Welcome to 2015. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the cornerstone on which modern democracy is built. And somewhat less prosaically, it’s also the year which will see Cameron and his Bullingdon chums battling it out for political supremacy in the House of Commons.
The OED defines ‘democracy’ as being the ‘control of an organisation or group by the majority of its members’. For many organisations, this ideal is still some way off. In the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring how the principles of democracy can really benefit workplaces and drive performance.
Traditional, hierarchical structures still exist almost everywhere – but technology is playing a huge part in better connecting leaders to those they lead. It’s often through technology that we see tangible examples of how businesses are hearing and responding to the employee voice. Banks including Barclays and RBS are using technology to change their culture from within, opening new channels for innovation and encouraging everyone to participate, regardless of role or level.
Inclusive working cultures and practices make workplaces more democratic. The business case for broader thinking is well made – and businesses are being scrutinised more closely than ever before on how they deliver it. We see progress being made in every organisation we work with; but we also see leaders still occasionally failing to practise what they preach.
A truly democratic workplace is a thrilling prospect. As part of our series, we’ll also be looking at some truly inspiring democratic business operating models emerging as young start-ups. There’s plenty of food for thought – so do follow our blogs over the next few weeks and feel free to get involved as always.