This week I had the great pleasure of interviewing Jorge Silva from Argentina.
Jorge, together with three other partners, founded 10Pines more than a decade ago. It is a software company that lives and breathes Agility. Jorge’s education includes an MBA and his passion these days is helping organizations to become healthier and safer places for people to work.
Jorge explained that from the beginning, 10Pines started by adopting three management practices that defied traditional ones. These practices are:
- Consent decision-making involving all company employees for all important decisions, including salaries and promotions. This decision-making process is actually based on sociocracy, which postulates that a group can decide and carry on even when someone has an objection but can live with it.
- An open book system that makes all financial information transparent for employees. By knowing all the financial details, 10Pines employees made better and more responsible decisions that greatly contributed to the company’s growth and prosperity.
- Sharing 50% of the profit margin among all employees using a formula that includes parameters such as seniority in the company, seniority in software development, and the number of hours that the employee actually worked. A smaller percentage of the profit margin is equitably distributed among all 10 Pines employees.
These three management practices were not invented by 10Pines — some were extracted from sources like Ricardo Semler’s book “Maverick”. More importantly, these practices were inspired by the Agile mindset and the idea to put people first.
Jorge pointed out that when he and his partners founded 10Pines, they wanted to correct the mismatch between operations and management that they’ve observed in other places where they’ve worked. More concretely, they wanted to implement Agile in management to go hand-in-hand with Agile in software development.
Jorge mentioned that for him Agile management is based on trusting the people with whom you work, and by trusting others managers don’t actually have to manage and just let people act responsibly.
In closing Jorge quoted Eduardo Galeano, an Uruguayan writer who said, “Many small people, working in many small places, can make big changes.”That is exactly what 10Pines has been doing all these years, proving that Agile companies do not only exist but also thrive.