Mr Bättig, they were part of the business management of the digital Agency Unic. For almost three years, there are no bosses and no subordinates anymore. What prompted the hierarchy to be abolished?
Our goal was not a new form of organization to introduce. We asked ourselves how we, as a company with the dynamism in the market can match. I speak not only of the expectations of the clients with whom we develop digital platforms, but also from those of the professionals, we want to win as a staff. Especially the younger employees do not want a rigid job profile more and no instructions from the top. You want to take responsibility and decide for yourself what and where you work.
And since you have noticed that the heads were in the company in the way of that?
We had five hierarchy levels at 250 employees, but it always belonged to the core values that all employees were able to work independently and take responsibility. The Problem was that we behaved in practice, as it corresponded to our image of human beings. Much of this was organized in Silos, we, the members of the Executive Board gave direction and controlled the implementation. Accordingly, there have been many Reports, many Excel spreadsheets, many risk analyses – and a little willingness to try New things, to interact, to talk about errors, to decide close to the customer.
How have you changed this?
I was in the function as COO for the management of the operational business. That meant I had to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Accordingly, many unpleasant things landed on my Desk: difficult projects, problems between Teams, the difficulties of the staff, escalations of all kinds. I tried to analyze cases, to solve the problems and to create if necessary new rules. At some point we realized that we were as leaders new and better solutions, partially in the way. We were us – in a sense – a little like parents who take your under-age children everything and keep it small.
How to say goodbye to this role?
In the new role as Chief Strategy Officer, I had the time and space to take care of the strategy and future of our organization. I had no subordinates more, more time to Think about what is for people in a management function, the exception. I learned different organizational models to know, read specialist literature, such as "Reinventing Organizations" by Frederic Laloux, and replaced me with a lot of entrepreneurs. Often I received on my critical and analytical questions, the answer: "I don't know, but I'm sure we can find a solution." The impressed me. Successful businessman carrying a lot of responsibility, had not even the claim to plan everything and control it. They trusted in the fact that, together and by focusing on real-world tensions and find a solution.
hierarchy may make organizations inert, you but orientation. How does that work when there are no bosses anymore?
We have not abolished the hierarchy and the processes, but the personalized hierarchy. This is not to be confused with anarchy or Chaos. In the case of the Holacracy organizational form, which we have introduced, there are clear processes and rules. The Power to make independent decisions, is distributed to the entire organization in the Form of different roles, and not a few heads. Therefore, there is no decision-making vacuum. Depending on the project other people to decide – namely, with the relevant skills. So, there is no Central instance, which must approve of the strategy of the company up to the purchase of new bins, everything. Anyone can propose a change. Will not be implemented if all, or at least the bosses will find you well, but if no one can explain, that would damage the organization.
How was the reaction of the employees on the abolition of the personalized hierarchy?
you Know the Gartner Hype-cycle? He describes how new technologies will be included. First, there is euphoria and exaggerated expectations, then the curve falls into the valley of disappointments and then you reach a realistic level of productivity. That was when our Transformation is very similar. We awakened great hopes, then a Phase of disenchantment, in which the employees realized followed that it is challenging to take on more responsibility, to decide, and that in the new System is not easy, all have to say, all the same earn, all the same to. But we are today, almost three years after the introduction, a very good on-the-go. All the activities are geared more towards the customer.
This sounds wonderful. But it is not an Illusion, it is all just the thing and the Ego of the Individual plays no role?
would be Naive to think all are the same, and had much to say. Who brings 20 years of experience, takes on other roles as a newcomer – nothing has changed. But clearly, for executives of the transition to Holacracy is a Challenge. You have worked up, maybe essential to identify that you are a good problem solver, work more, know more. Now they have to face new evidence, to show whether they are good also as a Leader and Manager. And if you listened, if no one is dependent on you and your Status is not cemented with the largest Parking and a Manager's office. I think that is a very healthy development.
Can also work large corporations?
of a certain Size complete self-organization is believed to be difficult. But even there, the responsibility may be monopolized or wider divided magnetized. It depends heavily on the self-understanding and view of the top management. In the case of Novartis, and Microsoft's new leaders have signalled that there will be less Central in the boss days decided to be with any other business, one has the feeling that the CEO will not have a strong business management side. It is clear that The pressure has increased, and the target, to be agile, you won't reach alone due to more modern technologies. It is therefore worthwhile, also think seriously about the organization of the collaboration to think about.
contact and information: www.unic.com or www.ivobaettig.com
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Created: 08.11.2019, 17:09 PM