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Democratic Ziber elects new director

The Ziber Citizens and shareholders have chosen Johan Alkemade as the new Partner (managing director) at Ziber BV. From 1 June 2023, Johan will take over this role from Maikel Bauer. Maikel will remain associated with the company in the role of Counsel and will also continue to focus on Ziber's German branch.

Ziber democracy
Maikel: "Since 2015, I have been able to change the company with great pleasure into a real democracy where Ziber Citizens, employees with a permanent contract, have a lot of autonomy and control over important decisions." In recent years, the company has changed a lot as a result. For example, each employee determines his own working hours, there are no permanent positions, everyone determines the amount of free time and all this on the basis of trust. Of the profit, 25% is distributed equally to all Ziber Citizens and everyone can spend money on things that directly add value to the work of that Citizen. Everyone has access to the company's financial data and budgets are not used. Everyone has determined the amount of their own wages and the differences have been openly discussed with each other.

Not profit, but well-being at 1
The Ziber objectives are simple; well-being of the Citizens is the first objective and profit the second. The objectives are measured regularly and decisions are made based on these objectives. It leads to good conversations on a variety of topics. Sometimes easy and fast, sometimes difficult and long. "That's what democracy is all about as far as I'm concerned. Based on accessible information, have good conversations with each other about different options and be open to insights that you did not (yet) have yourself. Making the choice itself is actually not that exciting," says Maikel. The process of making a decision may take a little longer for Ziber , but all citizens understand 'why and how' the choice came about. After that, everyone gets back to work with focus. Maikel; "Is it easy? No, it doesn't. I think hierarchical work is 😊 easier. What it is? More honest, more respectful, more challenging, more engaging and it does better justice to all the people in the company."

Johan new director
Johan is originally a software developer with a lot of knowledge and ambition. He has been working at Ziber for more than 10 years (in between a period at another company) and enjoys the trust of the team.

Johan: "As a software developer, I have always had a passion for the profession. And yet something always gnawed at me. I've often toyed with the idea of doing something for myself; go into business. But then what, huh? When Maikel came to the decision to step down, the penny started to drop.
I come from a real entrepreneurial family, my father was a flower bulb grower, with his own business. In the meantime, my brother has taken over. Every week we meet as a family on Saturdays and (of course) often talk about my brother's business. These conversations always give me energy and inspiration and have contributed to this new step. I feel honored to enjoy the trust of the rest of the team.  It will be a challenging time, for both myself and the team, but I am confident that we will continue the company successfully."

About a year has been set aside to work with the team towards this moment of choice and thus arrive at a new director. In the end, Johan turned out to be a logical choice to lead the team and shape the development of the platform.

Maikel continues as Counsel
Maikel is one of the founders of the company and has been active as managing director for more than 20 years. "When I started democratizing the company 8 years ago Ziber I didn't think I would ever say goodbye as a director of this company and now it is almost self-evident that I will fulfill a different role", says Maikel. Because the employees at Ziber do not have a position, everyone tries to optimally use their qualities for what is needed. For Maikel, it is therefore a logical step to focus on the German branch of Ziber (Ziber GmbH) and to take a step back from Ziber (NL). "A logical step does not mean that it is less difficult for me. I get a lot of satisfaction from the development of our software and the cooperation with the team. At the same time, I'm looking forward to my new challenge. This also gives Johan more room to shape the strategy with the team and I have a lot of confidence in that!" says Maikel. Maikel remains involved with Ziber (NL) as Counsel (owner).

"Is there a vacancy available with you" they are often told at Ziber . Now.. Whether an extra employee is needed in the team is determined by the team and at the moment there is no vacancy available. Moreover, it has become clear that it is not easy to enter Ziber as a new Citizen, because the Citizens are critical of who joins 😊.