Magazine article Workforce Management

5 Questions: TRACI FENTON, Founder and CEO of WorldBlu

Magazine article Workforce Management

5 Questions: TRACI FENTON, Founder and CEO of WorldBlu

Article excerpt

DEMOCRACY AT WORK

Many people like to keep politics out of the workplace. But to Traci Fenton, what workplaces badly need is the infusion of a political idea: democracy. Fenton is founder and CEO of WorldBlu, an organization devoted to making companies more participatory. Fenton recently spoke with Workforce Management senior editor Ed Frauenheim.

Workforce Management: Why did you start WorldBlu?

Traci Fenton: Because of a series of life-changing events. My senior year in college, I was director of a student-run public affairs conference. My peers wanted to do the conference on democracy. I said, 'That's the worst idea I've ever heard. Democracy means government and politics and I'm not interested in either!' But I started to research the concept. I realized democracy creates an environment that unlocks our full potential. ... It really spoke to my heart. Then I

spent time in Indonesia, when the dictator Suharto was being overthrown. I saw what it was like to not live in a free and democratic environment. When I returned to the United States, I took a job at a Fortune 500 firm. I came home from my first day of work demoralized. I realized I was not going to have a voice there. So I left. And I started WorldBlu.

WM: Isn't workplace democracy a recipe for sluggish decision-

making? …

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