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AZJim
AZJim
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I love this kind of thing for several reasons. First, it can make sense in certain environments. Second, it helps make the individual employee have 'skin in the game'. Whether it can work long term without modification, I would say probably not. But there are other models to choose from when time comes rather than resorting to the typical Wall Street-ordered deep hierarchical organization.

Personally, I don't know whether the typical Fortune 500 company structure is just a necessary evil or truly evil. Mind you, I am not a closet Marxist. If anything, I am an unabashed capitalist (however an ethical one). But the direction dictated from Wall Street today is ruthless, and getting more so. It will one day collapse under its own bloated weight unless major changes can be addressed. For starters, stop focusing on short-term financial goals at the expense of long-term market penetration. Having an upper management that has a passion for the business rather than a solitary passion for just making as much money as possible wouldn't hurt either.

If start-up firms operated the way your Fortune 500 firms do today, they wouldn't survive for six months. So 'kudos to Zappos'!
djackson 22568
djackson 22568
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jim.drewe (1/13/2014)
I am an unabashed capitalist (however an ethical one).


Wow, don't say that out loud. The media will eat you alive for claming there is such a thing as an ethical capitalist. Well, other then actors and media members themselves of course.

For starters, stop focusing on short-term financial goals at the expense of long-term market penetration. Having an upper management that has a passion for the business rather than a solitary passion for just making as much money as possible wouldn't hurt either.


Amen. Although the balance isn't always easy.

Dave
Jim P.
Jim P.
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I can see this working at some companies.

I have been pretty much been unsupervised for close to 15 years just because of my positions. (Here's what we want you to do. Come back if you have problems.) I also have done self created projects that make everyone's job easier.

But then I have seen co-workers that have to be watched with a close eye that they are even doing actual work they are assigned.

So really it comes down to having employees that are willing to be personally responsible for getting their job done. If you don't have that, I can see the change failing, miserably.



----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
AZJim
AZJim
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Thanks. If what I said appears to be a rant, I guess it is. And I could easily drift into a rant on the media for the reasons you said (their preference is to spike news events rather than reporting on them).

The balance part shouldn't be that difficult, unless a company has "evolved" to the pure Wall Street paradigm. Under that paradigm the senior officers of the firm focus on maximizing the metrics that the investment bankers dictate while keeping themselves from going to jail (at least there is now a compliance constraint with the US Sarbanes-Oxley legislation). The long term impact to the company doesn't really matter as long as the short term metrics are met. This really comes into play when a CEO is planning on retiring in XX months. He will gut anything in the organization that doesn't raise the stock price before his retirement date. He becomes a poster boy for Wall Street because he exceeded the bankers' expectations for the company. The stock price goes up, he retires and cashes in his stock options (he can legally do this because as an officer he has announced), and leaves the smoking results to his successor. The board doesn't say too much because as fellow CEOs they will do the same thing to their companies when they retire.

There is much to say here, but the obvious point I want to make is not be in the position to buckle to the metrics of hachet men.
Dave Poole
Dave Poole
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This works fine in favourable business conditions. The true test comes in difficult times where difficult and unpopular decisions are needed.

Committees aren't great at setting directions. The best bosses steer their staff in the required direction without appearing to do so and/or without their staff noticing that they are being steered. Their control only becomes apparent when the difficult decisions are required. You may have a great deal of autonomy within boundaries you haven't discovered yet.

Anarchy is the perfect state where no control is necessary but it doesn't exist in reality.

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srowley2
srowley2
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"we are driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I see structures that free people up while requiring responsibility".

Sounds like a good way for the country to live.

Steve
Viv Fletcher
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The problem with "many hats" is that you become a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. There are too many areas in today's IT world for anybody to cover in any depth without specializing.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Viv Fletcher (1/14/2014)
The problem with "many hats" is that you become a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. There are too many areas in today's IT world for anybody to cover in any depth without specializing.


That's not necessarily true. People still specialize in certain areas, but have good general knowledge in many areas. The depth of your knowledge across the spectrum isn't a line or curve, it's a jagged edge. You may know some things very well and very little about others. The "jack of all trades" has an average depth that is sufficient for many things, but still could be an expert in a few areas.

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