Always Learning

Advanced Search

The Democratic Enterprise

The Democratic Enterprise

Liberating your Business with Freedom, Flexibility and Commitment

Lynda Gratton

Nov 2003, Paperback, 272 pages
ISBN13: 9780273675280
ISBN10: 0273675281
This title may be which may result in extended delivery times
  • Print pagePrint page
  • Email this pageEmail page
  • Write a reviewWrite a review
  • Share

"Gratton's book is timely and important. She is one of a small but influential band of business academics who have begun to question the "ideological gloomy paradigm" - the overwhelmingly negative assumptions about human nature that historically underpin management theorising. The Democratic Enterprise is one of the first interventions to crystallise these dissatisfactions and offer steps to a positive alternative model...The revolution is democracy and it starts here."

The Observer

"One of Britain's leading lights in human resource strategy"

Financial Times

Liberating your Business with Freedom, Flexibility and Commitment

The Democratic Enterprise delivers the blueprint for a business built on choice and commitment. A business made fast through freedom and purposeful through meaning. This is a business people would choose to work for.

These days individuals matter more than their roles, so how can we change the way we manage and organise people to make the most of their talent and energy? The free to choose are fast to act for an enterprise they believe in, but they're also the first to leave an organisation that fails them. In The Democratic Enterprise HR guru Lynda Gratton sets out a practical blueprint for designing smarter working relationships based on free choice and shared purpose - where autonomy, choice and trust breed speed, flexibility and commitment. This is the business we'd choose to work for, even if we have the talent and ability to leave.

Smart people want a more grown-up relationship with their employers these days. And most businesses too, realise that they can get more from people through flexible and intelligent working relationships. So imagine a company where people have more freedom in how, where and when they work. Where they have more personal choice in their work, but also share more commitment with their colleagues to a bigger purpose. This is a business we would choose to work with.

The Democratic Enterprise explores, from the perspective of the individual and the organization what it means to craft choice, and shows us how to use some of the basic principles of democracy to build organizations of which we can be proud.

The book examines eight companies which have pioneered choice and democracy, and shows how:

  • the oil giant BP has created transparent internal markets for jobs enabling every employee to develop a breadth and depth of competencies
  • McKinsey & Co. has brought an unprecedented level of transparency to the ways in which associates can choose the projects to work on
  • Sony have created a ground-breaking digital system by creating a context in which engineers have real freedom to create worthwhile and meaningful jobs
  • Unisys has enabled every employee to access an enormous range of training opportunities to ensure they are truly becoming ‘the best they can be’.
  • Goldman Sachs builds choice around the development relationships which are so crucial to personal and organizational development
  • AstraZeneca has brought complete transparency to employee access to pay and benefits.
  • BT has enabled many tens of thousands of employees to make locational choice
  • and finally, how HP has built discretion around time.

Learn how each of these companies have pioneered the tenets of democracy and choice and by doing so have created strong, agile enterprises powered by employee engagement and collaboration.

The Democratic Enterprise concludes by building a mandate for choice and democracy through focusing on the four building blocks: supporting individual autonomy; creating organizational insight; building organizational variety; and finally, crafting a sense of shared destiny. These challenges are set out for the role of the business leader, the role of the manager, the role of HR and the role of the employee,

Read this book and learn how to:

  • Create a business in which talented people can develop and change without leaving
  • Understand your employees as well as you understand your customers
  • Design work content and culture that give people the freedom to choose and the freedom to act
  • Create shared meaning and purpose to drive daily motivation and inform daily judgement calls
    "Lynda Gratton has captured, in a very profound way, the emerging realization of what truly matters in transforming businesses: people, purpose, and participation. In a word, democracy."

    - Niall FitzGerald, Chairman, Unilever

    "As Lynda Gratton demonstrates in this marvellously written book, there is enough that corporate leaders and human resources specialists can do today to embrace the power of democratic processes to both raise the economic performance of their companies and build delightful organizations".

    - Sumantra Ghoshal, Professor of Strategy and International Management , London Business School

    "Lynda Gratton has crafted a new classic. Democratic Enterprise draws on Greek and political traditions about democracy -- demo (people) and kratos (rule) -- and applies them to modern organizations. It is a masterpiece that connects individuals and their organizations with rich theory and realistic action.

    - Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business, University of Michigan

    "Gratton"s thoughtful and creative work breathes life into the role of people in organizations." David Ulrich, Professor of Business, University of Michigan


    PREFACE

    ONE: CITIZENS’ TALES

    The story of Greg Grimshaw at BP
    The story of Nina Bhatia at McKinsey
    The story of Stewart Kearney at BT
    The value of the Democratic Enterprise

    TWO: WHAT DEMOCRACY MEANS

    A short history of democracy
    The tenets of the Democratic Enterprise

    THREE: DEMOCRACY AT WORK

    Adult-to-adult relationships
    Individuals as investors
    Expression of Diverse Qualities
    Participation and choice
    Liberty without expense
    Accountabilities and Obligations

    FOUR: THE DRIVERS TO DEMOCRACY

    The shift in individuals
    The shift in technology

    FIVE: BUILDING INDIVIDUAL AUTONOMY

    The citizen investor
    The elements of human capital
    Leveraging human capital
    How individuals become autonomous
    How organizations support autonomy
    How organizations understand employees

    SIX: CRAFTING ORGANIZATIONAL VARIETY

    Pioneers of democracy
    Variety of job assignment
    Choice of job content
    Choice of training
    Choice of developmental relationships
    Choice of rewards and benefits
    Choice of location
    Choice of time
    The lessons of building variety

    SEVEN: SHAPING SHARED PURPOSE

    Goals
    Accountabilities and Obligations
    Trust and power

    EIGHT: LEADERS AND CITIZENS AT WORK

    The role of the leader
    The role of the team leader
    The HR role

    NINE: THE FIVE REASONS TO BECOME A DEMOCRATIC ENTERPRISE

    Employee engagement
    ‘Win-Win’ solutions
    Justice and Fairness
    Agility
    Integration

    • Covers critical business issues that will ensure people purchase: faster business, deeper employee commitment, the work-life balance, better career development, flexible location and balancing individual discretion with operational control.
    • Delivers original ideas and impressive research with practical application.
    • An extremely timely book, addressing hot topics of business values and individual fulfillment.
    • New work from a top author, and an emerging Human Resource guru. Lynda Gratton is a high-profile regular on the HR conference circuit, and appears on programmes such as BBC's Money Programme as an HR commentator - consistently top rated by managers on London Business School exec-ed courses.

    Professor Lynda Gratton is Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School and a global authority on the people implications of strategy. At London Business School she directs the world-renowned executive programme ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organizations.'

    Her ideas about human resource strategy have profoundly influenced managers all over the world. Her book Living Strategy: putting people at the heart of corporate purpose published by FT Prentice Hall in 2000 has become a classic for HR professionals and an important part of the toolkit for line managers.

    Over the last decade Dr Gratton has created a clear agenda for how organizations can become inspiring and meaningful. How each can become a ‘democratic enterprise’.

    Expert Reviews

    "Lynda Gratton has crafted a new classic. Democratic Enterprise draws on Greek and political traditions about democracy -- demo (people) and kratos (rule) -- and applies them to modern organizations. By defining employees as citizens and investors, Gratton identifies six tenants and three building blocks of the democratic and delightful organization. These ideas are conceptually interesting and actionable. They will help individuals figure out how to succeed in their role in the modern corporation; human resource professionals architect individual and organizational systems; and leaders engage employees and create organizations that win. It is a masterpiece that connects individuals and their organizations with rich theory and realistic action." - Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business, University of Michigan

    "In Unilever, we are determined to foster an environment that provides everyone the opportunity and support to find and harness our natural swing -- so we can all deliver outstanding results within a framework of shared values, goals, and purpose. I do not believe there is shortage of great talent. There is, however, a shortage of great environments and leaders who create such environments. It is therefore encouraging to find that we are not alone in this. Professor Lynda Gratton has captured, in a very profound way, the emerging realization of what truly matters in transforming businesses: people, purpose, and participation. In a word, democracy."- Niall FitzGerald, Chairman, Unilever

    "From time to time, a new idea crops up in the world of business that most managers consider to be absurd but that end up transforming companies. Zero defect was one such idea. The democratic enterprise is another. It is an aspirational quest but, as Lynda Gratton demonstrates in this marvellously written book, there is enough that corporate leaders and human resources specialists can do today to embrace the power of democratic processes to both raise the economic performance of their companies and build delightful organizations". - Sumantra Ghoshal, Professor of Strategy and International Management , London Business School

    "Gratton's book is timely and important. She is one of a small but influential band of business academics who have begun to question the "ideological gloomy paradigm" - the overwhelmingly negative assumptions about human nature that historically underpin management theorising. The Democratic Enterprise is one of the first interventions to crystallise these dissatisfactions and offer steps to a positive alternative model.

    ..The revolution is democracy and it starts here." - Simon Caulkin, The Observer.

    "... provides an fascinating insight into staff motivation and development. "

    Professional Investor

    Customer Reviews

    Your opinions count

    Be the first to review this product. Write your review now.