Kill the Hierarchy! - Autonomy

I love Tracy Maylett’s description of an organisation without employee autonomy. Writing for Entrepreneur, he says:

“Without it your workforce may become the “land of the working dead,” roaming endlessly in zombie-like fashion, waiting to be told what to do next.  Not an enjoyable workplace for employees nor managers, by any stretch”.

Employee autonomy is about giving employees the right to do the work they want, how they want and when they want.

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Constant Change. Game On!

In a world of constant change, there are only three roles we need in order to create a resilient workforce - managers, coaches and players. A winning team that says "Game On!"

Watch this animation to find out more.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - Everyone Leads

When organisations nurture leadership on an organisation-wide level, the entire organisation and every employee will prosper and grow.

Everyone has a significant contribution to make and their voices need to be heard.

More over, they need to be able to challenge the status quo, make decisions, initiate and drive change and be seen as leaders in their own right.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - High Collaboration

In a hierarchical organisation, employees tend not to be engaged or committed to the work they do. There is limited collaboration.

More and more organisations are recognising that their structure is hampering effective collaboration. Its hierarchical and siloed structure obstructs cross-functional working, collective problem solving and decision-making located where best suited, and effective communication to support dynamic collaboration.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - Employee High Influence

For an organisation to survive and thrive in a world of constant and uncertain change, the organisation has to be one in which leadership is important, but MORE important is a collaborative workplace in which transparency and creative freedom reign over hierarchical boundaries. Organisations need to give employees increased influence which is enabled via a flat or flatter organisational structure.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - Fast to Change Direction

Flatter structures work well for organisations that need to innovate and respond quickly in a rapidly changing environment.

Large organisations with traditional hierarchies and a command and control management approach have to flatten the hierarchy and operate more like a smaller organisation unless they want to be adversely disrupted.

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Need a little help?

Is your organisational struggling to adapt to a world in which constant change is the new norm?

Is your organizational change management approach aligned to rapid, continuous and iterative change?

No? It can be.

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Karen FerrisComment
Kill the Hierarchy! - De-Label

In traditional hierarchical organisations, titles are very important. They are a sign of past performance, power and prestige.

Some organisations that are genuinely flat have done away with roles and titles altogether!

At Morning Star everyone is known as a “Colleague”.

At W.L. Gore everyone is known as an “Associate”.

At Zappos everyone is known as a “Partner”.

But there are various degrees of de-labelling.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - Span of Control

This post in the series “Kill the Hierarchy” I explore how flattening the organisational structure will increase a manager’s span of control but does not mean increased workload.  Adoption of self-management will avoid that and bring additional benefits.

Genuine flat structures have a workforce that is self-managing. Employees have delegated decision-making authority, autonomy, empowerment and red tape is eliminated.

Therefore, the ‘manager’ has less to do!

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Resilient organisations win even when they lose!

Well it was an early start for me today. Up at 4am to watch my Liverpool FC play Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final from Kiev.

Despite the result not going our way, (Madrid 3 - Liverpool 1), just watching the behaviour of the manager, coaches and players and the supporters inspired me to continue my posts that have a soccer analogy associated with them.

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Total Football - Lessons from the Field

Total Football could be described as ‘organized chaos.’ Any player can move into another’s position. A player who moves out of position is replaced by another team member. In this fluid and flexible system, no outfield player is fixed in a predetermined role. Anyone can successively play as an attacker, a midfielder or a defender. The only player that stays in position is the goalkeeper.

I believe there are parallels with the concept of Total Football and the resilient workforce we need today when change is constant, complex and unrelenting.


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Kill the Hierarchy! - Active Employees

Active employee involvement increases productivity and profitability.

A flat organisational structure empowers employees. When employees take on a greater role within the organisation, they become more personally motivated to succeed and more active in the organisation.

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Kill the Hierarchy! - Employee Engagement

Employee engagement means that employees have choices and work towards the success of the organisation. They are actively involved and enthusiastic about their work and the workplace.

A hierarchical structure can disempower employees. A flatter structure provides more opportunities for employees to be involved in decision-making processes and therefore they are increasingly motivated and engaged. Employees have more autonomy.

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What I Did At Convergence With A Little Help From My Friends!

Earlier this week I delivered a Masterclass at Convergence 2018. Convergence Australia is Asia-Pacific’s only dedicated change management conference. 

I highly recommend it. It was a well spent 2 days.

My Masterclass was entitled ‘Game On!’ I explored the world of organisational change that we now live in which is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). 

We looked at why the traditional linear approaches to organisational change management (OCM) no longer work in that world and how we have to make a fundamental change in those approaches and in our mindset.

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