8 articles on how more autonomy in the workplace can change the way we work

Asana
Asana
Jan 24, 2017 · 4 min read

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.

1. Beyond the Holacracy hype

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

2. Epic empowerment: distributing authority to everyone in your company

by Wavelength

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.

Read “Epic empowerment: distributing authority to everyone in your company

3. The key to happiness at work isn’t money — it’s autonomy

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.

Read “The key to happiness at work isn’t money — it’s autonomy

4. The story behind Zappos’s shift to Holacracy

by Wavelength

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.

Read “The story behind Zappos’s shift to Holacracy

5. The age of the self-managed organization

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.

Read “The age of the self-managed organization

6. Designing teamwork: an interview with Dana Cho of IDEO

by Wavelength

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.

Read “Designing teamwork: an interview with Dana Cho of IDEO

7. Goldilocks Management

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.”

8. What’s right for your company? Decision making in 3 different organizational structures

by Wavelength

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.


For more articles, stories, and advice on leadership and teamwork, visit Wavelength, a publication by Asana.

Wavelength

A publication for teams who aspire to do great things together.

Asana

Written by

Asana

Move work forward. // https://asana.com

Wavelength

A publication for teams who aspire to do great things together.

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