The Bregman Leadership Podcast
Episode 207

Pim de Morree

Corporate Rebels

How can you create a meaningful workplace for your employees? Pim de Morree, along with Joost Minnaar, wrote the book Corporate Rebels: Make Work More Fun. They have visited hundreds of progressive organizations to find out how to make your workplace not only more efficient, but how to create an environment where employees are trusted to do their jobs. Today, Pim de Morree and I discuss the idea of simplifying bureaucracy and trusting people to make important decisions with company money, how larger organizations can help individual employees feel like their actions and decisions matter, and the pros and cons of salary transparency.

About

Get the book, Corporate Rebels, from Amazon here:

Learn more

Website: Corporate-Rebels.com
Bio:  Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree are the founders of Corporate Rebels – a global movement to make work more fun. Their cult blog is read in over 100 countries and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, HuffPost, The Guardian, and the BBC. The authors have been listed among the Top 30 Emergent Management Thinkers and won the 2019 Thinkers50 Radar Award.

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Transcript

This transcript is unedited.

 

Peter:

With us today is Pim de Morree. He wrote the book with Joost Minnaar Corporate Rebels, make work more fun. And rather than give you Pimm’s bio, I’m going to let him tell you his story because his story is his bio and it’s so connected to the book itself. So Pam, welcome to the Bregman leadership podcast.

Pim:

Thank you very much. Happy to be here.

Peter:

So actually please share with us your story of how you came to write this book.

Pim:

Yeah, so the story started about four years ago or a little bit over four years ago now where Yost and myself. We were both in our previous jobs, so pretty corporate jobs. We finished about eight years ago now or engineering degrees and we started to work for companies and we actually did the thing we studied for, and we liked the work itself, but there was one big problem. And that was the fact that we didn’t like the way that the organization was structured and that the work itself was structured. So we like to work, but we didn’t like the companies we worked for and probably a lot of people can identify with that.

Peter:

And actually, let me, let me put you there for a second. Cause when I read the book, I kind of had the sense that you didn’t really love the work you were doing either. Is that not right? Did I misread that?

Pim:

Uh yeah, because the work itself was a very interesting, like for example, Joost studied nanotechnology and he was doing, or at least a part of his work was spending his time in a lab to do all kinds of nerdy stuff with the the stuff that he actually liked to do. But it was the fact that he was writing so many reports instead of just doing the actual work and the same for me, like I’m spending way too much time in meetings. I’m not making decisions and not being efficient or effective in what we wanted to do.

Peter:

I see. So that’s what the job was interesting core of the job, the thing that what you were actually doing, but then having to do it in the context of an organization and, and all of the sort of bureaucracy that goes along with that made it unpleasant for you.

Pim:

Yeah.

Peter:

So the idea of the job of what we should be doing was actually interesting, but what we were actually doing spending way too much time on all the bureaucracy and all the frustrating things that surrounded the work that was just annoying to us. So, so let me, can I ask you a question about that already? I know you’re just the story, but it’s, And we’re going to get into the book now, but here’s what I’m curious about when, when you look at, and this is going to tee up the conversation about the book, but when you look at an organization, like if you’re an individual contributor right now, for the most part, it’s you and Joost, and then you have no bureaucracy, right? Because you don’t need to have your accuracy cause there’s no one you need to communicate with except for each other. It is, it necessary in an organization when you have multiple parties and you have people who have to coordinate and et cetera, are the meetings and things like that, are they necessary? Or did you really look at it and say, you know, what a large organization could operate without all of this bureaucracy

Pim:

To provide a simple answer, no it’s not needed. For 90% of all of the meetings and stuff and the bureaucracy and the control mechanisms we put in place they’re not needed and organizations actually flourish if they dare to get rid of them. So there was exactly this question that you’re asking me now was the question that we were asking ourselves as well. Like we worked in these companies and we knew that it was frustrating to us and we knew it, it was frustrating to a lot of people. But we didn’t understand if there was an alternative. And we had read some books from companies that were doing things radically different, but it was books, right? So we thought, well, it’s nice. These people just probably wanted to market their company or they want it to have a cool story and put it in a book.

Pim:

So we were a bit skeptical and we thought, well, it might sound that there’s an alternative in these books, but we’re not that sure actually, because we experienced it so different in our own working lives. So, and exactly this question, let’s to the start of corporate rebels, where we quit our jobs in order to search for, by nearing organizations that work in radically different ways. So we wanted to learn actually from those companies that show that’s bureaucracy, all those meetings, all those rules that we put in place are not needed and that we actually get work get more work done and that people are more motivated if you get rid of that traditional command and control structure.

Peter:

And you also talk about it in the book, obviously a lot, which is making work more fun. What do you mean by more fun?

Pim:

Might sound a bit superficial, but that’s not the fun that we mean. So we actually are talking about work, that’s meaningful where you can do the things you like to do most. And as you can put your main talents into action and contribute to something that you truly believe in. So it’s way bigger than just fun. We just want to simplify it for a two to also Jodes of people that work doesn’t automatically equal lots of boring, tedious, bureaucratic tasks. So for us, it’s much deeper than that. And it’s a lot about creating meaningful work for people and doing the things they like to do most.

Peter:

So let’s go through cause you, you, you break up your book into a bunch of chapters that relate to how most organizations operate and how you feel like they should operate and, and certainly how some progressive organizations are operating. So I want, I wanted to sort of go through some of these and, and kind of explore them and ask you some questions about them. So let’s start with the first one, which is from profit to purpose and values. And maybe when you talk about this, you can share a little bit how you went about researching the book. Cause that’s both part of your story. And part of what’s interesting and also gives some grounded-ness to the outcomes that you came up with.

Pim:

Yeah. So we, we didn’t want to theorize from our office, what organizations should be doing different. There’s a lot of people doing that already and we’re, we were more interested in actually figuring out what do these companies that seem to be doing things differently. What did it actually do different in practice on a day to day basis? And how did they get rid of, for example, to bureaucracy or to come on and control structures? So in January, 2016, when we quit our jobs, we backed our backpacks and we started to travel around the world to visit all kinds of pioneering organizations. By the way, not just organizations, also entrepreneurs, CEOs academics that we wanted to learn from how you can organize work in a different way. So, and by doing this for four years and having visited more than a hundred of those pioneers, we distilled like around eight trends, the main trends of what these organizations do different than the traditional ones.

Pim:

So for example, the first one that you talk about from profit to purpose and values, we see that these progressive organizations, obviously they believe that making money is important. Any company needs to make money, even nonprofits, and they needed to stay alive to grow their investments and therefore grow their impact. But it’s not the reason these companies exist, but they need profits to actually live true to their purpose, with a clear set of values. So they can, they exist for something bigger than just making money. And to give you one example, we here in Holland, we have a beautiful example of an organization that is truly purpose driven which is a company called Tony’s Ciocca lonely, and they make chocolate bars, but their main reason is not to sell as many chocolate bars to make as much money as possible. Their purpose is to end slavery in the chocolate industry. So there are still a lot of slavery on the in the places where they grow. What is it in English? Cacao?

Peter:

Yeah, Coco, Coco, Coco.

Pim:

So where they grow these beans, they’re still a lot of slavery in the entire supply chain. There’s still slavery in place. So this company actually was started with the ideal to eradicate slavery from this entire supply chain. So they’re making chocolate. That is not just a responsible way of making it, but also invest a lot of their money back into their purpose, which is making sure that slavery in and the cocoa industry ends. So this is one of the companies that actually puts their purpose before profits. So they make constantly, they make decisions not based on what is gonna make us the most money in the next quarter, but what is going to contributes to that higher purpose and how can we rally our employees or customers as suppliers around this common purpose.

