Organizational scaling principles
Innovation driven org design.
Your startup is growing and you need to think about how to build the organization so people in it aren't going completely mad.
The way we structure cross-functional organizations is around 3 base principles. They seem to be the best fit around outcome-driven, collaborative environments:
- Shared consciousness:
is the set of shared beliefs within a specific group. It can be established by sharing information even with peers that may not be the best fit for that information. It's the opposite of the "need to know principle" where information is only distributed to those that need it to do their immediate job.
You share as much as you can about the process, strategy, and direction as is possible. Including business metrics. We're not producing "feature 'n'" we are solving a specific problem and understanding the context is important for everyone.
Empowerment is the authority given to a person to do something. Delegating, giving trust. Letting people decide without being the gatekeeper or the delegator of decisions empowers people.
Asking for permission changes to informing others on why you did what you did and if those things work they get recognition for surfacing it.
If you start to be directive as a manager in the operative layer while having less context (which is normal) will lead to a micromanaging culture.
This creates the frustrating culture of knowing what's wrong but being powerless about it. One of the leading reasons to churn from a company.
Does the added value of giving people authority over what they do outweigh the mistakes that will happen? My firm conviction is: yes.
We need to hold ourselves and each other accountable. When teams commit to OKRs they make a commitment. These commitments should be re-assessed on a regular basis. The principle is, to be honest about progress and failure.
While we love success the goal is to learn, which makes success follow inevitably.
*Never* punish a team or an individual for their honesty even if it is tied to failure. We should reward a culture of honesty in order to improve.
Thanks for reading Leah’s ProducTea Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.