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  • Grant Garrison

    As some of you may know ;) I am always intrigued by flattening hierarchy as much as possible, so I like the provocation in this direction, even if ultimately it's not right to go 100% there for each company. This is how I naturally manage but know it doesn't always work for everyone, so the SCARF approach or just more intentional communication is important. One thing always makes me smile about hierarchy - people at the top seem much more protective of it than people at the bottom.

  • Craig Ogg

    I think what this article really suggests is that you shouldn't impose managers when you don't need them.

    I have worked at a company that had no managers, but it only worked because it had a similar composition to Medium: very experienced people with a core team that had worked together in the past. High competence and high trust are not easy to create out of thin air and they appear to me to be a pre-requisite for this style of governance actual being successful.

  • Ruta Danyte

    Few ideas that stuck in my mind after reading the article again.. We all know that being a good manager and providing constructive feedback is hard, and not everybody can do this. Coaching is not taught in business schools, although it should be. What if each company would have a life coach (or people's manager)? Would that boost employees' motivation and creativity? The reality is that companies expect more and more from their employees, and often it's just too hard to cope with pressure and solve your problems on your own. Admitting that you have failed or you don't know how to do something is rather an exception than a common practice.. Mental health is not a mainstream topic in general.. Companies won't change how they operate in a day, although adding the people's manager to the team might help team members achieve what they have to achieve on a daily basis.

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    just got to fully digest this piece. Really impressed and affected by the logic. I've always had a hard time with org charts and internal tensions. And since we started GOOD as relative youngsters, we never had other management experiences to learn from. I opened the Holacracy constitution and am reading it now. I think there is a lot of stuff here that new and a lot of stuff that is just plain logic. Gonna spend a bit more time with it and then share more thoughts. Had you heard of Holacracy prior to this article?

  • Lou Pizante

    I think there are some interesting perspectives here that can help foster productivity and job/creer satisfaction. Overall, I think it swings too far from what it calls "classic management" (and I disagree with how the author "characterizes" classic management... a lot of these ideas have their roots in mainstream theories about motivation, delegation, etc).

    I believe that many companies tend to either micromanage or decide by consensus. Most companies swing to both extremes, without ever managing from the middle. The only way that great people are motivated and fulfilled is if they have a clear understanding of company goals and the autonomy to execute against them.

    This notwithstanding, fragmenting roles and responsibilities in my view leads over the long-term to chaos and waste.

    I think there is a common sense middle-ground to management that that encourages debate but delegates decision making to the team members responsible for execution, subject to a veto power that managers should use with much discretion.

    As for gaining a deeper understanding of your colleague's challenges, I believe that you should not only understand what is going on in your colleague's life (so long as they want to tell you), but also think hard about ways you can solve issues they have outside work so that they can be happier while at work. Not sure whether this is "halocracy." I think it is just good business.

    Any time I hear a method that is supposed to be new and radical I become skeptical. To me it is self-evident that having an empathetic understanding of your colleagues and what is most important to them makes your team more productive and your team members more fulfilled. I think this is what exceptional people need to thrive.

    Nested and concentric circles confuse me, just as matrix organizations did in the 90s. To me, the recipe is pretty simple: clarity of structure, appropriate transparency, clear two-way feedback loops and autonomy with accountability (with a tolerance for smart failure).

    • Maria Redin

      I always welcome the exploration of extremes as a way to understand how the status quo can get better. However, there is no reason to throw the baby with the bathwater.

      Lou's description of a common sense middle-ground that is based on team debate and execution and a responsible manager has been the most successful and sustainable model I've witnessed.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I learned so much from this. Thank you. I really think one on ones are KEY to managing and having a better understanding of people.