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21st Century Work Life and leading remote teams

Brought to you by Virtual not Distant, the 21st Century Work Life podcast looks at leading remote teams, online collaboration and working in distributed organisations.

Join Pilar Orti, guests & co-hosts as they shine the spotlight on the most relevant themes and news relevant to the modern knowledge worker.

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Jan 25, 2018

Fernando Polo describes his company’s journey towards salary transparency, and tells us why they’re moving towards self-setting salaries at Good Rebels.


Pilar mentions this article about millenials and their attitude towards salary transparency:

She recommends this episode from Ted Radio

And also episode 137 from the 21st Century Work Life podcast with David Burkus.

We start at the beginning of Fernando’s journey, when he joined the company during a very difficult period.

The present Good Rebels structure, company make-up, locations, etc.

Fernando mentions the book “The Future of Management” by Gary Hamel.

How he shifted his mindset, from a hierarchical mindset to self-management after reading that book.

Fernando’s own book, which he co-authored with his brother: “Lidertarios”.

The journey begins: according to the values of openness, engagement, commitment, etc, they decided to transform the company from a family owned business company to a co-operative partnership, there are now 12 partners, “and growing”.

The titles the company uses internally, eg Knights.

The company is structured as Client Squads, autonomous client teams.

The “Hubs” are centres of excellence to spread best practice throughout the company, eg data hub, technology hub, creativity and design. They have Hub co-ordinators, who are voted in.

“Rebel ships” and “Basecamps”. Using a language that allows for remote operations and remote client work.

More on the role of the co-ordinator. How difficult it is to define the role of a manager, or similar – a good one, that is!

Basecamps, not “implants” in client offices.
Manifestos, instead of rules and procedures.

How Good Rebels work with a client remotely. Offices in big cities are less used to working with agencies remotely than those in small cities.

First steps towards Salary Transparency, stemming from the value of Radical Transparency.

“The Outlook” was the first meeting to be opened up to all employees.
The “In Progress” ranking and what happened when this was opened up. (Hint: not pretty.)

The “In Progress” has now been split into two: feedback mechanism and self-setting salaries.

The question of privacy laws when publishing salaries (internally).

“Transparency builds honesty.”

It’s difficult to have inequality when you have salary transparency.

How this affects recruitment.

No longer about “owners and employees”, but more about a group of entrepreneurs. Your salary depends less on your relationship with your boss.

Research around salary transparency.

The potential to reduce gender gap by introducing open salaries!
Not all organisations are ready to introduce open salaries – just notice the long journey Fernando has been talking about…

A new way of deciding / formula who gets a raise in the company.
A system that takes into account that some people know better than others the quality of the work of others.