Peter:

So in order to even be interested in moving in this direction for organizations, you, what you need is leadership that is committed to something beyond revenue and profitability. And so it’s, and yet throughout the book, you’re, you, you sort of refer back to a number of different times in a number of different ways, you know, doing this will help you to be more profitable, right? Like, like your business will be more successful if you adopt these practices. So, and I think about engagement, you know, higher engagement of people and higher engagement leads to. And so I’m, I’m curious of the interplay of that, of where profit, how leaders who want to lead organizations that look like these progressive organizations that you’re talking about how they think about profit, what you discovered when you spoke with them about how they think about profit.

Pim:

Yeah. So first of all, there’s not a proven causal relationship between the two. So let’s say if you focus on purpose, profit will follow. But there is a, there is a correlation between the two. What is for these leaders most important is that they focus on purpose. What is a nice thing to have is that by doing that, they are able to charge, for example, premium prices because their customers want to not just buy their product, but they want to buy a premium price because they believe what the company stands for. So they believe that if you focus on those good things, if you focus on creating a community around you, of people interested in the same purpose who want to pursue that same purpose, then also the money will add then follow, but they don’t believe in doing it because of the money they do it because they believe it’s the right thing to do actually, because they wants to make the world a better place.

Pim:

And I want to contribute to that through their organizations. So it’s a nice to have, and it’s not the reason they actually do it. So if you want to, for example, if you’re still a traditional company focused on quarterly earnings it wouldn’t be, in my opinion, would it be a good idea to move towards a purpose driven organization simply because you want to make more money? I think that’s not the right thing to do. People will know it’s not authentic. And then it simply won’t work. So the main thing about this strong purpose and strong values is that you actually believe in it. And not just that you may get to make more money in the end, right?

Peter:

Let’s, let’s move to rules and control to freedom and trust. I want to, I want to jump around here a little bit, because I think some of these are harder to swallow for organizations and for leaders and others. And so this is a hard one, which is I’m leading actually. Why don’t you share first? What you mean by, from rules and control to freedom and trust?

Pim:

Yep. Yeah. So this was one of the things that frustrated me mostly when I was still in my corporate job. So the idea from rules and controls of freedom and trust is the fact that we tend to make it a lot of rules and organizations come up with a lot of procedures and protocol to, in order for people to act a certain way. So for example, to avoid risks or to tell people, okay, this is the way you should be doing your job while, especially in a workplace that changes very often and very quickly as most of today’s workplaces, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because people need creativity. They need to have autonomy to make decisions, according to the things they come across in their day to day work. So if you have all these fixed rules, you by definition cannot be agile.

Pim:

You cannot respond quickly because there’s all these rules that tell you and dictate you how you should be doing your job. So these progressive organizations believe that the bureaucratic organization is a thing of the past that had worked perfectly well for organizations that do it every day, the very same thing. But nowadays, when things change so quickly, people need to be more adaptive. So they need to be able to respond according to their own judgment. So they get rid of lot of rules and policies that many traditional organizations put in place. And to give you one personal example, I used to travel a lot with the company I used to work for. So I had to travel to airports to do business there. And then when I came back I had to, as many people fill in the expense claim reports. So it took ages to fill them in was like five, a four pieces of paper.

Pim:

I had to fill in to make sure every dollar or every year that I spent was according to the company rules in a company guidelines. And then it was sent to my manager for approval. Then it was sent to his manager for approval. And then it was sent to a separate department that was exclusively set up to check expense claims. So there were, there was a full time department of people working to check expense claims. So there was this extremely long control mechanism process in place which costs a lot of time, a lot of frustration, but also a lot of money, right. Which you see in progressive organizations is that they get rid of the entire process. And for example, Netflix, they say, well, we only have one guideline. You don’t travel policy, which is act in Netflix best interests. So use the money as if it were your own.

Pim:

If you think you have to go to events, see restaurants and make an important deal. And please go ahead and do so. But if you can achieve the same outcome and spend less money, please do debts. We trust you as an employee to make responsible decisions at work just as you do at home, you would get rid of the entire control mechanism. Therefore save a lot of money. And, but, and another advantage is that you actually give people the autonomy to make their own decisions based on their own judgments and not to simply look at the rule book and look at how much money they can spend on restaurants or hotel bills. So it’s the simple things that organizations can get rid of and create much more freedom in the workplace for people to make their own decisions based on their judgment. And we’re all responsible adults at home as well. We make big decisions about educating our children about how do you say that? Keeping up our relationship with friends, organizing things with family, we do all these things and we have a lot of responsibility at home. And then we entered a workplace and we’re not even allowed to spend 100 or $500 of company money. And this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Peter:

So, you know, I have a bunch of questions about this because I, in concept, I totally agree with you. And then when I look at it practically, you know, the thing that comes up to me as I’m just thinking about this is the American healthcare system and how much we end up spending in aggregate as a country on healthcare in part, because we don’t actually pay for it. Meaning, meaning, you know, in the, the decisions we make with our families and with our children, those are decisions that we’re a hundred percent responsible for the consequences of when we’re working for a business, by the way, especially now, when you think that most people stay at a company for two years, like not 30 years, right? The consequences of their decisions are much smaller. And, and the challenge of, of making those decisions when you don’t really feel the consequences are, it’s not really your money.

Peter:

I’m if I’m going to be evaluated based on the sales I make, I might be willing to spend thousands of dollars on dinners in order to get more set, you know, like the way people operate are is, is there, like, I guess my question is, do you have this idealized view of how it should be? And how do you, how do you address this? The reality that if I’m running a 3000 person organization or 300,000 person organization, how, how do you, how do you manage those kinds of decisions or can you really trust that even when people don’t feel the consequences of their own decisions individually, that they’re willing, the fel still makes the right decisions?

Pim:

Good question. I think there’s two things I want to say about that. Look like the first thing is that I truly believe that if you trust people, this will come back in a good way. So nowadays we tend to make rules for the 3% that might abuse it. But therefore we hold back 97% of the people who would not abuse the freedom. So that’s already a, an interesting thing in itself, but at the same time, you, I think you would have a very good point. The bigger something is the less responsibility you feel the end result. And then obviously are not as much connected to the decisions you make and you don’t feel as responsible as you would in a smaller environment. And the same thing we see in these organizations. So besides giving employees a lot of freedom and a lot of trust, they also give them a huge amount of responsibility.

Pim:

So, and this is also one of the trends that we talk about from, from a hierarchical pyramid, to a network of teams where these companies break up those big structures, where you really feel like you’re just a tiny part of the bigger system, breaking that down into a network of teams. And in those teams, mostly of 10 to 15 people, the individuals in those teams have a lot of decision making power, and they’re also fully responsible for the end result of that team. So the decisions they make and they very clearly can track, okay, what is the effect of my decision based on our team performance. Sometimes it’s even tied to a profit sharing arrangement for that specific team. And therefore you not only give people a lot of freedom and autonomy, but you also, at the same time, give them a lot of responsibility and more or less, okay, this is your own little shop or your own little business. Make sure you take care of it with your team members. So besides just giving them the freedom it’s also important to, to push that responsibility to the forefront of the organization as much as possible.

Peter:

So it, you know, these, so these different elements, these eight elements interact together because, you know, you talk about moving from a hierarchical pyramid to a network of teams. If, if you don’t do that, you might have a harder time with moving from rules and control to freedom and trust, meaning like that. You, you need to set up all the elements of the organization so that they, you know, interlock and work together in a way that supports all the other pieces.

