There Is No Democracy Within Companies

I hope you didn’t think there is democracy within the companies you work for and that we each get a vote on how to do our job. This thing with voting applies merely when choosing a location for the end of the year party, not for serious business decisions.


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Let’s say you submit to vote the percent of salary growth you wish to implement starting next year. What do you suppose is going to be the result of a democratic vote? It will be a mass vote, but very much unrealistic. A result that doesn’t line up with the company budget, though desirable, cannot be applied as it was voted for.

Another example is connected to making a decision on a new project, one that has to consider multiple elements, not just a simple vote. You can get a situation where a vast majority voted for and a single person voted against. But that one person, when stating all the arguments for voting against, may turn the whole thing around. Solid arguments and not a vote that would have led to a wrong decision made by the ruling majority.

There is no democracy in the companies, at least not the ad-litteram meaning of the word. If it were subjected to a vote, the multi-Jobs Steve  would’ve never released the IPhone.

You can submit to vote what you order for lunch, but even then you’ll get some difficulties when choosing between pizza and pizza. A vegan solution or the really unhealthy but tasty donuts might divert you from the initial vote.

As a manager or even as a business owner you don’t have to be cool or nice, you have to make sure the results are aligned with the company strategy. Well, it helps if you are cool, but it’s not enough.

Your decisions may affect the families of tens/hundreds/thousands of people and you cannot accuse a bad vote when ending up in a disaster and choosing not to take the blame.

Even during the times when things are bad, there is still a person responsible for making that decision. You cannot say that eight people voted for introducing the wild lilies perfume in our stores and after that the situation reflected in fewer customers.

If you have an underperforming employee, you don’t call a vote regarding his/her evolution, you move to corrective actions for the benefit of both sides and to reach the expected performance.

If you are the decision maker in a team/department/company and have to make a decision – you do it, you take on the responsibility and act. The consultation stage is extremely important, but it mustn’t be mistaken for the decisional process. You can be a surgeon performing an operation and all of a sudden a complication occurs. What do you do? Hold a voting session, of course, asking the nurses, the anesthesiologist and whomever is in the room for their opinion. NOT.

Business doesn’t translate as democracy, but also it doesn’t mean going for the extreme dictatorship, ‘cause in this case you’ll probably end up alone.

Good luck deciding!

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