flat bonus, don't they?

Traci:

What does that mean?

Traci:

Does everyone gets the

Henry:

Yeah.

Henry:

Everyone gets the same.

Henry:

We also, we did handles bank recently and they also have Exact, and everybody gets the same,

Traci:

ah.

Traci:

Well, our approach is a little different.

Henry:

uh.

Traci:

Yeah.

Traci:

I wouldn't say, I wouldn't necessarily agree with that approach, to be

Henry:

not

Traci:

Um, because I don't think fairness is sameness.

Traci:

So let me give you an alternative.

Traci:

I'm not saying it's bad.

Traci:

Every company can decide their own.

Traci:

Lemme give you an alternative.

Traci:

I did not come up with this.

Traci:

This was a really cool idea that came out of a company in, in California, and it's been implemented in other freedom centered companies.

Traci:

I talk about it in my book, Freedom at Work.

Traci:

It's called the Peer Impact Bonus Award.

Traci:

And the way they do bonuses at several WorldBlu companies is, um, so they have like a percentage of the bonus, and you can do this on a quarterly basis or annual basis.

Traci:

And so let's make the math very simple.

Traci:

Let's say the bonus is, um, a hundred dollars, okay?

Traci:

Then what they do to employees is they say, um, you get a, do you get a point.

Traci:

And for every point that you have, one point equals a dollar.

Traci:

Okay?

Traci:

My math isn't gonna work, but you get what I'm say for every point equals a dollar.

Traci:

And now they say you're gonna distribute your points to who you think in a, in a merit based way, most deserves to get that bonus.

Traci:

And oh my gosh, they did this in a company with about 60 employees.

Traci:

And we actually had their, um, head of people and culture present on this at our, our summit.

Traci:

I think you were at that summit,

Henry:

Yeah, I think I was, I think I was.

Traci:

And, you know, you, you think of all this stuff like, oh, but is it fair?

Traci:

You know, is it all about a popularity contest, or?

Traci:

No, no, it actually works out.

Traci:

And they say, well, what about the people who are quiet?

Traci:

No, because here's the deal, everybody knows in a company, or you don't have to know everybody in the company.

Traci:

I mean, you could just give 'em the people you know.

Traci:

Everybody knows who's getting work done and who isn't.

Traci:

Everyone knows who's pulling their weight and who isn't.

Traci:

Everybody knows who's the slacker and who's the star performer.

Traci:

And so it's democratically decided, meaning the people have the choice.

Traci:

It's not decided by the CEO saying everybody's getting whatever.

Traci:

Um, it's not decided by years, years working there because what does that have to do with anything?

Traci:

How have you added value?

Traci:

You could have just come in in one year and added tremendous value and someone spent there 10 years is, you know, a bump on the log.

Traci:

So it's totally that, and people love it.

Traci:

They absolutely love it because they feel like they're recognized for the contributions that they're making and they feel it's fair.

Maureen:

But as you say, you put it to the people.

Traci:

You put it to the people and let them decide.

Traci:

You know, if they don't want that, if they want a flat bonus, do a flat bonus.

Traci:

You know?

Traci:

But like you said, you put it to the people.

Traci:

It shouldn't just be, you know, the CEO deciding in the ivory tower what should be done.

Henry:

So Traci, what are your three best tips for a happy workplace or for a freedom centered workplace?

Traci:

Oh my gosh.

Traci:

Number one, you really have to know as a leader how to handle the fear in the workplace.

Traci:

The biggest obstacle is fear.

Traci:

And I talk about this in my book, the Power Question.

Traci:

You all know it 'cause I, we came, we did a fabulous workshop there.

Traci:

so the power question is when you recognize the challenge you're facing, it could be a challenge individually, collectively, and a team member, with a team member, you identify a challenge, and then you go through these five questions we teach, which is, what are you afraid of?

Traci:

Why are you afraid?

Traci:

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

How would you feel without the fear?

Traci:

And why can you let the fear go?

Traci:

Now, I know I said it just said a whole bunch, but what I wanna focus on is the main question in that, which is, what would you do if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

So I say to your listeners, as you think about freedom and democracy, what would you do if you weren't afraid You know, how would you give power to your people if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

How would you open up your books more if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

How would you be more transparent if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

Perks is not freedom and democracy.

Traci:

We're not talking about perks here.

Traci:

We're talking about meaning, we're talking about purpose, we're talking about everyone knowing they have value, inherent value, and worth, every single person has inherent value and worth.

