From musician to innovative management startup. How did he do it?
An inspiring leader doesn’t always imply an inspiring company or an inspiring management. But it’s very often the case, for example here with Kozo Takei and the company he founded, Diamond Media.
So to begin with, here’s the story of Kozo.
Before founding this real estate software company, Kozo was a musician. Passionate with music, he went to LA to live his dream, to study, and produced some songs there.
Why this vision of management now?
Kozo is young, but already has a strong vision of what management should be. He explained us where he got this vision from.
When he came back to Japan, he founded a company with a couple of high school friends. They all borrowed money from their relatives etc, and then failed…
“Launching this company was my idea, I felt deeply responsible, and told myself I would make sure responsibility is balance in my next company”.
So a few months later he created Diamond Media, and started reading books on management. His mentor: Ricardo Semler, from Semco, (a company we look forward to visiting !)
He also read Holacracy One, and implemented the system, before realising it was too processed for him. He still says his company works following the holacracy system, but it doesn’t use all the tools and everything. It is more like a mindset to him.
When the organization is organical…
We usually try to list the different best practices from the companies we visit, in terms of communication, hiring, feedback etc. Here, a lot of space is giving to improvisation, and most issues are solved on a case by case basis. There are no rules concerning the process of raising one’s salary or for the decision making.
Actually, the CEO is elected every year. So far, it always has been Kozo that “won” those elections.
“What if you don’t get elected next time?
I do not know what will happen then, but it is sure that it isn’t gonna change the management model!”
Kozo is convinced that this way of managing is going to be mainstream in a few years. According to him, this model enables people either to be happier than in a hierarchal structure, and to be more performant.
Even if they do not have a written culture, values or vision at Diamond Media, they still have strong convictions:
- Transparency is a core value, and salaries, bank accounts etc are shared.
- There are only intrinsic motivations: no financial incentives at all.
- The best solution when it comes to conflicts are the facts: collect data instead of collecting all opinions.
- Knowledge sharing is essential. They have a monthly mentoring reunion called “brain trust”.
“Your happiness is on you, your motivation is yours”
At Diamond media, the co-workers can be happy, if they want to. However, Kozo thinks that it’s not the company’s responsibility to ensure that everyone is happy, the only thing they can do, is to offer an environment where people can obtain self-fulfilment.
Here is more about Diamond Media : http://fr.slideshare.net/kozotakei
Permission to republish granted by the authors.
Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine