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Submitted by stijndl on


What do you think of the latest LinkedIn buzz about zappos?

"Zappos gets rid of all managers"!



timbarcz's picture
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 I think it's interesting - I mentioned something similar in my post titled "Is MT out-of-date?" ( largely with this idea in mind and more companies going this direction, Zappos is just the most recent and largest to do so (with great fanfair and press).  While this likely won't be adopted very soon by other large companies, I am reading about it more and more from smaller companies.


I've never operated in that environment but I have some strong interest in working in such and environment while at the same time some strong concerns about the environment.  Much management theory is heavily disrupted by the "no management" idea.





timrutter's picture

 They'll be broke or broken in 12 months

timbarcz's picture
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Based on what evidence....?

Certainly they won't be broke - assuming you mean financially - that's not going to happen.

Now "broke" is subjective, perhaps they were broken before and this is the "fix".

My point is "broke" is extremely subjective, so you should probably qualify that a bit because depending on who you talk to you could be 100% right or 100% wrong at the same time.

(Come to think of it, that's a pretty clever assertion - though I don't think that was your point :-))

WayneHodder's picture

 If it fits the organization, moves it forward to meet the goals through the people within it taking ownership and supporting it, then it will work.


"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

naraa's picture
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The first company I worked for in 1996 had no bosses.  It had a director for the area and then groups which were lead by a facilitator. New to the company, I guess I was one of the few that bought into the "no boss" thing.  We were on a work meeting establishing tasks for ISO9000 implementation with people from different groups and one facilitator (not mine, thankfully) was being very bossy and not helpful at all.  So in my naiveness I said: "Why don´t you volunteer to do something as well rather than just tell people what to do."  He went up to the director and asked him to fire me.  Luckily my facilitator stood by me and I was spare.  But I learned that facilitators were in fact bosses.

Rest assure an hierarchical structure will get formed within the Holacracy of 400 groups one way or another.  "But every single one of these entrepreneurs is accountable to the larger organisation and shares the same higher purpose."  How can one be accountable to one organisation if not to the people within this organisation?  

I used to have a architect friend that used to say that parks should be build without tracks and let people form the tracks throughout the preferred pathways.  I think some companies could benefit of that too: "let the people themselves form the interactions that best facilitate the results."  I am just not too sure how quickly can the paths be formed, and how efficient and fair they will really be.  Paths will be formed, that is for sure.  I just feel sorry for the naive person that gets in and takes time to recognise the paths!


duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Man, I can't even get 5 of my friends to agree to go bowling.  

I'm with Tim - let's see where they are in 12 months.  I'd say 12 years, but this idea won't last that long.

helenislovely's picture

 Of course it may not work... but they're not the pioneers of this! Valve is run with a flat structure. So is MorningStarCo - hardly a trendy tech company - they produce tomatoes!

So don't dismiss the idea out of hand when there are many companies who have already tried no bosses, flat structure, no titles etc and made them work. I've written about some of them here.




timrutter's picture

 It's not out of hand Helen. My opinion is based on the fall of Holacracy's predecessor in the early 90's