A year without management tears (sic)

Being a WordPress Agency.

A more natural working life is the first thing to happen when you strip out management layers.

The removal of all management layers is maybe a little bit more radical and it may seem counter-intuitive but the absence of traditional management has liberated & simplified our working regime.

Acting like a start-up when you’re a mature business founded 3 decades ago might seem strange but a start-up mindset is what most modern-day progressive organisation’s crave.

By the end of 2012 we had already begun the journey to a simplified workspace by becoming location agnostic and dumping most of the traditional, supervisor-based, working practices.

The reinvention was a function of need at the time, and what grew out of this was a fully self-managed, self-organised team with no supervisors, HR staff, bosses or managers.

We operate under an agile framework so we’ve had to create a fair few new processes, adopted a new internal communication platform and, above all, we’ve let folks simply get on with what they do best.

Traditionally the CEO would be detached from these processes – obsessing about micro-management and feigning ‘control’ over a recalcitrant workforce.

In fact, going back just 5 years ago CEO time was consumed in (toxic) meetings, 360 reviews and settling internal political fights.

The cost to the business was losing the CEO for 20hrs a week, or about £75k of wasted resource, never mind the demotivation, distraction and pure destruction caused. All caused by the lack of trust endemic in traditional layered organisations.

Today, the CEO is as likely to be getting his dirty – and enjoying it. Everyone works for everyone and with no managers to appease we can focus on making clients happy.

No one feels compelled to look after people as if they were kids, trusting everyone fully with making their own decisions is liberating and greatly reduces the day-to-day stresses.

Self organisation is not new. Mankind has operated this way since the dawn of time – in fact right up until we tried to productionise work and learning.

There is learning still to be done as self-management requires integrated structures, processes and communications that ‘just work’. We’re cobbling together tools and services to meet this but its far from complete.

There are challenges, too, but we’re looking to meeting them head on.