Companies of the future: No CEO, no boss, managed by blockchain

Great article by Jeremy Epstein on VentureBeat that resonates with how I think. It’s about a Decentralized Autonomous Organization and it has no CEO, CFO, or VPs.

The article touched me in the same way “Permission Marketing” from Seth Godin touched me back in 1999. So it’s something that doesn’t happen often.

It comes at a time where I’m trying to explain to people what the fundamental difference is when it comes to running a cooperative organisation like Herculean compared to a traditional organisation. The article describes exactly what I mean, so I hope many people will read it before they decide to work with us.

It comes at a time where I got in conversation with the founders of Duval Union, another amazing cooperative entity. They shared a great article with us about Network Governance. The article states that Networked Organisations are great to use for “Wicked Problems“. They are great to drive innovation. They are fast and rely on trust.

These things come at a time where we are building teams of licence-holders all over the world. A time where we need to define our “way of working” to hundreds of people from partners to crew to suppliers.

I actually believe that our governance structure is what makes us so special. Of course we are great in organising Hercules Trophy, Academies en Projects. Of course we have amazing technology to drive our growth. But I believe the most important part is our DNA. It’s the people who work together and create amazing experiences without a strict hierarchical model to govern them. It’s a DNA, a set of values that defines whether you are a Herculean or not. Because of that DNA, the non-Herculeans eventually leave the organisation and new Herculeans join. Just to be very clear: it’s not because you don’t have our DNA, that you are a “bad” person! We are just not the right company for you.

You can read the complete article here. Underneath are some interesting extracts:

In fact, there’s no hierarchy at all. Of course, any time you bring people together in a group, there are bound to be politics, but it won’t be the “command and control” structure that most of us are used to.

What a DAO is

A DAO is a combination of computer code, a blockchain, smart contracts, and people. (Well, people, for now, at least, but that’s a topic for a different post.)

The founders of a DAO set up the basic governance rules of how it will work. For one example, see how Fermat explains it here.

The DAO has stakeholders who own tokens that represent a share in the performance of the DAO. Essentially, what those stakeholders want is an increase in the value of their tokens as reflected by increased demand.

The bottom line is that, in a DAO, instead of being hired as an employee, you are awarded a contract on a project basis. The Fermat project, for example, calls these ‘Contribution Contracts.”  Then, after discussion among the community members, the proposal is voted upon and, when passed, work can commence.

So, the incentive for everyone who contributes to a DAO is

  1. Get your stuff done
  2. Get it done with high quality
  3. Treat people with respect

After all, if you don’t do these things, your livelihood is threatened.

Successful vs Unsuccessful people

Many people or even other companies believe that they will become successful by hitching their wagon to a successful company. That’s the worst nightmare of any company as I believe nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe that success highly depends on yourself and that successful companies are created by successful people who create a culture for success together, based on believes and common values. So in fact, it’s the other way around. You need successful people to create amazing customer experiences and build successful companies.

Just like any other company, we constantly struggle with “how to know if somebody’s going to be successful?”. In fact, as we have cool products, it’s even more difficult because people really believe Herculean’s success is “easy” to achieve. They don’t grasp how much hard work and suffering is required to be part of our team.

Nobody wants to hire people who will run into a brick wall eventually. It’s a waste of energy and if you hire too many unsuccessful people, it can even jeopardise a successful company. Believe me, I had my share too over the past 20 years.

