Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Are Leaderless Organizations Coming Soon?
Leaderless organizations are more common in industries that require lots of innovation and change to keep up with the market. Highly skilled professionals that have a sense of self-direction are likely to fit well within they structures framework. As the trend to push flatter and more virtual takes shape the need for a traditional boss lessens.
The self-directed workforce operates from a communal perspective that each person has value within the organization and must contribute based on their unique function. There is organizational structure and expectations but there isn't heavy layers of management-in some cases there may be no layers of management. It is a system that is designed like a cell where all parts must work together for survival.
Self-directed doesn't mean there is no direction it means that the sole direction is based on the organizational objectives and the specific functions of people within the company. Once the overriding goals of the organization are developed it is then up to each member to align their activities through their daily work functions. No one needs to force these goals as they are universally accepted.
Decentralized workplaces are based on collaboration. People believe they are part of a bigger function and are professional enough to self-direct their daily work. They don't need a boss telling them what to do everyday or strict oversight. Their internal motivation and commitment to their field and their organization keeps them on track.
Traditional functions of management such as hiring, firing, compensation, and discipline become the domain of mutual consensus. Members decide these issues in collaboration that lowers the bias that a single manager may have. The company makes employment decisions and workplace decisions based on the needs of the organization and the functional capacity of their positions.
Strong Social Expectations
Social expectations help provide direction even when there isn't a manager available to give them. It can be argued the social expectations are even more important than other types of expectations due to the powerful influence rejection can have. These expectations are group based and are reinforced informally and formally.
In order for social expectations to have power they will need to have symbols and values that support strong performance. This occurs when the organization and work groups create an identity of what they believe as codified in stories, culture, history, symbols, and challenges. Each person shares a level of cognition with others in the workplace.