Rising from the ashes of management

If you want to destroy the entrepreneurial nature of work, then make management part of the hierarchy. Removing management from the hierarchy is probably the simplest thing that could be done to improve innovation and increase the motivation of those who really create business value.

Management at Asana is seen as service role, rather than the next step in the pyramid on the org chart. The usual model, where exceptional work leads inevitably to the management track is a mistake, Rosenstein argues. “The effect of that is that individual work is looked down on,” he says. “That is so caustic.”  – What managers do at a company that’s trying to replace them with software

Knowledge artisans don’t need managers, they need support to get work done. A lot of management, like performance reviews, is quite boring and repetitive. Much of management will be automated, along with anything else for which a flowchart can be created. In a networked workplace, management is just a service that needs to be provided, like electricity. There is little reason to connect such a basic service as management to the decision-making structure.

A flattened hierarchy requires less command and control. Self-managed teams require fewer external directives. Transparency eliminates the need for most control mechanisms. A world without bosses is possible.

For us, we’ve found that transparency is another great way to build trust in a team. If all the information about everything that’s going on is freely available, that helps everyone to feel completely on board with decisions. – Joel Gascoigne, CEO, Buffer

When organizations adopt practices such as working out loud, there is even less need for management. In a transparent organization, with self-directed teams working out loud, the shifting of management to a service will serve another purpose – power sharing. This can energize the entire workforce to be more entrepreneurial. Companies are doing this and are seeing great results, reinventing their organizations. It’s amazing that so many executives are not making more significant changes to basic management structures. Perhaps they are listening too much to their managers?

Phoenix Rising from Hierarchy - by Joachim Stroh

Phoenix Rising from a Collapsed Hierarchy – by Joachim Stroh


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