In this new modern business environment, it’s essential to cut back the traditional structure of decades past in favor of a model which promotes growth and innovation. In a recent article for Inc., Marla Tabaka discussed this forward-thinking structure with Appster founders Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald, who have stripped down the “top-heavy, hierarchical” model and replaced it with something much more effective.
What the leaders of Appster have uncovered is that self-managed teams will be more productive in the long run than those who are micromanaged. This autonomy grants room for high-performance teams to capitalize on their collective strengths and unlock potential. In fact, a more appropriate term for this effective grouping is “tribe,” whereby everyone steps in to do their part when need arises, without external pressure to do so.
The Appster leaders also suggests that this model should encourage healthy rivalry among employees, while still maintaining a sense of fairness – i.e. no playing favorites, and no politics.
Part of the way Appster achieves this harmonious balance is through the regular collection of unfiltered feedback from all of their employees. Doing this requires a dose of humility, but if a company is passionate about improving, they’ll have to be willing to hear both the good and the bad, and find worthwhile solutions to any existing issues. Also, this practice ensures that everyone – regardless of whether they are a top level exec or an entry-level team member – is heard.
So what are some additional factors in the successful creation of a mostly hierarchy-free and non-traditional model?
Your most experienced team members won’t always be your highest performers. In fact, you should hire those people who will be high-performing from the get go, those individuals you can be sure won’t need constant management.
If you give your people room to make decisions, and work together towards a common goal, the end results will be more efficient. If you’ve hired well, and trained well, your self-managed team will bring about the results you crave.
Make Data Accessible
A hierarchy-free model requires an environment of transparency. Create a continuous feedback loop where problems can be discussed publicly, and addressed quickly, before they cause more long-term issues.
Healthy competition, driven by incentives like awards and bonuses, are proven strategies to increase productivity. However, do this in the spirit of teamwork.
Retain Some of the Hierarchy
Holding onto a core leadership team can help maintain the direction and enhance the vision of your company. Integrate quarterly meetings with the highest members of your staff to ensure the company stays on course.
Read more details at Inc.com
What have you done to eliminate the bulkiness associated with traditional business structures? How has this model made your team more productive and efficient?