Pim:

Yeah. So if you started working on one and we see this in some of the organizations we support, so if you start working on one, you will automatically run into trouble, which forces you to also start working on the others. So for example, also by giving people a lot of freedom, besides changing the organizational structure and the team structure, you also want to think about how much transparency do we actually want in our organization. So if people, for example, at Netflix, if you can spend whatever you want on travel costs, then they at the same time also make it transparent within seam. How much are we actually spending on travel money? So, and this transparency helps people to create a sort of peer review mechanism in their teams. So you see that if you start working on one of the trends automatically, you will also run into trouble, which forces you to work on some of the others,

Peter:

The secrecy, the transparency, which you’ve just alluded to is, is a real challenge for some organizations in part, because of the question, how transparent are you and should you be? And, you know, and I think about the, like what people need in times of leadership. And, and are you suggesting that, you know, certainly, you know, have performance and goals totally transparent, be open in your communication. You also suggest you know, salary transparency. I think that’s really interesting. I mean, I literally knew an organization in, in the early days of the internet that saw a 30% turnover in a single day because the head of HR it, because it was a time where the, there was such inflation in the employee salaries because workers were in such high demand that if you had been working there for three months and they hired me for the same position, they’d have to pay me 25% more than they paid you three months ago.

Peter:

Right. But you actually have longevity. I mean, someone who had been there two years was being paid less than me also. That’s what it costs to get me in there. And the organization may not have been sustainable and it may not be sustainable to increase people’s salary every three weeks. Right. But they’re hiring 500 people in a year and that’s what it’s going to take to get them. And the head of HR by mistake, he thought he was being transparent and sending out everyone’s vacation schedules and how many vacation days they had left, but instead sent out everybody’s salary numbers. And literally that day 30% of the organization quit in a single day. So I’m sort of curious about like, can you really be transparent about salaries? Like how far do we take the S the, the transparency piece?

Pim:

Well, I think if we want to solve some very tough issues of today’s workplaces, for example, a gender pay gap, we need to make salaries transparent. The secrecy, I believe will never amount to anything good. People might have a different salary. It doesn’t necessarily mean that people will earn all the same salaries, but the idea and the philosophy that we’re all working with responsible adults, and everybody needs to also understand how an entire business functions and therefore also how salary, how salaries function and how they are distributed within the organization, creates a certain feeling of fairness in an organization. And I think that’s vital. If you want to work together with a group, a group of people that you have a feeling, a high feeling of fairness and that you also therefore know what other people in an organization are earning. And I think we’ve seen this in so many companies where they make the move, and maybe not as bold as the mistake made by that HR person that you just refer to, but more deliberately, okay, this is where we want to move towards. And some organizations decide, for example, to start with a small group of people who want to share their salary themselves, and then they invite more people in. If you share your salary, you also get to see the others that are already made there’s transparency. So this could be a more easy way to go towards that salary transparency while others still, okay. We just publish it and let us see what happens. Even if shit hits the fan. We still want to be honest with our people, because we all believe we’re in this together. So don’t

Peter:

People tend to overvalue their own contribution and undervalue other people’s contribution in, in situations. And if that’s true, then I am always going to feel like I’m not paid enough. And I’m going to always feel like you’re paid too much. And have you seen that in organizations?

Pim:

Yeah, but the interesting thing is that we see, we’ve seen also quite a lot of organizations where they have self set salaries. So people get to set their own salaries and we do the same thing internally. So it’s not just me and Yost anymore. We have a team here at corporate rebels and we also allow people to set their own salaries. And we’ve seen this in many organizations where if you give people the opportunity to do that, we actually seen in some companies that people give themselves a lower salary, then they would’ve gotten, if somebody else would have given them their salaries. So they, most of them actually undervalue themselves because they feel okay, whatever salary I’m going to set is going to be transparent within the organization. If people are going to see that, I want to make sure that it is fair, or at least it feels fair to me. So it actually, most of the time go in lower than other people would,

Peter:

Is there an assumption with all of these roles that we have organizations of mature adults who’ve done their own psychological work, who, you know, aren’t overly needy or overly resentful or overly greedy or all of these things that, you know, it’s very humid. I mean, it’s very human to have money issues and, and to view money in weird ways and, and confuse self worth with money. It’s very human to be jealous. And to, and I guess my question is, do, do you know, like when you think of the very, very human elements of our emotional and psychological lives, do how, how does, how does that play out in open transparent set your own salary, freedom trust kind of organizations?

