Readers of this blog already know ClÃ³vis Bojikian, former Semco’s HR director. Back in 2009, when I met ClÃ³vis, I wrote a long post about ClÃ³vis experience in participative management.
One month ago I received a Linkedin invitation to connect with Heiko Fischer:
I follow your blog and love it! My team made HR redundant at Europe’s largest videogames company. We called it the Way of Resourceful Humans, basically democratic entrepreneurship. I was wondering if you could get me in touch with ClÃ³vis Bojikian. I would love to invite him! Thank you!
Doing some research I was able to find this TED presentation:
It’s easy to see that Heiko’s ideas are in synch with ClÃ³vis experience. I instantly put them in contact and arranged for them to meet over Skype. This meeting occurred last week and it was a pleasure and an honour to be part of the conversation between those two top HR professionals so ahead of their own time. The conversation could certainly generate many posts, but I’d like to write specifically about the beginning and the end of the conversation.
In the beginning of the conversation, Heiko told a bit about his history. He told that his father worked in HR at HP and there democracy in the workplace was a value brought by the founders, so Heiko thought this was common place. Following the steps of his father, Heiko decided to work in HR as well and to his surprise, companies were far from democratic and HP was much more an exception than the rule.
At this moment, ClÃ³vis congratulated Heiko for following his father’s steps. Normally children tend to go the opposite direction of their parents, just for the sake of opposing their parents’ opinion. Heiko replied that actually he went in the opposite direction of his father. While his father believed that in order to maintain democracy in a company it is needed a strong HR department, Heiko’s view is that the perfect democratic company is one where HR is no longer needed.
After that, the conversation followed with Heiko and ClÃ³vis exchanging experiences, telling each other how they implemented participative management and democracy at workplace and their motivation to do so.
At the end, after Heiko hung up, I was walking with ClÃ³vis on his way out when I mentioned how interesting Heiko’s view on HR that the perfect democratic company is one where HR is no longer needed. Then ClÃ³vis completed “and managers are no longer needed as well”.