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Week 26, 2021—Issue #158

How The Ready Works: Participatory Governance, Compensation Stacks, and Market-Based Dynamic

Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash

1. Participatory Governance

Despite being a relatively small organization, The Ready has a well-defined governance process that would put a lot bigger organizations to shame. Whenever a team member experiences tension of some sort, they can submit a proposal for how it might be addressed. A consent process then works to clarify, refine, and guide the proposal towards adoption. To date, the company has implemented 35 agreements using this process, addressing topics such as decision-making and compensation strategy.

2. Compensation Stacks

Speaking of compensation, team members at The Ready are free to set their own salaries — a radical notion facilitated in part by the fact that each member operates as a one-person consulting firm. Yes, all members receive a fixed base salary. But anything beyond that base requires that members take on client work and/or assume one or more internal roles. This latter part of the ‘compensation stack’ is variable and under member control in that everyone is free to set whatever ‘billable rate’ they feel is appropriate.

3. Market-Based Dynamics

Enter Market-Based Dynamics — a term I’m borrowing from Zappos to help explain the system of economics that The Ready has in place. Unlike most other services firms that staff projects centrally, The Ready has created an internal marketplace where members bid for engagements. This marketplace, coupled with the fact that members set their own billable rates, effectively means that members are in full control of the variable part of their compensation stack.



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Andreas Holmer

Designer, reader, writer. Sensemaker. Management thinker. CEO at MAQE — a digital consulting firm in Bangkok, Thailand.