Great article @dirk, thanks for sharing.
Brain melting in parts to imagine & believe it works (tho I do!).
Would be interested to see 100 other co’s try and see who fails and who doesn’t, to start to understand what lets this work.
Aspects of this remind me of working at a professional services firm, which tend to employ no professional managers either, but with v diff results (managerial (and hierarchical) responsibilities allocated to front-line practitioners, who don’t stop practising their trade, just have to do both that and management - which often leads to pretty mixed results). That also tied in with my first thought on this article, which was that the co. doesn’t support the theory that management is bad, just that bad management is bad.
I’d assume peer-driven management could go just as wrong as hierarchical management (you don’t need a monarch to get a royal screw-up), so the really interesting part is what lets this company self-manage successfully? Presumably this kind of approach susceptible to the usual problems of non-hierarchical communities, like group-think mediocrity, or containing dominant-but-inexpert personalities (squeaky whell probs), tho they’ve clearly dealt with those so far. I suspect v. clear goals & metrics must be important to this - ie process-tomatoes-to-make-a-profit, & interesting tools like P&L accounts per team.
Interesting to think how this should apply to a small NFP. Arguably a lot of this should already be working in a small NFP - smaller org usually means more shared responsibility, less prof managerial class, more exposure of all employees to the market forces, etc. So interesting to think about where they seem to be actually doing things better.
Good food for discussion.