Insights from 100 of the world’s most progressive organisations on how to make work more fun – Interview with Pim de Morree of Corporate Rebels

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Today’s interview is with Pim de Morree, co-founder at Corporate Rebels, who are on a mission to make work more fun. Pim joins me today to talk about their research, their journey to date, progressive organisations, and the arrival of their new book: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – A lot of organisations talk outside in but their systems are not designed outside in – Interview with John Seddon of The Vanguard Method – and is number 331 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Pim:

  • Pim and I have spoken before on the podcast (Dec 2017): Corporate Rebels and their bucket list show how to create inspiring workplaces.
  • The book is an embellishment of and the story behind the eight habits of progressive organisations that they have uncovered in their research.
  • These habits are a set of general conclusions that demonstrate what makes the progressive companies that they talked to successful and different compared to more traditional organisations.
  • The habits are:
    • 1. From profit to purpose & values
    • 2. From hierarchical pyramids to a network of teams
    • 3. From directive leadership to supportive leadership
    • 4. From predict & plan to experiment & adapt
    • 5. From rules & control to freedom & trust
    • 6. From centralized authority to distributed authority
    • 7. From secrecy to radical transparency
    • 8. From job descriptions to talents & mastery
  • The desire to make work more fun is not a generational thing.
  • It doesn’t matter how old you are. People want the same thing when it comes to work: a sense of meaning or purpose to what they’re doing, autonomy and to be able to get better at what they do.
  • Fun does not mean free cake and pool tables. Fun means that people are more engaged and more motivated in the workplace than they are today.
  • Progressive organisations tend to be focused on creating a purpose or meaning in their work, breaking down hierarchical command and control style structures so that people have a lot of freedom and they are also looking to create better outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • To lead or work in a progressive organisation requires unlearning a lot of what we have been taught at school or in other organisations.
  • Progressive organisations operate on trust rather control.
  • Pim told a story about a democratic school in Costa Rica and draws the lesson that we are not taught to self-manage or take decisions for ourselves.
  • Take school uniforms as an example.
  • Pervasive measurement, surveillance and analytics of employee actions and behaviour does not sit comfortably within this.
  • Haier is a Chinese manufacturing company and is the largest white goods manufacturer in the world. They employ 75,000 people and are a great example of a very large company that has become a progressive organisation. They have split themselves into more than 4,000 smaller companies (Micro Enterprises) and instead of acting like one big company they behave more like a series of small companies that collaborate to deliver services and products to customers.
  • From a traditional perspective that probably sounds quite chaotic.
  • But, you need that type of chaos for organisations to be able to adapt to the ever and fast changing business environment.
  • Progressive means adaptable and evolutionary.
  • Pim’s advice on where to start making your own organisation or team more progressive: The first thing you have to understand is what you actually want to change and why. Ask yourself: What is frustrating you? Answer that question and that will tell you where to start.
  • After that, think about what sort of experiment(s) you can do that will help change the way you work and alleviate that frustration.
  • Pim’s Punk CX words: Fewer rules & childish policies and Progressive .
  • Pim’s brand that epitomises a punk ethos: Tony’s Chocolonely.

About Pim and Corporate Rebels

Joost and Pim Corporate Rebels

Joost (left) and Pim (right)

Pim de Morree co-founded Corporate Rebels with Joost Minnaar after saying goodbye to his corporate job. This was just three years after he had finished his studies in Industrial Engineering & Management Science and Innovation Management at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Jost and Pim have spent the last three years researching and visiting the world’s most progressive organizations. When not researching, Pim writes for the Corporate Rebels blog, advises companies, and gives keynote presentations all over the world to inspire organizations to radically change the way they work. Together with the rest of the Corporate Rebels team, he supports the growth of a global movement to make work more fun.

Their work has been featured in prominent media outlets including The New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and the BBC. In addition, Thinkers50 named them in the “Top 30 Emergent Management Thinkers In The World”, and awarded them the “Radar Award” whilst The Chartered Management Institute calls them “One of the new voices re-energizing management”.

Grab a copy of their book: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun, say Hi to them and Pim on Twitter at @corp_rebels and @Pim_de_Morree and connect with Pim on LinkedIn here.

Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

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