Pim:

Well, I think one of the fundamental beliefs of any of these organizations that move towards such a progressive way of working is the belief that the people are good. That if you give them freedom, if you give them responsibility that you will use that in a proper way, and they will make responsible decisions. Obviously there’s a couple of requirements or conditions that you need to have in place for people to, to, to demonstrate that. And we’ve seen it in production settings where manufacturing workers that their own salaries, or that contributes to making their own decisions when they come into the workplace. And we’ve seen it in government organizations in it companies and all of these organizations that if you organize this in a proper way, and if you essentially believe that people are good, they will also show this in the workplace and you can give them a lot of transparency. You can give them a lot of autonomy and a lot of freedom. So, yes. I think that this belief is highly important. If you don’t believe this, then don’t even start on a transformation puff towards such a progressive way of working, because it simply won’t work.

Peter:

Then I can think of organizations who have some of these things, but not all of them and to some degree, but not maybe all the way. And, and I wonder if you have examples of organizations that actually follow all eight of these, you know, like, I think of Patagonia, for example, they have some of them, but not all of them. You probably understand Patagonia better than I, but, but they, you know, like I, but you use them as an example and, and, and, and have some and not others. And then I think of, so, so that’s one question, and I’m going to ask the second question. I’m going to violate the rule of good interviewing, which is, I’m gonna ask you two questions at once. But I do think that they’re related, which is, I think of these large bureaucratic organizations and let’s just take banks for a sec.

Peter:

And, and I think for them, they are so deeply ingrained in the old style of working that to start to move in this direction would potentially be a wholesale, you know, explosion of the organization, like to take an organization that is built in secrecy and go to transparency. I remember I worked with Goldman Sachs years and years ago when it was a partnership and, and they, it was built on secrecy. And just going from that to being a public company where they had to open up some of their doors was like this massive cultural shift. And it’s not even the secrecy to radical transparency that you’re talking about. That was just like letting the public know a little bit about what’s going on because now they’re shareholders. So I I’m, I’m sort of curious about both of those things about really going from bureaucratic to adopting these, and then from adopting some of them to, you know, do you know organizations that really live by this and does it have to be black or white?

Pim:

So, no, it doesn’t have to be black or white many organizations that we visited. For example, Patagonia is very strong on one of those trends or a couple of those trends, but not that strong on, on others, for example, but to go and have very strong on their purpose, right? So they truly constantly put their purpose before profits. But if you look at their organizational structure, it’s still quite hierarchical. It’s not as much command and control as you would see in other hierarchical structures, but they still have the traditional pyramid structure in place. Other organizations are much more strongly on all of the eight trends. So for example, a health care organization here in an evidence called [inaudible] and they provide home care. And they’re the largest one doing that in Holland, employing 15,000 people. And there’s not a single manager in the entire organization.

Pim:

So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s build up around 1000 or more than a thousand self managing teams of 2010 to 12 nurses. They have a lot of transparency. So every team can see how they perform to all of the compared to all of the other teams in the organization. And they have a lot of freedom, a lot of autonomy in how they do their job. So they’re very strong on most of the eight trends. So you see there’s different options. Like some organizations push all of the trends, very strongly others decide to go over a couple of them and believe that is enough for them, that is the right fit for them. So we’re definitely not saying that organizations should work exactly according to all of these eight trends. It’s about every organization figuring out, okay, what is interesting for us? What did the people in our organization believe is good for us?

Pim:

How can we make their work more comfortable and then starts changing some of these elements and some of these characteristics. So that’s to answer your first one and to answer your second question for many companies, it’s an extremely big leap to, to transform towards these progressive ways of working. I can imagine a bank like Goldman Sachs it’s it’s, it’s light years away from what they’re doing at the moment, but it is possible. And that’s the thing like even in the banking industry, like a lot of people. And I also hear this from the questions of, you asked a lot of people have this idea that in some environments, this will never work. For example, with people who are doing what we call low skilled work. A lot of people assume that it can not work there because the people are not educated enough and they are not responsible enough.

