The book Company Bamidisc urges people to stop ‘playing company’

The Dutch company Keytoe approaches it completely differently than most other companies. For example, a meeting is never scheduled, employees have unlimited vacation days, and there are no executives. with the book Company noodles authors Cedric Muchall (co-founder of Keytoe) and Lennard Toma (organizational psychologist) hope to shake up the rest of the Netherlands. That’s another way to do it.

Not every organization can completely ‘play your business’, as the book’s authors call it, and you may not need to. But to become aware of it and wonder if it is really useful is. Money and career editor Tessa pays a visit to find out what can be done better in organizations.

Company noodles

At Keytoe, the door is always open. Literally. When I arrive at the building in Maassluis, and after ringing the bell, I stand neatly waiting for the sidewalk, I realize after a full minute that the door is just ajar. Inside, a beer is immediately pressed into my hand. It’s Friday afternoon at 16.00, the music is on and people around me are busy pre-ordering the book Company noodles to pack.

Company noodles† You may find it an absurd name, but that’s the point. “We first thought of ‘Playing a company’, but it should be clear what we could expect from the book,” says Lennard Toma, organizational psychologist at Keytoe and one of the book’s authors. “So it did not succeed,” adds the company’s founder and co-author, Cedric Muchall. “But it’s about the absurdity of organizations, so something absurd had to be included,” says Toma.

Company noodles

Stop playing company

‘Stop playing company’ is the book’s message, and start organizing wisely. No endless useless meetings, job titles that really mean nothing (but that everyone will behave to) and no more fixation on how many hours someone spends in their office chair. Make your employees more important than your KPIs and goals.

It all sounds so logical, but many companies are still going wrong. Because we’ve always done it that way. For it ‘must’. “Because you are a business, you quickly start behaving like a business,” Muchall explains. “Without questioning whether it’s actually usable. We do not think so. That’s why Keytoe is behaving a little more unconventionally than most companies.”

This is an understatement, because Keytoe has previously been called the most experimental company in the Netherlands. For example, the company came into the news earlier because colleagues could determine each other’s salaries with an app, and because new employees were allowed to devise their own terms of employment.

Lennard Toma (left) and Cedric Muchall (right)
Lennard Toma (left) and Cedric Muchall (right)

Just be yourself

“We are not as experimental as we were then,” says Muchall. “But the rule of thumb is still: do what you can not resist.” This means, among other things, that the employees have full independence, and there are no job titles and descriptions. At Keytoe, it’s important that everyone is equal and that you can just be yourself. Because it’s the best way to flourish.

“A job title makes you behave the way you think you should,” Muchall explains. “You’re going to play that role a lot. And if you think something’s not part of your job, do not do it. Like cleaning up your dirty dishes – we have a canteen lady for that. , does not?”

Tilt in the community

Muchall and Toma see a turning point in society. “To retain your employees and attract new talent, you need to change with this lack of labor market,” says Toma.

Moreover, in recent years we have been able to see with our own eyes that things can really be different than we sometimes think. Before the pandemic, it was unthinkable for many companies that employees would work from home en masse. “Now it’s the most normal thing in the world, and everyone thinks it’s stupid to end up in a traffic jam,” says Muchall.

In Company Bamidisk, Muchall and Toma not only tell what goes wrong with companies. In the second part of the book, they also tell how it can be done differently. “We are not your management guru and we do not have all the wisdom, but hopefully it will help you,” says Muchall. “I think.”

The six Vs of sensible organization

The book identifies the six Rs that, according to the gentlemen, are the basis of sensible organization: freedom, responsibility, trust, connection, security, and vitality. These are the basic principles behind every choice made at Keytoe. “Even with all the companies that hire us in this area, you actually see that for that reason,” says Muchall.

Becoming more transparent is the first step companies can take, according to Toma, if they realize they are part of the problem. “Share more information about what’s going on in the business, how it’s doing financially, why certain choices are being made,” he says. “Then you cultivate connection and trust; the employees feel much more involved. ”

As a leader, ask your people how they are doing, advises the organizational psychologist, also in a private area. Muchall adds, “Not because you think ‘I have to do this to be a good leader’, but because you’re genuinely interested in people.”

Change is exciting

Doing it in a different way than you are used to, and letting go of your role, as you have always seen and learned, is exciting. “When we assist companies, we often notice that there is fear in the way,” says Muchall. “Employees think: I suddenly have so much responsibility, what can I do about it? At the same time, the manager thinks: but what will be my job in the future? ”

The ego also often gets in the way. “Because of the title they have been given, people are thinking: but hey, I’m the one who can best solve this. I know what this organization needs, for example, ”he says. “I used to be the leader who thought: I can do it the fastest, I know what the tent needs. The leader I often meet now. I went through the whole process of challenging your ego and letting go of control. And I feel like it’s made me a better person. “

“Eleven years ago, I started Keytoe with co-founder Patrick,” he says. “With the idea: Let’s create a company where we want to work ourselves. In retrospect, it turns out to be a more important statement than we previously thought. “

Have you become curious about Company Bamidisc? You can now buy the book in the bookstore or on Bol.com.

‘I want to keep working from home now and then, but my boss does not want this’

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Stop playing company: No more unnecessary meetings and junk job titles

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