The 7 levers to trigger the Self Management Transformation

Miriam Moreno Change Navigator
Published in
4 min readMar 2, 2021


**Este post en español**

Based on my experience helping Companies to move into New Organizational Models, I concluded that there are 3 things that you can reshape when you want to transform your organization into a Self Managed Company:

  • the structure, a system to organize the work, a “design” that we usually represent graphically with an organization chart
  • the culture, a system of mindset, values, identities, beliefs, ways of perceiving, learning and feeling … that we crystalize in explicit or implicit rules, patterns, habits and behaviours that we share into a Company
  • the processes, a set of actions and routines ordered in a meaningful flow that help us to achieve some kind of goal or intention or put an order in our work context

As you can suppose, all these three elements are absolutely interconnected, so if you make changes to one, this will affect the others and vice versa.

An example of a change in structure that can illustrate what it means, because it is very easy to appreciate because it breaks the most well-known rules about how to structure a Company, is Holocracy. Holocracry provides us with a structured model based on role circles.

Not every company, when it is facing a transformational process in terms we are talking about, wants to start this transformation by the structure. And not every company has the habitude to working and intervening on culture. For these companies, from my point of view, a good point to start are processes.

And the always asked question is… BUT WHAT PROCESSES? Where do we start?

After giving support to change to Companies of diverse sizes, sectors, business, cultures … this is the simplified version of the model I built and I follow right now, and I hope to continue evolving it.

Is what I call the 7 levers that you can activate to trigger the Self Management Transformation or move to New Organizational Models.

They can be activated from the three levels I shared at the beginning of this post: structure, culture and processes. And, as in the case of these 3 levels or elements, no matter what lever you activate, the others will be impacted.

In any case, I never recommend to activate all of them at the same time to start. Following an agile & systemic approach to the change, I always suggest choosing 2 or 3 levers. It will facilitate going into the change and not getting blocked before start the change, and… in fact, all of them are interconnected.

If we focus our energy on the processes level, one of the levers that companies that initiate this transit most commonly choose to start is the “Decision Making & Participation Lever*”.

*In this post I won’t speak about participation, but I will focus on decision making.

At this point, it is very frequent that you know ways of making decisions such as autocracy, democracy and consensus.

Nevertheless, there are a wider range of ways of making decisions.

You can check this graphic from Nobl or, if you want to play, you have this DeciderApp.

It won’t be strange that looking at this graphic you are surprised by 2 ways of decision making. Let me test if I guess: consultative and consent. I did it? 😃

What does “consultation” mean?

I’m sure you can guess it, and I’m also sure you practice it, but maybe not as a formal way of making decisions.

Here you are a wonderful and easy graphic from Manuel Küblböck (post here) that is shared in the PSM (Practical Self Management) Program of Greaterthan Academy.

And what about “consent”?

Here you are a model developed by Samantha Slade and you have a detailed explanation here.

To conclude, I have a pair of questions for you, if you are reflecting on transforming your organization:

  1. By which level would you start: Structure, Culture, Processes?
  2. Which levers would you choose to activate first: Autonomy, Purpose & Alignment, Transparency & Communication, Meetings, Decision Making & Participation, Ripeness & Conflict, Learning & Growth?

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Miriam Moreno Change Navigator

Organizational Transformation | Participatory Processes | New Organizational & Systems Models | Self-management | Online Culture —