No CEO: Swedish company trial running without a boss

No CEO: Swedish company trial running without a boss

We regularly scrutinise best practise for managers. Should more bosses show their employees gratification like PepsiCo’s CEO? Do workers want a boss that’s more passionate or more hard-working? Do employees even want a boss?

Swedish software consultancy Crisp decided that, in answer to the latter, they felt they didn’t need a CEO to oversee their company decisions – BBC reports.

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Comments (1)

  • Rhys
    Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:54am BST
    Having a company without a boss can work but it is a journey which requires for people and the entire organisation to appreciate and support such a level of a self-determined management style.

    Many employees are asking for more responsibility; especially in bigger businesses where there is definitely a lack of autonomy. I guess the simplest form of answering the difference in opinion highlighted in this article is by considering 3 levels of employee's interest in taking responsibility and being accountable:

    LOW: Most common in formal corporate environments. People often feel undervalued and under-challenged but it’s an environment many people can easily get used to. Be equipped with specific roles & responsibilities, get your tasks, get them done and get paid.

    MIDDLE: Employees get clear objectives but are responsible for finding ways on how to achieve those objectives. They are able to negotiate and influence goals and / or resources when critical and necessary.

    HIGH: A rather entrepreneurial environment where people have a high level of determination what jobs to get involved in. They might even be able to set goals themselves. People are not only accountable for the work they do but their measured contribution might even impact their pay.

    The irony is most people work in environments with a LOW demand and many crave for being more actively engaged (MEDIUM). However, for people to work in workplaces like CRISP with a HIGH demand not only means you need to work with developed and experienced professionals but also having an organisation that enables this kind of engagement (e.g. access to data, open knowledge sharing, supportive leaders being able to act as coaches).

    ZAPPOS has experimented successfully with HIGH engagement forms of collaboration by trying to embrace Holocracy. However, this HIGH level of personal accountability cannot be scaled endlessly (e.g. ZAPPOS 1000+ empl.). You need to create smaller business units where people are more closely connected to the purpose and spirit of their business. Ricardo Semler is a splendid example of having taken his father’s industrial company SEMCO from LOW to HIGH.

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