Cut the bullshit: organizations with no hierarchy don’t exist Do completely horizontal organizations truly exist? Fueled by growing excitement about self-management, bossless leadership and new governance models such as Holacracy, I increasingly hear large claims about the potential of “flat organizations”, which are being used as synonymous to “having no hierarchy”. I often wonder whether I am reading correctly: Organizations with no hierarchy at all, with real live people in them? I feel like there has been a misunderstanding here. I might be wrong, but from my 5 year experience of being a member of the distributed organization OuiShare, my conclusion is: there is no such thing. To explain why I’ve been quite frustrated with this misunderstanding, let me describe a scenario I have been confronted with multiple times in the past years: a new person, let’s call her Lisa, joins OuiShare to actively contribute to our network.
Gary Hamel: Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment Watch Gary Hamel, celebrated management thinker and author and co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), make the case for reinventing management for the 21st century. In this fast-paced, idea-packed, 15-minute video essay, Hamel paints a vivid picture of what it means to build organizations that are fundamentally fit for the future—resilient, inventive, inspiring and accountable. "Modern” management is one of humanity’s most important inventions, Hamel argues. Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace Amazon may be singular but perhaps not quite as peculiar as it claims. It has just been quicker in responding to changes that the rest of the work world is now experiencing: data that allows individual performance to be measured continuously, come-and-go relationships between employers and employees, and global competition in which empires rise and fall overnight. Amazon is in the vanguard of where technology wants to take the modern office: more nimble and more productive, but harsher and less forgiving. “Organizations are turning up the dial, pushing their teams to do more for less money, either to keep up with the competition or just stay ahead of the executioner’s blade,” said Clay Parker Jones, a consultant who helps old-line businesses become more responsive to change.
Build a Company Where Everyone’s Looking for New Ideas Bigger firms often have a harder time being innovative than smaller ones. For starters, their huge and well-funded R&D facilities full of smart engineers and designers don’t necessarily capture all of the good innovations going on. What’s more, it’s awfully hard for corporate managers to sift through and select the best of all the ideas coming in. To succeed at innovation, you need to have a culture in which everyone in the company is constantly scanning for ideas.
Why you and your team are responsible for happiness at work - Hppy An article by our Hppy CEO, Vlad Bodi The new workplace is so much more different than our parents experienced. As geographical barriers broke down and the new technology driven generations entered the workforce, companies started focusing on intangible aspects of work. The shift was driven by these new generations that are in search for more than just a job.
Consensus Process - Noisebridge "We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code." -- Dave Clark, IETF Proceedings, July 1992  What is Consensus Consensus is a non-violent way for people to relate to each other as a group. Successful use of a consensus process depends on people understanding the idea and wanting to use it. Creativity, Inc. — Amy Wallace Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration By Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.
You probably don't want to work for Amazon Amazon is known for its cutthroat efficiency and harsh tactics; it's what makes it possible to get a pack of toilet paper delivered to your door in less than 24 hours. But CEO Jeff Bezos' love of precision and data goes far beyond fulfilling orders and undercutting competitors' prices. It permeates every aspect of the workplace. And ruthless optimization, unsurprisingly, doesn't make for a very supportive workplace environment. The New York Times' Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld interviewed over 100 former and current Amazon employees for a fantastic new report out today that reveals just how bad it can get. Working at the retail giant's Seattle offices is apparently nothing like showing up to work at an idyllic Silicon Valley campus.
Understanding “New Power” - HBR We all sense that power is shifting in the world. We see increasing political protest, a crisis in representation and governance, and upstart businesses upending traditional industries. But the nature of this shift tends to be either wildly romanticized or dangerously underestimated. There are those who cherish giddy visions of a new techno-utopia in which increased connectivity yields instant democratization and prosperity. Stop Trying to Control People or Make Them Happy - Yves Morieux , and Peter Tollman by Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman | 9:00 AM April 3, 2014 Whether you’ve heard of them or not, two gurus from the early 20th century still dominate management thinking and practice — to our detriment. It has been more than 100 years since Frederick Taylor, an American engineer working in the steel business, published his seminal work on the principles of scientific management. And it has been more than 80 years ago since Elton Mayo, an Australian-born Harvard academic, produced his pioneering studies on human relations in the workplace. Yet managers continue to follow Taylor’s “hard” approach — creating new structures, processes, and systems — when they need to address a management challenge.
A business within the business — The Connected Company A lot of problems in business could be solved if we could align the interests of employees and managers with owners. Is there a way to get everyone to act like owners? The answer is yes – but not without changing the structure of your company in ways that might make you a bit uncomfortable. The No-Managers Organizational Approach Doesn't Work Zappos may have discovered that employees need managers after all. The online shoe and clothing retailer's holacracy management system doesn't appear to be working. According to a recent New York Times article, Zappos continues to "hemorrhage employees" as a result of the companywide implementation of holacracy. A no-manager approach, holacracy is characterized by a fluid organizational structure in which teams are self-organized and individuals have high autonomy and authority to make decisions at a local level. According to Holacracy.org, holacracy is a "new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles, which can then be executed autonomously, without a micromanaging boss."
7 'digital nomads' explain how they live, work and travel Feel miserable working in a cubicle or living in a boring town? The Internet has revolutionized the term ‘work’ today, bringing new opportunities and employment that didn’t exist until recently. For many, the Internet is an opportunity to combine work and traveling the world. The term ‘digital nomad’ is frequently overused and often simply means hacking around in cheap accommodation with a small level of income to keep you going. But, there are some folks out there who have shown that you can combine a career with the freedom to travel on your own schedule.
Being Happy at Work Matters - HBR People used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed. And you didn’t need to like the people you work with, or even share their values. “Work is not personal,” the thinking went.