We are different. And we walk our talk.
Here is a flavour of our practices to help you understand how:
- Collective decision-making – sharing the responsibility and accountability of being a democratic company. Honest, frank discussion and fairness through consensus.
- Happy buttons – we measure our happiness on a daily basis and track it as one of our core metrics alongside delivery and profit. Further reading: explanation and analysis.
- Church of Fail – we celebrate big and small failures as learning opportunities. Further reading. Further reading.
- Open book accounting – there are no secrets. Everyone knows what the bank balance is and how much their colleagues earn.
- Rewards team – pay rises and benefits are reviewed by a decentralised elected group. Further reading.
- Democracy – for three years running we have been recognised by WorldBlu as one of the most democratic companies worldwide.
A bit more about Democracy:
We believe strongly that to get the best outcomes and the highest degree of acceptance, a workplace should be as democratic as possible. The ‘wisdom of crowds’ principle can be applied within an organisation.
We have always been inspired by an old Inc. Magazine article about a democratically run cardboard box factory, and by the wonderful book ‘Maverick’ by Ricardo Semler. Many of us at NixonMcInnes have had negative experiences in traditional companies, making us determined to do things differently.
For our business to succeed we need extremely talented, motivated and engaged employees. The best way to achieve this is to set them free and give them as much control as possible. Once you create this kind of environment it becomes a big draw for talent and a reason for great people to stay. Democracy also helps us make better decisions since everyone has access to information and is able to contribute.
At NixonMcInnes we vote on all major company decisions. Who should we work with? Who shouldn’t we work with? Which office should we move to for more space? Which investments should we make during this financial year? How can we improve our paternity/maternity policy?
We’re not alone. There’s a growing movement around workplace democracy. More and more companies are embracing democratic principles and many are members of WorldBlu, an organisation bringing together and recognising best practice around democracy in the workplace. We review ourselves annually using the WorldBlu scorecard, which helps us assess our progress against our own benchmark and compared to other organisations.
It’s not always easy being part of a democratic company. There are difficult conversations, there is frank discussion and there can be conflict. But we believe this openness and transparency is worth it, to get the very best out of the smart and talented people at NixonMcInnes.