Traci:

And so what would you do if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

How would you run your company if you weren't afraid?

Traci:

So two more practices, um, besides the Pure Impact Bonus Awards, um, this comes from another great company in England.

Traci:

They set up a, a best practice called the Money Gang.

Traci:

And the Money Gang, uh, decides compensation.

Traci:

And so people can come to the money Gang and say, um, I'd like a raise, and here's what I think I'm worth, and here's why.

Traci:

And present information.

Traci:

And the Money Gang, which is not made up of the CEO or the CFO, these people can be democratically voted into the Money Gang.

Traci:

They're gonna look at how, how is the company doing?

Traci:

You know, can we afford this raise?

Traci:

Does it make sense?

Traci:

They're gonna look at industry standards, they're gonna look at the value that this individual employee is bringing to the company, and they'll approve or disapprove, uh, the compensation bonus.

Traci:

So it's all done very openly and transparently.

Traci:

You know, compensation is one of the things that people are most, uh, feel most, uh, unfairly treated on.

Traci:

So this really helps it to put that democratic principle of fairness and dignity into operatIon.

Henry:

We have a similar thing to that.

Henry:

We have a Democratic elected salary panel,

Traci:

That's exactly it.

Traci:

I love that.

Traci:

I love that.

Traci:

And then, um, another fun one is, so we'll say it's my third tip.

Traci:

Another really fun practice also comes from a company in England.

Traci:

Um, it's called Dream Balls.

Traci:

Maybe you've heard this one, Henry.

Traci:

It's called Dream Balls.

Traci:

And, and, I love this practice, especially, we're recording this at the, in January beginning of the year, people are thinking about their goals, setting goals for the company.

Traci:

So the way Dream Balls works is they have, at this company, they have kind of a big gumball type machine and everyone gets to put In their, you know, little plastic round thing, what their dream is, um, you can put a cap on the dollar amount, whatever.

Traci:

So they put this into the gumball machine and every time the company hits its goals, uh, which, you know, you can look at this on a quarterly basis or monthly, however you wanna do it, but, um, they turn, you know, they turn the knob.

Traci:

One of those dream bowls comes down the chute, they open it up and read that person's dream and makes that person's dream come true.

Traci:

So, um, you can put a dollar limit on it if you say, okay, up to five, do $50 or $500 or whatever bridge pound sterling would be.

Traci:

Um, and so, but it's just really fun because to me, I love that practice.

Traci:

Because it implements the principle, the Democratic principle of the individual and the collective.

Traci:

We're collectively hitting those rules.

Traci:

We're on.

Traci:

We're recognizing also the individuals.

Traci:

And it's fun.

Traci:

I mean, it's just pure fun.

Traci:

Um, and it has meaning to it as well.

Traci:

So there you have it, Henry.

Traci:

Those are my tips.

Henry:

Excellent.

Henry:

So that, that's PropellerNet, isn't it?

Henry:

The dream ball one?

Traci:

Yes.

Traci:

PropellerNet/ Yes.

Traci:

Wonderful practice.

Henry:

Well, thank you Traci Thank you.

Henry:

It's been a brilliant, uh, brilliant podcast.

Traci:

Well, it's been wonderful to be with both you and Maureen, so thanks so much for having me, Henry, and congratulations on your new book as well.

Maureen:

Isn't Traci awesome?

Maureen:

So many stories.

Maureen:

I mean, do you know, um, there was so much in there.

Maureen:

So I, a couple of things just quickly, a couple of things.

Maureen:

I mean, first thing that stood out for me was about that whole saying that top leaders should have high self-worth, which is different from confidence.

Maureen:

And I'm gonna throw in there different from ego as well because you know, you get lots of leaders with egos

Henry:

You do, you do.

Maureen:

But what I really loved was that whole statement about, you know, slowing down.

Maureen:

So sometimes you have to slow down to educate to understand, and then the speed up comes that implementation.

Maureen:

So don't get frightened to slow down.

Maureen:

Things will speed up,

Henry:

Well, I love the idea of DaVita going from bankruptcy to a 15 billion valuation.

Henry:

'Cause that that is what you, you do when you create a freedom centered workplace.

Maureen:

My jaw dropped just to think, you know how they've just turned that right around.

Maureen:

It's a great example.

Henry:

Absolutely.

Henry:

Okay folks, so check out our website a happy.co.uk.

Maureen:

And thank you for listening.

Maureen:

Go check out the podcast.

Maureen:

Don't forget to subscribe and continue creating happy, productive workplaces.

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