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Two SoCal Companies Make List of World's Most Democratic

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photo by ansik via flickr

photo by ansik via flickr
Does your company encourage leadership, transparency, democracy and creativity in the workplace? Do your co-workers participate in company decisions on an ongoing basis? WorldBlu -- a social enterprise that champions the ideas of "organizational democracy" -- compiled its list of the forty most democratic companies in the world based on questions like these.

Two Southern California companies made the list this year: Dreamhost, the popular web hosting company, and DaVita, the largest independent provider of dialysis services in America. Both companies celebrate their second year in row on this list, and DaVita is the first Fortune 500 company to break into this top forty ranking.

DaVita states that the company oversees 1,400 dialysis clinics in the United States and encourages decentralization and uniqueness in the leadership and rules for each clinic. Each employee is called a teammate, and they contribute ideas to and vote on important decisions for the company. Even the name DaVita, which means "He/She Gives Life" was chosen by democratic voting by "teammates".

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At Dreamhost, every employee is also a part owner. In the office, the company provides "ask us anything" boxes for employees to hold each other and the organization accountable. And Dreamhost techs are afforded creativity and choice in regards to which tech requests they develop solutions to.

A quick peek at the About Us section of the Dreamhost website highlights the values of organizational democracy...

DreamHost is owned by its employees. We're a tight-knit family and we're not looking to sell out to investors or media conglomerates or other gigantic companies who care more about the bottom line than providing solid web hosting. Believe us, there's plenty of those in the hosting industry already and you probably don't want to get mixed up with them.

The guys who work at those companies are crazy. They earn sales commissions. They dress in 'business casual' attire. Some of them might even wear suits! They'll toss around fancy words like 'monetizing' and 'ROI'. They attend hosting 'conferences'.

They wear cologne.

Wearing cologne in the DreamHost office is grounds for a firing. Or at least a solid 8 hours of harassment.

...and the value of entertainment and humor.
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