A business without managers, where self-employed employees are bathed in a climate of trust and recognition? This is possible with the philosophy of “free enterprise” created by Isaac Getz, which is becoming more and more adapted.
Concretely, what are we talking about?
In their book Liberté & Cie: When employees’ freedom drives business success (2012), Isaac Getz and Brian M. Carney theorized practices and concepts observed in many companies. The latter, by opting for a new model of organization and management system, take advantage of putting the human at the heart of their activity.
How it works ? By leaving room for the individual initiatives of employees and leaving their skills to express themselves, thanks to the complete freedom granted to them. In this approach, no conventional hierarchical system but rather a horizontal structure where collaborators self-direct. To work, this approach requires collectively establishing rules that allow a space of freedom for all. Management is based on the autonomy of the employee, who is then free to define his objectives, or to organize his own working time, for example. Giving freedom and responsibility to the employee is also bringing him recognition and well-being at work.
In any case, one principle remains: the liberalization of the enterprise does not call for any model or method. It is a philosophy that is based on trust in the human. The ultimate goal of the followers: to associate happiness with work and overall performance.
The liberated company: a transposable concept
Examples of companies that have adopted the liberated corporate philosophy are not lacking. The concept is indeed transferable to any company. If the approach is not necessarily obvious, it deserves upstream deep thought and flexibility to ensure the adaptability of the concept to his company. In France, we find, for example, Poult, a biscuit manufacturer who modified his management methods eight years ago, to motivate his teams. Significant action implemented by the company: the elimination of the intermediate level of “line leaders”, become “process experts or progress technicians”. Rather than direct the workers, the latter’s role is to accompany and help them on a daily basis. They are also gaining autonomy and are encouraged to take initiatives on the production lines.
Let us also mention Chronoflex, a pioneering company “liberated” since 2009; who has saved himself from a financial crisis by setting up irreversibly a new organization with 13 regions. The “captains” – one per region and chosen for 3 years as part of a collegiate decision-making process – are in charge of taking collective business decisions. In addition, groups of volunteers work internally in project mode to think of ways to improve. A good example of transmission of power to all employees. In the same spirit, since the 80s, the company FAVI, Picard subcontractor for the automotive industry pushes its 400 workers to elect their leaders and practice self-management. To give autonomy to the workers, the activity was divided into several “mini-factories” (ranging from 10 to 40 people), each dedicated to a customer, or a cross-functional mission, such as maintenance. Workers co-opted by their colleagues are at their head. These “leaders” do not have the status of leader but that of supervisor and can return simple operators in case of disapproval or if they wish. Among their function: the complete organization of production, the definition of investment needs, the adjustment of the team’s schedule, the management of holidays, increases, but also the management of conflicts.
At SGP, we have initiated the great managerial shift towards a “Entreprise Libérée” since 2015: an innovation in the world of Private Security! The flattening of the hierarchy has been particularly evident in the support of the heads of posts towards a broader status of “Leaders”. Real intermediaries and referents both with the customer and support services, they are able to organize schedules according to the needs and constraints of each, to recruit, to assign positions according to the expectations and skills of employees and to listen to everyone. Through this “concentric” organization that puts operational staff at the heart of operations, we encourage the empowerment of sites. We are convinced that the best people to manage are those in the field. As a result, the decision chain is reduced, the service becomes more reactive, the agents are more involved and our support services are now positioning themselves as facilitators in the service of the field!
In the end, adopting the liberated corporate philosophy is: more efficient employees, a more flexible organization, a more innovative company, but also, a better overall performance of the company, with increasing financial results and objectives. regularly reached!