So, can you know? We now use techniques like personality types and core talents and interviews with our core team and coaches to reduce the risk, but even then you can’t be 100% sure of a person because a lot depends on the person himself every single day. Unsuccessful people are pretty good in covering up for their bad habits. However, successful people have a great radar to discover the frauds out there (they just have to trust their radar, but that’s another topic). So my believe is:

  • test enough before you start
  • build in a trial and make it clear it’s a trial with clear personal objectives
  • follow them closely, get them out of their comfort zone to see how they react, go through a crisis together and nurture open communication
  • hire them when you are 200% sure they are successful people
  • if you see during the process they are unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to say goodbye or even better: let them make their own conclusion (increasing pressure usually does the trick). You are doing yourself and them a big favor. For sure, they will complain, hold grudges and speak bad about you, but the longer you wait the more they actually will. Don’t worry about the grudges and gossip. Just worry if successful people do that.
Can unsuccessful people be coached into success? Probably, but as Georges Anthoon would say:
I recently saw a post from my dear friend Bev Mileham, which is a pretty good comparison to help you discover who is successful and who isn’t:

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So, are you successful? Have a Herculean day!

 

Why The Annual Performance Review Is Going Extinct

Employees don’t need annual performance reviews to know how they stack up against their peers says Kris Duggan on FC.com. I couldn’t agree more. At Herculean, we believe in three simple things when it comes to building breakthrough teams. They are based on The Orange Revolution:

  • WOW: go for worldclass
  • Open Communication: no surprise
  • Cheer each other to victory

When you practice open communication, everybody knows at all time how they are performing. They not only know it from their boss, but from all their peers. Read the complete article here.

Shifting from Star Performer to Star Manager

“You’ve always been a high achiever—top of your class, captain of your sports teams, star performer at work. Now, you’re going to be managing a team of high-performers in a division of your company that everyone’s buzzing about. You’re confident that you can navigate this new challenge with characteristic success.”

You’re pumped. You set clear goals for yourself and targets for the division. You’re well aware that you’ll need to rely on your emotional intelligence skills to understand and work through your new team’s dynamics. You’re focused on achieving your goals and getting results… but before long, you’ve got problems. Your team doesn’t seem to be on board with your plan and they’re not delivering. Worse, they seem to be shutting you out. In desperation, you go to a few trusted mentors who tell you:

“You’ve inherited the cream of the crop. I’m not sure they even really need a manager, they’re that good and that motivated.”

“These are our stars. You noticed, I’m sure, that you’re the third new manager appointed in the past two years?”

It turns out it’s not so easy to manage ultra-smart high achievers — especially when you’re one of them.

Awesome read on HBR.com.

Wanna be in my team?

People in my team know what our mantra is to achieve our BHAG: Dream – Team – Focus – Network.

To build a breakthrough TEAM, I keep nagging about three keywords: WOW, Open Communication and Cheer. Three powerful words from The Orange Revolution that I find extremely difficult to implement. Average teams fail in at least one of these areas because:

  • They don’t go for worldclass
  • They talk behind each other’s back
  • They focus on the weak points of the teammembers and don’t cheer each other to victory when a mistake was made. They don’t see a mistake as a learning-opportunity but as a way to “punish” people.

These three words describe the difference between a group of individuals, a team and a breakthrough team.

I constantly look for means to explain to the team and to newbies what these three words actually mean to me. Here’s a great video from Robin Sharma about WOW.

I hate meetings

People who work with me know I HATE one thing with every cell of my body: MEETINGS. When I say this, typical “managers” will give me “the look”. Well you’re not going to win this battle, because I’ve experience for many years that meetings don’t get things done, and that’s what entrepreneurs do: getting things done.
meetingsDoes that mean I’m not a teamplayer or a bad communicator? Of course not! A meeting is just one form of communication (and everybody goes home with a different perception) and you really don’t build great teams by holding meetings. So if you do see me in a meeting it will probably have these characteristics

  • 90% transpiration, 10% inspiration: stop talking, start doing.
  • small groups (preferably one on one)
  • short, to the point, solving one thing at a time, work to a solution in the meeting (solutions can change 2 days later, but it’s better to make a decision with the information at hand than not to make any decision)
  • preferably not around a table, but during a 30min walk
  • avoid brainstorms, unless you have to brainstorm and if you have to brainstorm: do it outdoor to clear your mind. No great inventions were discovered in a meeting…Inspiration will hit you anytime, anyplace if you are focussed and not while holding a meeting.

