Employees Voting

I am all for bringing in different ideas and perspectives.  Social Media can be a great vehicle for doing just that.  But run a business that way?  Matt Shaer did a great story for New York magazine on a couple of companies doing just this and operating in the absence of any hierarchy.  Clearly these folks think it works for them, and more power to them to do as they wish.  But I have seen this play out before and never seen it end well.

The concept of everyone having a say in whether or not another team member gets a raise is undoubtedly alluring to anyone who has watched the team slacker get the same raise as the team superstar and fumed in frustration.   But I‘ve had to deal with some extraordinarily weak or incompetent front-line managers over my career.  In most cases, the employees ran the show and sooner or later a clique emerged and gained dominant control.  Eventually “we” becomes “them.”

I do not believe you can overcome human nature in the end.   There is a fine line to be walked between “voting someone off the island” and “Get Piggy!”  I would have to see some longitudinal studies and proof of superior results to abandon my belief that an inspiring and effective leader’s team will outperform the happy mob every day and twice on Sunday.