Flat and Fluid: How Companies Without Hierarchy Manage Themselves
Jorge Mazal
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This post explores three flat and fluid organizations in completely different industries and of vastly different sizes. All of them lack hierarchical management, so how do they thrive? They follow these principles:
→Management is tasks: They think of management as a set of tasks rather than a group of people. Those tasks are broken down and formally distributed among regular workers. Everyone manages but no one is management.
→Transparency and accountability are sacred: Everyone’s performance metrics are made public and anyone can demand an accountability to anyone for their performance.
→Everyone makes decisions, but not everyone is involved in every decision: Workers are free to make decisions about their work without consulting “higher ups” (as there are none). Decision making power is distributed, but decisions are not made by majority vote.
Make what’s implicit explicit: Topics that are taboo or give room for internal politics in hierarchical organizations (e.g. compensation, natural leadership, allocation of undesirable or highly desirable tasks) are confronted head on and the resulting decisions are made public and binding.
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