Glen De Boeck becomes managing director of Herculean cvba

If you didn’t hear about our major announcement, you must be living on another planet 🙂  On January 13th, an important milestone was  achieved: Glen De Boeck becomes Managing Director of the Herculean coop. We were all over the news and reactions from the business and from the sport world were overwhelmingly positive.

HP_Website_intro_Glen_2

Time to start giving some business background!

4.5 years ago, Inge and me had a crazy dream to take Hercules Trophy global. We quit our corporate jobs and we worked hard, very hard to conquer a lot more than 12 Herculean obstacles. We focused on creating “a solid basis for growth” the first 3 years and then started “expanding the management team” in the next 2 years. Glen is a massive step in that process.

The journey was amazing, we met brilliant people all over the world, we aged at the speed of light, got to know each other extremely well, started building a break-through team, opened offices in Dubai and New York, shared a lot of tears and laughter, learned and innovated constantly, welcomed investors on board of the cooperative holding, started Hercules Academy and Hercules Projects, installed a board of advice etc

For Inge and me it was a very emotional day, as you can imagine. Compare it with that feeling when you bring your child to his first day at school. You know you are doing the right thing and you realise it’s now up to a lot of other people to make your baby grow.

Why this move? 

  • Because we needed a real “team professional” to run the day-to-day business while Inge and me:
    • Focus on growth outside Belgium (Middle East, Europe and USA)
    • Focus on growing the cooperative holding structure with the right corporate governance and the right investors. 
    • Guard the Herculean values, concept and platform and drive innovation
    • Inspire and help the management team to grow the business in our homemarket even further (we’ll probably grow with double digits again this year) 
  • Because Inge and me strongly believe in Glen as a leader and teamplayer with Herculean values. Everything he learned during his professional soccer career as a player, as a captain and as a coach is valuable for Herculean and we believe that Herculean can bring Glen what he’s looking for: an international challenge in a positive atmosphere.

We can’t wait to see our baby grow in the next 5 years! May the force be with Glen and the management team!

For the Belgians amongst us, here are some of the links that mention him:

http://belgs.be/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal-de-morgen/
http://www.demorgen.be/sport/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal-a2179270/
http://www.dhnet.be/dernieres-depeches/belga/glen-de-boeck-quitte-le-monde-du-football-et-se-lance-dans-les-affaires-54b3f667357050c2acd90833
http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/1285/Jupiler-Pro-League/article/detail/2179270/2015/01/12/Glen-De-Boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal.dhtml
http://kvmechelenrss.be/2015/01/12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op/
http://www.lalibre.be/sports/football/glen-de-boeck-du-football-aux-affaires-54b3f89d35709f0c39bf0f52
http://www.lavenir.net/sports/cnt/dmf20150112_00585183
http://www.mijnsportpagina.be/news/show/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-de-voetbalwereld
http://www.nieuws.be/nieuws/Glen_De_Boeck_stapt_uit_de_voetbalwereld_e23992ab.aspx
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20150112_01469688
http://www.rscanieuws.be/2015/01/12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op/
http://www.rtbf.be/sport/football/belgique/jupilerproleague/detail_glen-de-boeck-quitte-le-monde-du-football-et-se-lance-dans-les-affaires?id=8761167
http://www.sport.be/nl/jupilerproleague/nieuws/article.html?Article_ID=715996
http://m.standaard.be/cnt/DMF20150112_01469688
http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/voetbal/Jupiler_Pro_League/1.2206808
http://www.voetbalkrant.com/nl/nieuws/lees/2015-01-12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op
http://www.voetbalnieuws.be/news/161499/De_Boeck_komt_met_zeer_verrassende_boodschap
http://www.walfoot.be/fra/news/lis/2015-01-12/glen-de-boeck-nentrainera-plus
http://www.zita.be/nieuws/kranten/3657063_glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal.html