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No Bosses Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:28 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item No Bosses






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Post #1530050
Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 4:22 PM


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I guess I don't understand why anyone would think this is a recent innovation. It's been known for a very long time that the best "managers" are the ones that surround themselves with good motivated people, identify a task, enable their people (if they need it), and then get the hell out of the way.

"Holacracy" isn't a new concept. DBA's have been working under such conditions for a long time.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

"Change is inevitable. Change for the better is not." -- 04 August 2013
(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #1530069
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 6:13 AM
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Years ago Best Buy Corporate tried an interesting experiment by essentially eliminating work schedules. Employees were allowed to work when, where and how they wanted. I'm not sure if it's same thing Steve's referring to, but it embraced a similar concept that there was no excuse for the work not getting done and done on time. If memory serves, they called it a "results-oriented workplace".

Pesonally I'm in a position something like that because I asked for it. When I was interviewing for my current job, I flat out told my future boss I work best when given a task and a due date. If I need help or have issues I'll ask. I still have a boss, but I've got considerable latitude in how I work. It's a little concept I learned years ago called managing your boss. Jeff's absolutely right that good managers surround themselves with qualified, motivated people they trust to get things done. But on the flip side, there's something to be said for an employee initiating the conversation with their supervisor about how they work best and get results (performance appraisal times are a great opportunity for this kind of conversation). Not all managers may be open to this, but that might be an indication this particular job isn't the best fit.

Much of the American work environment is based on attendance taking if you really think about it. Labor laws reinforce this a fair amount, but that's an entirely different discussion. We all know that a fair chunk if IT work just doesn't fit into that model. Finding new, flexible ways of working would no doubt benefit the workplace as a whole, but particularly IT.


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Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.
Post #1530264
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 6:23 AM
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If there are no bosses, then everybody is a boss. Sounds great, right? Not really. My boss is the person that says no to my coworkers, his bosses and clients when they have unrealistic expectations of my time.
Post #1530265
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 7:07 AM
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I fear this will sound like I am opposed to something like this, but that is not my intention. I am sure there are places it would be beneficial.

Just not where I work.

I work with a great group of people, but like most companies, we are very siloed. This results in people working towards the goals of their direct manager, and NOT the corporate or team goals. To make something like this work for us would require wholesale changes in staffing.

There are times when a company can make changes in their management structure and maintain the people who do the work. Frequently improvement in productivity and happiness is a result. However I would think that a change as massive as this would not work well for a lot of companies. I think most people are so ingrained in the typical structure that something like this would leave them floundering.

As for me, I have always prided myself on being able to work for anyone, in any structure. I have worked for managers who abused drugs, and I have worked for some of the best people on the planet. I always give my best no matter who is in charge. I also make a point of doing what I am asked to do no matter who asks, although there are certainly times I need to delegate to others due to staff assignments. I would hope I could adapt to something like this, but even given my history, it sure sounds weird!

I imagine that a lot of people in this forum probably succeed no matter what, and some percentage of the whole would thrive in this design. There are probably those who would do best in a typical structure though.


Dave
Post #1530281
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 7:19 AM


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chrisn-585491 (1/13/2014)
If there are no bosses, then everybody is a boss. Sounds great, right? Not really. My boss is the person that says no to my coworkers, his bosses and clients when they have unrealistic expectations of my time.


I believe that's known as "anarchy" and I agree that there has to be someone with the central vision and to guide good motivated people down the road. Teams with no leaders arn't teams.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

"Change is inevitable. Change for the better is not." -- 04 August 2013
(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1530290
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 8:32 AM


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djackson 22568 (1/13/2014)
I fear this will sound like I am opposed to something like this, but that is not my intention. I am sure there are places it would be beneficial.

Just not where I work.


I suspect this is the case for many people. I'd argue that this really comes down to poor culture, perhaps in (too many) pockets or departments where managers haven't given, or required, responsibility. There are probably other things they don't do well, which end up allowing, or encouraging, poor productivity.







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Post #1530315
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 8:45 AM
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I can think of hundreds of objections to that kind of structure, some based on things that would be a poor fit (distributed authority being potentially problematic for fiduciary responsibilities in publicly traded companies, and for compliance to regulation like SOX).

And then a host of others based on what happens when someone SAYS they will adopt the method, but instead of doing it all that way, they try to maintain their top level power and accountability structure with this underneath it.

It would be really interesting to see how HR/recruiting would work in this paradigm. How do you decide to let people go when the authority to do so is distributed?

Post #1530326
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 8:55 AM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (1/13/2014)
djackson 22568 (1/13/2014)
I fear this will sound like I am opposed to something like this, but that is not my intention. I am sure there are places it would be beneficial.

Just not where I work.


I suspect this is the case for many people. I'd argue that this really comes down to poor culture, perhaps in (too many) pockets or departments where managers haven't given, or required, responsibility. There are probably other things they don't do well, which end up allowing, or encouraging, poor productivity.


Are you spying on us? Did you ask the NSA to tap our internal communications? Have you placed cameras in our workplace?

Seriously, Patrick M. Lencioni has some great books, one of which is "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". If you Google "five dysfunctions of a team pyramid" you will quickly see images of a pyramid from his book that covers this succinctly. We worked on this a few years back, but have backstepped quite a bit. Absence of trust, most definitely. Fear of conflict, yep. Lack of commitment, uh huh. I could go on but you get the picture.

The sad thing is we are not unique, you nailed our issues without ever visiting us, or spying in any way!

I must say, my direct manager and my director DO NOT HAVE THESE ISSUES!!! I love them.


Dave
Post #1530336
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 9:00 AM
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Nevyn (1/13/2014)

It would be really interesting to see how HR/recruiting would work in this paradigm. How do you decide to let people go when the authority to do so is distributed?


My concern would be those individuals whose other skills are valuable, but maybe don't have the best people skills. I am thinking specificlaly of someone I know who suffers from an ASD issue, which makes him very difficult to work with. He doesn't generally have customer contact though, and is an absolute star at what he does. His management protects him for good reason. People who don't fit in nice little packages might suffer in an organization like this, which would of course (IMO) lead to massive failures as those people tend to be far more creative. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with me on this, but if we stick to the point I am attempting to make...

I think there would be some individuals who currently enjoy the protection of their direct management, who would not survive in a structure such as what Steve referred to.

Whether that is good or bad is a differnt question, one that we all have our own opinions about.


Dave
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