There are other admirable companies besides Toyota

I have currently read the book Maverick! from Ricardo Semler who is CEO and owner of Semco Group, a Brazilian company. Normally you can read today a lot of Toyota and it’s sophisticated and very successful practices and general management style. But Semco is a company which started as very traditional managed company, with a very unspectacular product range, hydraulic pumps and dishwashers in a country which was definitely not known as successful economy. Ricardo Semler and his very creative co-workers have build up a company which seems to be very unique in the world: the structure is build on the best values of democracy, capitalism and socialism, it survived a hard economic system and produce very low organizational overhead. The Semco Way is based on fairness has proven that if you trust people and keep them responsible a more effective and agile company can emerge.
I highly recommend to read this book, it helps to understand why traditional management structures are ineffective and no way to go in our fast changing world …

UPDATE: His second book, The Seven-Day Weekend, is different from his first. Maverick! is basically a biography of Semco, the newer one is written from a more outsider like position and, more interesting, after Semco has become a very large, diversified group of different companies. So this book is written in a bit more like style of an general management advisor, but never the less highly recommended.

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