You want to adopt the “Spotify Model”? I don’t think it means what you think it means!’
So your company has a matrix organisation model? Then you saw the Spotify organisation model with Tribes and Chapters and you thought; “Hey, we can keep our good old matrix organisation and simply rename it to “The Spotify Model!” Did you? Do you think this makes you a front-runner? Well, think again.
It doesn’t work to take this model:
Change some words:
And make it look more informal:
How did it miss the point of the Spotify engineering culture videos?
Yes, the organisation model in the video is a light matrix. But the chapter lead is a servant leader, focusing on coaching and mentoring the chapter members. This is a pivotal part of this organisation model. So ask yourself the question: is your former head of development — now chapter lead — indeed a servant leader? Or is (s)he still a traditional manager?
When the narrator — Henrik Kniberg — explains the model there also is this pivotal remark: “It’s a pretty picture huh? Except it’s not really true […] in reality the most valuable communication happens in informal and unpredictable ways”. This is supported by having Guilds, lightweight communities of interests. Even more striking is the following statement: “Most organisational charts are an illusion.”
Spotify puts community over structure. Is this what you had in mind when you copy-pasted the organisation model?
Here’s another important message in the video: “If you need to exactly know who…