Fast Company reports Whole Foods is one of the business world’s most radical experiments in democratic capitalism. Whole Foods is the largest natural food grocer in the United States, and is the most profitable. What makes Whole Foods unique is their position on employee empowerment, autonomy, and teamwork. This is a company where all employees can see each other’s numbers and vote for someone to be hired. It started in 1980 and by 1991; it had almost a dozen stores in three states. Today it has blossomed into 43 stores across ten states with a $500 million revenue stream. With few rules and ten teams in each store, collaboration and competition is at an all-time high. There are very little levels of hierarchy, because everything is completed in teams. Teams are measured for performance, increasing accountability to one another. With every new location, Whole Foods plants veteran team members to replicate and create sustainable and successful stores.
It becomes clear, when companies utilize leadership to align employees, the employees become better. Whole Foods has identified that the release of control, replaced by the implementation of performance metrics, creates a transparent environment that has increased the responsibility of each employee and is rapidly moving it toward its billion-dollar revenue goal. By understanding natural laws like transparency and no control, people and companies start to reflect greater levels of productivity.