Pim:

So if you give them the freedom, they will abuse it. We’ve seen in practice that this is not the case. You can go to all kinds of labor, high, skilled, labor, low, skilled labor, and it can work in any type of environment, as long as you set the right conditions. And the same holds for industries like even in highly regulated and traditional industries, for example, banking, there’s examples of companies that are truly pioneering in their way of working. For example, a bank, a Swedish bank called huddles bunk, which were also describing the book that employs 15,000 people or 14,000 people as Pret around Europe. And in the seventies, they made a change from being very traditional to warts of highly decentralized organization, with lots of transparency in place, lots of freedom for people working at the front line. And it was a big change, radical change. And it took a couple of years for them to move towards that more progressive way of working, but it can be done. And it had, it was a huge culture shift as well, but it can be done even in such a traditional organization or a traditional sector.

Peter:

Yeah. And I imagine also maybe you, you know, go from totally centralized to some more distributed authority or from totally directive to some more supportive leadership or from, you know, totally hierarchical to beginning to develop elements of teams, if that’s your interest kind of moving in that direction.

Pim:

Yeah. And it’s not a zero one, it’s not a it’s, it’s way more of a continuum where you can obviously pick what works for you, what works best for you as an organization.

Peter:

Tim, is there a question I haven’t asked you that you feel like I should be asking you?

Pim:

That, well, there’s always one question that I would like to address free because one other big assumption of people is that they think change can only come from the top where you need leadership, the CEO in place who believes in these radical changes and it forces an organization to move in that direction. Well, I want, I want to say that there’s also organizations where you see the change is actually coming more from the bottom up. So really as a social revolution where one team or one department in the organization is changing the way that that specific team works. And then you see the other teams also start adopting some of those ways of working and you see that the change that initially starts very small, then really becomes a bit of a movement and grows inside the organization to sometimes even overthrow the traditional structures entirely and move into, move into this progressive way of working

Peter:

With full on like heads on stakes kind of revolution.

Pim:

No more is more incremental, mostly. So it starts small. And then people build up and based on intrinsic motivation of other teams that want to jump on board, they start recruiting fellow rebels and then start building their movement towards this new way of working. So it doesn’t have to start at itself. And I think that’s an important message because people often think, well, I’m not the CEO so I can change them thing. This is not the case. So even if you are a team lead or a team member, start finding those rebels around you and start experimenting yourself to figure out what might work for you as a team.

Peter:

Here’s what I’m curious about, which is you, you work with corporate rebels as an organization you work with, with other companies in order to try to help them move in this direction to become more progressive. So do you, and this would be super cool, but super risky. So I don’t know if you do it, but do you go into organizations at junior levels and try to incite revolutions within the organization? Meaning when you go into an organization, are you hired by leaders and team leaders, or do you ever go in at, at levels of, of, you know, junior employees and help them to get a revolution and rebellion started within their organization?

Pim:

Yeah, so both actually. So most of the time we’re brought in by leadership and sometimes if leadership is brave enough and we pushed for this as much as possible, they just need to be there to support and let go. And then we are starting the revolution more at the bottom because those are the people that need to,

Peter:

But it’s still leadership. That’s saying, yes, go ahead and do it. You’ve never gone to an organization where leadership says no way we’re hierarchical. And then you have other people who are more junior going, no, no, no. Want to start a revolution. And then you work with them to start a revolution and overthrow the top. Does that?

Pim:

Oh, no, definitely. I don’t know that that has happened as well. So that does happen as well, but we haven’t been able to overthrow it yet, but we’re in the process of doing that. And I think in the end, things will work out like that as well. Like if you have enough momentum, if you’re gaining a lot of if you get a lot of people to really believe in a movement like this and they stand up for actually doing that, then you also can easily do that in bigger organizations where the top is not initially into this transformation, right.

Peter:

We’ve been speaking with Pim D’Amore and who has written the book with Joost Minnaar corporate rebels make work more fun. Pim, thank you so much for being on the Bregman leadership podcast.

Pim:

Thanks a lot. Enjoyed it.

 

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