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Organizational Democracy

- Giovanni Bassi
in Webcasts

We live in a world where democracy is the norm. Anywhere you ask, people are going to state loud and clear that they believe in democracy. But do they? This widely popular yet controversial webcast examines the roots of democracy and hierarchy, and explores what some real companies are doing to promote a more democratic workplace.

Tags: Inspiration

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William Finnegan
William Finnegan posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:08 PM Permalink to this Comment
While there are a few good points in this presentation, I believe the premise is misguided. It seems to me (based on viewing the webcast) that the presenter is more interested in defining why a hierarchal model is a "bad" thing than how to implement the Agile/Scrum methodology, and promoting a more "democratic" environment, from within an existing organizational framework. Since 99.9% of all companies are hierarchal and don't plan on changing anytime soon, that would have been a much better use of his time (and mine)! I don't believe that the intention of Agile is to restructure an organization to be more democratic or anything else. On the contrary, I believe it is intended to "empower" (yes I said empower) teams of people (development, management, sales, etc.), within the an existing hierarchal framework, and to operate more democratically (i.e. transparency, planning, etc.), where appropriate. This is a completely different premise and would have retained my interest a little more than this webcast did. I am a software architect with over 21 years experience, who currently is involved in the design of a state-wide enterprise solution for the Department of Education (specific to the new Common Core State Standards implementation). If I were to promote a purely democratic model, regarding our development planning and processes, we would still be planning our environment in 2015. There are legitimate reasons for the hierarchal approach and it is often the best way to attain the goals we set. However, I strongly believe in the complete involvement of the entire team as it pertains to the planning and design and full transparency of all information (artifacts) collected. I suppose in a perfect world, where every person was as responsible and knowledgeable as the other, it might work. I just haven't seen that world yet. Please let me know where I may have gone astray. My intention was not to criticize the webcast, for the sake of it, but to make it clear that Agile can and is used in various ways, where a pure "democracy" isn't always the eventual or correct goal.

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