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Why Workers Can Suffer in Bossless Companies Like GitHub. GitHub wants to change the way businesses operate, making them more egalitarian and more productive. But these changes may also bring new problems. The San Francisco startup built its operation with a “flat” organizational structure with few, if any, middle managers or formal job titles.

Rather than waiting for a rigid hierarchy of managers to give orders, employees simply rally around projects that need to be done. A growing number of companies have adopted this type of structure, including game developer Valve and W.L. Gore, the company behind Gore-Tex. But the idea had particular resonance coming from GitHub, as it mirrors GitHub’s web service that provides a means for large groups to freely collaborate on software projects. For many developers who use the service daily, the flat structure seemed like an idea that could reinvent businesses by making them as democratic — and as powerful — as a good open source project. The Tyranny of Structureless The Cult of the ‘Right Fit’

Full Stack strategy. In software development, a Full Stack Developer has a good (if not expert) grasp of all the layers that go into a product. They are a Jack Of All Trades from the back end (servers, databases etc) to the front end (HTML etc). If we see progressive organisations as ‘stacks’, then everything from C-suite, to IT, to marketing, to product development, to customer service is in the stack. Even customers are in the stack. The whole organisation and everything it touches is in the stack. Connecting those layers calls for a strategy that goes from the back room to people’s front rooms. How many brand strategies (or strategists) really do that? The evolution seems to have developed like this… Traditional Brand strategy needs to exist and be understood at the core of the business.

Enlightened Brand strategy needs to extend all the way from the core of the business in a way that’s actionable to people across the business. Progressive This is often called… all kinds of things. Mastery Interest Familiarity. Transition 2014: Aaron Dignan. The Most Responsive Companies of 2014 — Undercurrent. About Undercurrent In 2007, Undercurrent was formed to help complex global brands better understand how new technology was shaping culture and industry. Founded by Josh Spear, Rob Schuham, and Aaron Dignan, the company first gained public attention for its strategic work with Ford and PepsiCo. Over time, the firm built up a reputation as a leading digital strategy partner for organizations intent on transformation. By early 2012, it became clear that the firm’s clients weren’t struggling with trends and ideas, but with the ability to metabolize them.

As a result, the company embarked on a significant shift from its core business, and set out to become synonymous with 21st century org design – studying, developing, and spreading ways of working and organizing that would help important institutions adapt in an age of uncertainty. Undercurrent has developed a proprietary tool – The Responsive Pulse – to help organizations assess their ability to be Responsive. The Operating Model That Is Eating The World. The Last Re-Org You’ll Ever Do. Strategy — Clay Parker Jones. 1. Victory is Proximity + Speed As far as I can tell, you don’t win because you have the best idea. You win by being faster than the other guy and closer than they are to the users you want to attract.

I define Proximity pretty broadly: physical closeness helps, being the actual user of the product helps even more (see: 37signals), but ultimately the Proximity game is about empathy. Speed is pretty easy to measure: what is the total time it takes for your organization to take an idea from inception to users’ hands? 2. There’s probably a book in this one, but I’ll try to keep it brief. And just like people, cultures can be bored when their challenges are too easy, and anxious when their challenges are too big for their capability. My personal belief is that these organizations are not simply better than their competitors, but rather that they are in a state where their skills perfectly match their challenges. 3. Big budgets are great. 4. 5. Not everything needs a perfect face. Be messy. Engagement Strategy Class Deck. Last week I had the incredible honor of teaching a class at a big, global ad agency. The topic was engagement strategy, which I understood to mean, “Getting people to use things that you make.”

This is a real, live issue for people in advertising & communications, but it’s generally applicable to “business” as everyone adds, or grows a technology layer in and around their core offering. Click to see the talk. I began, as we often do at Undercurrent, with an excursion through The Internet: why I love it, why I think it’s important, why it matters and in which ways. The talk below is meant for a pretty wide range of tastes and experience levels, and these are speaker notes, so there’s that. First things first: this is a concept drawing for The Matternet – a series of autonomous drones that aim to revolutionize infrastructure, city planning, health, everything in the developing world.

Instagram is great, right? Or how you can use the internet to start and sustain an actual revolution. The Edge is the Epicenter. Adaptive Capacity, Resilience & Continuity | More Beyond. A discourse that seems to be gaining prominence in business nowadays is around adaptive and resilient organisations. Some of the world’s leading business thinkers like Prof Gary Hamel are making the case for adaptive capacity as being critical for businesses today. In this HBR article the authors speak of Adaptive Advantage as the new competitive edge. Similarly, resilience has been a prominent theme, especially in light of the increased turbulence organisations face nowadays.

