Every enlightened human resources practitioner knows that clocking-in flies in the face of empowered self-management. But Semco, the maverick Brazilian engineering company, has pioneered a breakthrough in interpersonal relations. At one factory, instead of punching a time-clock, arrivals go to a board that has a tag next to their names. They can choose a green, yellow or red metal tag. Hanging the green means 'good mood'; yellow means 'be careful' when approaching the person; and red means 'not today, please'.
The tags were devised by 'The Kids', young staff who plant manager Jose Joao Fiasco set free and who, according to Ricardo Semler, Semco's flamboyant owner, 'innovated all over the place'. Results contradict Fiasco's name - soaring productivity, inventories down by 40%, defects down to below 1%. By the way, the green tags usually predominate. No kidding.