The way we work is changing. From an increase in remote workers to an almost ubiquitous presence of open space office plans, the current work environment looks drastically different than that of 50 years ago.
The way we work is changing.
In this roundup of articles, academics and thought leaders explore one of the more invisible aspects of our changing workforce: distributed authority and self-management as an organizational system.
by Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review takes a deeper, academic look at Holacracy and self-managed systems of organization.
In the piece, they examine everything from the origins of this new type of management system, their characteristics, costs and benefits, and define some of the key vocabulary used to discuss these types of systems.
Read “Beyond the holacracy hype”
How can you empower your team and encourage trust? Asana co-founder Justin Rosenstein believes distributed authority is one method. In this compelling article, Rosenstein shares his expertise on creating team empowerment and employee trust through an approach of distributed authority.
by Quartz Media
Despite what many may think, salary isn’t everything when it comes to workplace happiness. In this article, Quartz Media discusses how a less tangible perk — autonomy — could be the key to happy and healthy employees, lower turnover rates, and more.
Salary isn’t everything when it comes to workplace happiness.
Overall, it gives a nice summary about the benefits of individual and team autonomy, as well as advice on how to hand the reins over to your employees and embrace a more autonomous workplace.
Zappos is one of the more well-known companies to adopt a form of self-management called Holacracy.
This piece explores the reasons behind their shift to the less traditional management model and how they drew inspiration from — surprisingly — the way cities are structured.
by Huffington Post
“The age of the self-managed organization” summarizes how self-management works, and the ways in which that ladders up to creating successful and profitable companies.
“There is greater organizational control, not less, when everyone is a manager.”
In essence, it argues that companies can use organizational self-government as a means to make people feel better about themselves and, therefore, be better workers.
The Wavelength team interviewed Dana Cho of IDEO to find out how having more autonomy as a product designer facilitates a collaborative mindset, encourages creativity, and allows for amazing ideas to come from anywhere within the firm. Read this for insight on what autonomous teams look like in practice.
by Dustin Moskovitz
In response to the flat management trend in tech, Asana co-founder Dustin Moskovitz urges readers to think about both the downsides as well as the upsides. For most companies, the ideal management system will be somewhere between absolutely no management and more traditional, top-down management systems — similar to the management system Asana has chosen to adopt.
As he says, “I think the most important value of a manager is to serve their reports: to unblock them, mentor them, and keep them pointed in a direction that best serves their needs and the priorities of the organization.”
The organizational system that works for one company may not work for another. This piece outlines three types of organizational structures (top-down, consensus, and distributed) and helps readers decide which one would make most sense for them.