Adaptive capacity and resilience are often seen as the same thing, I’m not sure I fully agree, but the two concepts certainly are linked. To me adaptation involves change, evolution and transformation whereas resilience (according to most definitions) is about the ability to “bounce back” from a setback or disturbance – to return to a state similar to the one before the disturbance with minimal loss of effectiveness. So how do you build adaptive capacity? Like this: Like Loading... The One Thing Every Leader Needs to Learn: How to Scale Change - First Round Review.

Adam Pisoni recently joined, a new movement dedicated to helping companies become more agile, adaptive and empowering. Previously, he co-founded and served as CTO of Yammer. Facing a rapidly changing world, companies are waking up to the fact that they need to become more Responsive Organizations. Yet even when the need for change is apparent to all, shaking things up is extremely hard, even if you're in charge.

That was the lesson I learned working with leaders across many large organizations. It doesn't matter if you're trying to change previously standardized technologies or practices, standardize something previously decentralized, or shift company culture to be more innovative and customer focused. Changing deeply engrained technologies, practices or customs is never as simple as sending out a memo or holding an all hands meeting. All organizations (even startups) end up becoming decentralized. Why? The key lesson here: People need a new template to copy. The Takeaway. The CEO Of The Future Is A "Designer-In-Chief" A century ago, the CEO was a fearsome whip-cracker.

Fifty years ago, he was motivator dangling corporate incentives. And now, according to the 2015 Wolff Olins Leadership Report, the CEO has evolved into something new: The designer-in-chief of corporate culture, a mentoring figurehead who gets into the trenches with his employees and inspires them to create the next great innovation. How? By instilling them with the qualities that designers have: the ability to recognize problems or opportunities, propose fixes, and iterate those fixes until they've found the one right solution. "I make sure I design the mission for the company," explained Jeremy Doutte, CEO of Nigeria’s top online retailer, Jumia. Douette is just one of many CEOs saying more or less the same thing.

From the report: Mindset seems to sit at the heart of this new approach. It’s a mindset Wolff Olins says forces CEOs to think about "inputs over outputs. " Read more here. [Top photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images] Social Architecture (a manifesto) So here we are: brand ownership is shifting from producers to consumers, and control is no longer the shortest path to productivity.

In this reversed world it looks as if the people at the top are the ones having difficulties with change. People on the shop floor seem to be doing just fine. Why is that so? My contention is that the latter have evolved already to a higher level of literacy, i.e.: the level of collaboration. Like it or not, the internet has rewired our brains to function differently.

We process information differently and we have a shorter … uhm what was I writing? The new literacy, triggered by the internet, is one of information navigation. Collaboration intelligence is exactly the skill that is stimulated by digital games on the one hand , and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on the other hand. Now bear with me, because with a re-wired brain that is tuned for collaboration instead of control, new things become possible. </i>*} {*style:<b>What You Get. Why Valve? Or, what do we need corporations for and how does Valve’s management structure fit into today’s corporate world? Why Valve? Or, what do we need corporations for and how does Valve’s management structure fit into today’s corporate world? You have read Valve’s survival manual for new employees. You have read Michael Abrash’s wonderful account of working at Valve.

Now read my political economy analysis of Valve’s management model; one in which there are no bosses, no delegation, no commands, no attempt by anyone to tell someone what to do. Can useful lessons be drawn about not only Valve’s inner workings but, importantly, regarding the future of the corporate world? Contents Introduction: Firms as market-free zonesThe wheels of change: Valve’s ultimate symbol of an alternative ‘spontaneous order’What are corporations for? 1. Every social order, including that of ants and bees, must allocate its scarce resources between different productive activities and processes, as well as establish patterns of distribution among individuals and groups of output collectively produced. 2. 3. Adam Smith Karl Marx 4. 5. Studio Blog -Elon Musk's Secret Weapon: A Beginner's Guide to First Principles. Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, an American electric car manufacturing company.

The company has been responsible for technical innovations that many thought impossible, like producing battery packs more cheaply than ever before. Musk says these innovations are made possible by “reasoning from first principles”. But what does that mean, and how can we apply it to our own lives, businesses and projects? In a recent interview with Kevin Rose, Musk said the following: I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy.

