The 2013 WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces

Decentralization, Accountability, Transparency, Reflection + Evaluation. These are some of the ten principles of a Democratic Organization that Quick Left embodies. We are excited to announce that for the second year in a row, we've made the 2013 WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces. This list of companies from all over the world and from all types of industries is compiled based on direct feedback and data from employees. We are excited to be on the list again this year, because I truly believe that we are one of the best places to work. Happiness in the workplace has always been something I've been passionate about, and creating a profitable business that allows people to thrive and be creative is important to all of us here.

The folks at WorldBlu asked me about one of Quick Left's challenges of 2012. I would say that the transition away from a purely flat organization, while still keeping true to our democratic principles, was one of the biggest challenges we faced. As I've always said, structure, predictability and organization don't need to imply hierarchy, but adding structure to an organization can be confused with taking away freedoms.

The first part of that challenge is recognizing that we needed to take a critical look at the way we structured the organization's leadership and responsibilities. In our flat structure, we were finding areas of inefficiency as well as other areas where strong leaders weren't quite sure how or when they should step in and take the reigns without derailing their existing duties. We identified areas where we could make change and add clarity.

The next step to those set of challenges was the decision of whether to hire outside people with more experience with leadership, or to promote leaders from within. We have a pretty young team — would it be wise to allow enthusiastic, but inexperienced team members a chance at leadership? In the end, we decided that we had all the right ingredients in house and all we needed was a bit of clarity, restructuring, and of course mentorship.

Just like agile engineering process, we'll continue to iterate and tailor the process to fit our needs. We're still working on getting organized and feeling out our new roles. But, the outcome has been truly positive as we work together to continue to make Quick Left one of the best places to work in the world!

On that note, I'll also be speaking at WorldBlu Live this May. I look forward to connecting with other people that are striving for democracy in the workplace. Please reach out if you'd like to discuss strategies for building a democratic work place at your organization!