Welcome to the first issue of Possible Futures! To reimagine the future, we're starting with the workplace. What we collectively do at work has a huge impact on the world we live in. You likely have more direct influence by what you use your labor towards all day than what you buy or who you vote for. And how your workplace functions has way more affect on your everyday life. If democracy is so important, why isn’t your workplace one? Having power at work is more than having the ear of an executive or a manager with an "open door", it involves a codified vote, governance structure or contractual obligation that guarantees everyone a voice and holds leadership accountable. That structure can come into being from the beginning in a startup, from the bottom-up in union organizing, from the middle-out in leadership practices, from the top-down in a restructuring or in sector development via policy or government incentives. Start talking to coworkers and see what happens. 🙃
Though many democratic workplace movements logically start bottom up with the workers, there is an emerging group of consultants advising owners and management on this approach to be more efficient, innovative and to foster a healthier culture. Notable among them is former McKinsey partner Frederic Laloux who wrote Reinventing Organizations.
Researchers studied the Israeli tech industry, which has the highest density of unionized workers in the world, to understand why organizing has taken hold there. Their findings show that workers are blurring the lines between traditional workplace issues like better pay and more creative issues like control over what kind of projects the company takes on.