Meaning: we usually take something that already exists and innovate within that paradigm. This isn’t a terrible thing. “First principles” is a physics way of looking at the world. Meaning: throughout history, thousands of pundits have claimed that a certain industry, design pattern, object or idea had reached its peak. So, from first principles, we say: what are the material constituents of the batteries? Entrepreneurship Design Programming. Jeff Bezos' 2 Pizza Rule: Why Small Teams Work More Productively. 3K Flares 3K Flares × Bigger doesn’t mean better when it comes to work. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon famously coined this with the 2 Pizza rule: One former executive recalled that, at an offsite retreat where some managers suggested that employees should start communicating more with each other, Mr. Bezos stood up and declared, “No, communication is terrible!” According to Bezos, there have to be “two pizza teams”: if a team couldn’t be fed with two pizzas, it was too big.

Working with a small, scrappy startup team, I often find myself wishing for more brains on deck to work on cool projects, build more shiny features, and talk with our customers. In fact, the conventional wisdom that two heads are better than one — or the more brains you have on a problem the better — is completely wrong. As group size rises, all sorts of issues spring up. Forget herding cats, here’s why herding humans is challenge enough.

Coordination Cost: The Road to Missed Connections About the author: Small Business | Models | Macro | The #NewEraBiz - Blog. Skyscrapers. The ultimate symbol of success in today’s society. To have your brand plastered across the front of a skyscraper, your name in the lobby of the building, your ego infused into the structure – it’s The Sign that you’ve made it. Back in the day, it was probably pretty cool to have a skyscraper associated with your name, the penultimate way to show that the sky is literally the limit. In a time when the world needed rebuilding, following the post-war period and the subsequent boom years, the whole concept of skyscrapers was probably nothing more than a dream for most people. Skyscrapers were cool. But in today’s world, we have them – everywhere. Suddenly it starts to look a little ostentatious, insensitive even, to build a skyscraper in the name of business.

When the world of business is as backwards as it is, and societal trust is at all-time lows, you can’t help but saying to yourself: ‘it all needs to come down’ Floor by floor, office by office, brick by brick. What we can offer. TaskRabbit is blowing up its business model and becoming the Uber for everything. Since it opened up five years ago, TaskRabbit has often been a godsend to people with more money than time. The company stocks its auction house of personal assistants with people ready to deliver cupcakes to your office, or assemble your Ikea furniture, or clean your home. But last summer, executives at TaskRabbit noticed a problem. The percentage of completed tasks posted to the service's auction house had leveled off and was beginning to decline. Individual tasks were seeing fewer bids, indicating frustration on the part of the workers who used the site. The company was stumped: TaskRabbit added 1.25 million users to its system in 2013 and doubled its force of contractors to 25,000.

Supply and demand were as big as they had ever been, the company says, but something wasn’t working. In July, the company reorganized its staff, leading to the layoffs of an undisclosed number of employees. Taskrabbit COO Stacy Brown-Philpot (left) and CEO Leah Busque (right). Small Business | Models | Macro | The #NewEraBiz - Blog.

If it’s time to Let ‘Em Ride and open the gates to the #NewEraBiz, then we need new models to do so. We have written a lot about business models for the #NewEraBiz, but what about organizational models? That’s what we are going to dive into the #NewEraOrg in today’s blog. As a result of the backlash towards the corporate world and its notoriously hierarchial structure, the ‘horizontal’ revolution has started – the vertical walls are coming down. Being ‘flat’ is in vogue and ‘democratization’ is the word of the day. But you can’t run a business without leaders. Any good business, #NewEraBiz or otherwise, needs good leaders, and with leadership comes hierarchy.

So what are we talking about? In the typical corporate hierarchy, you have the C-Suite, led by the CEO. The CEO’s job is to run the show and grow the business. The problem with the traditional hierarchical structure is one of power. How should we setup a hierarchy in an organization? The answer, we believe, is ‘distributed authority.’ Keith Yamashita Wants to Reinvent Your Company. Misperceptions of Self-Management - Morning Star Self-Management Institute. We Still Don’t Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation.

The real Enterprise 2.0. On the future of work. How A Startup CEO Leads Remote Workforce. Teamworks. Software Is Reorganizing the World. HarvardBiz: What leadership skills do you ... Planningness 2011. How many companies are 100% distributed? (Research Summary) The Impact of Technology on the Future of Work. Why Self-Organizing is So Hard — NOBL Collective. The Responsive Organisation: A Framework for Changing How Your Organi… My Company Adopted a Holacracy. It Kind of Sucked. Holacracy | Social Technology for Purposeful Organization. Inside GitHub's Super-Lean Management Strategy--And How It Drives Innovation. Organize for Complexity, part I+II - Special Edition Paper. Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage.

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Agile Theory.