Training, happiness and collaborative tech companies make the WorldBlu list of Most Democratic workplaces 2013


This year’s WorldBlu list of the Most Democratic Workplaces 2013 features five companies involved in training, collaboration and happiness in the workplace.

The annual list, published last week, recognises companies that score highly on the WorldBlu 10 principles of organisational democracy. This year 51 companies made it on to the list.

Two UK-based training companies, Happy and Do Something Different, are on the list.

Happy helps individuals use their desktop software more productively, creates interactive online learning workshop and helps creates happier workplaces.

WoldBlu says: “Happy practices the democratic principle of Transparency by making all information public, including salaries. Any member of the staff can download a spreadsheet showing what everybody is currently paid and what they have been paid at every stage since they joined the company.”

The list also featured two companies that focus on making workplaces happier places to be – woohoo, consultancy of author Alexander Kjerulf and Delivering Happiness at Work, a workplace consultancy set up by Tony Hsieh, CEO of

Delivering Happiness at Work is the new workplace consultancy from Tony Hsieh, CEO of which helps organizations of all sizes become more successful through the science of happiness.

WorldBlu says: “Delivering Happiness at Work practices purpose and vision by everyone having the opportunity to randomly give out a “super-wow” to another employee who has Delivered Happiness (our higher purpose) at work that week. When they do so, they ring their DH cowbells, clap and cheer!

Podio, the collaborative work platform acquired by Citrix last year, also featured on the list.

The WorldBlu list is based on how businesses put the following 10 principles of organisational democracy into practice both at an individual and leadership level.

1 Purpose and vision
A democratic organization is clear about why it exists (its purpose) and where it is headed and what it hopes to achieve (its vision). These act as its true North, offering guidance and discipline to the organization’s direction.

2 Transparency
Say goodbye to the “secret society” mentality. Democratic organizations are transparent and open with employees about the financial health, strategy, and agenda of the organization.

3 Dialogue and listening
Instead of the top-down monologue or dysfunctional silence that characterizes most workplaces, democratic organizations are committed to having conversations that bring out new levels of meaning and connection.

4 Fairness and dignity
Democratic organizations are committed to fairness and dignity, not treating some people like “somebodies” and other people like “nobodies.”

5 Accountability
Democratic organizations point fingers, not in a blaming way but in a liberating way. They are crystal clear about who is accountable to whom and for what.

6 Individual and collective
In democratic organizations, the individual is just as important as the whole, meaning employees are valued for their individual contribution as well as for what they do to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.

7 Choice
Democratic organizations thrive on giving employees meaningful choices.

8 Integrity
Integrity is the name of the game, and democratic companies have a lot of it. They understand that freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right.

9 Decentralization
Democratic organizations make sure power is appropriately shared and distributed among people throughout the organization.

10 Reflection and evaluation
Democratic organizations are committed to continuous feedback and development and are willing to learn from the past and apply lessons to improve the future.



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