Honestly, Do You Really Need Your Managers?


Treehouse the online education start up that teaches students programming languages has taken the fast evolving non traditional bottom up leadership approach by removing management.  The problems with bottom up leadership are mirrored below. Indecisiveness. The advantages increased productivity and team inefficiencies in a democratic environment where people self govern. The practice is growing. Sean Blanda raises observations worth your considering. The ability to get more done with less.

“It kind of reduces all the political bullshit. I used to spend probably 50 percent of my time working on the org chart. Now basically it’s up to everyone to make themselves happy and make sure that they are enjoying their job. And if they don’t, then they can leave.  

The best description of a no-manager company, is that it is an ant colony. It looks really chaotic and it is sometimes hard to understand what is happening, but then a crazy structure gets built. Often. even as the CEO, I do not understand exactly what is happening on any one day. Entrepreneurs and CEOs are not saviors. They are not perfect. People look at the Steve Jobs brand and think that there is something magical going on, but I believe that is not true. It is not really in the best interest of Treehouse or any company for the CEOs to truly control its direction, because he is just one guy or girl.

We have 65 people at Treehouse, and it is better to have 65 individuals who are capable of making decisions and thinking and seeing things than one. So, we are less decisive, less coordinated than a traditional organization structure, but we are still crazy enough to get stuff done and everyone is extremely motivated. I think if you are going to pick one or the other, I would always go for more chaos, way higher motivation, and more innovation than more control.

I would always go for more chaos, way higher motivation, and more innovation than more control. […]

Read more  via Do We Really Need Managers? – 99U.

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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Posted in Leadership, Management

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