Bringing the ‘whole system’ into the room through Future Search made it possible for IKEA to tackle those elements of decision making – such as complexity and uncertainty – which are normally avoided and have the potential to block progress towards desired outcomes.
Instant Offices uses expansive roles to ensure that new ideas and ways of working can emerge from among the firm’s staff, to great business benefit. They also make use of a form of CEO informal lunches and Question Time, whereby staff have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with senior management once per month.
HSBC introduced Exchange meetings in 2012 to deal with a shift in strategy that put pressure on the organisation and the controversies surrounding regulations, enabling staff to surface concrete issues through informal discussion and access to senior management.
Red Gate upgraded the Innovation time off format by turning it into a dedicated annual event, rather than expect people to allocate a % of their time each week, which is typically hard to manage. Internal competitions also offer an effective mechanism to emerge new ideas around products, services or new ways of working, enabling all participants to feel part of the process.
Innocent make regular use of ‘expansive roles’, i.e. the idea that fixed job descriptions can be discarded in favour of allowing employees’ efforts to flow to where their help is needed most. They also hold regular company-wide Q&As – or ‘open forums’ – in order to maximise transparency among the workforce.
What makes the NeXT story interesting is that, despite Steve Jobs’ best intention with regard to openness and transparency, the experiment essentially failed, largely due to the very competitive employment conditions for technical staff in California at the time.
GrantTree have practiced an open internal salary transparency policy since the start, which they say has brought them a number of benefits including staff retention, low churn, and a high level of internal trust.
SumAll’s open salary policy, where compensation amounts for all employees are public, has gained it considerable attention in the business press but is also bringing significant business benefits to the company, such as greater retention and trust. This transparency extends into a wider belief in a more egalitarian approach to business management and a focus on meritocracy as a key company value.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car embraced the Net Promoter Score technique, adapting it to its needs and turning it into a core operating value for the whole firm.
The company behind WordPress is run as a distributed enterprise with no offices other than a small HQ, with a large amount of autonomy given to the workforce.
A discussion of Whole Foods’ delegation of key operating decisions to small teams, including hiring decisions, and salary transparency.
Buffer’s financial performance data and the salaries of all employees, including those of the CEO and senior management, are totally public as part of the company’s overall radical transparency management philosophy to promote trust and openness.
The Thomson Reuters case study demonstrates how a large corporation has adapted to the new reality of the modern workplace and achieved significant business benefits from moving away from the traditional corporate ladder, towards embracing a more networked organisational structure (‘lattice’) and more flexible ways of working.
The Best Buy crowdsourcing sales forecasts among its associates is widely quoted as a good example of innovation emerging from middle management working with the wider workforce to improve company performance.
WL Gore has no traditional managers, titles or budgets and shuns the concept of economies of scale. It is characterised by a firmly-held belief that the individual autonomy they grant workers enables fast decision-making and diverse perspectives.
Originally developed in response to “a significant leadership gap”, the TELUS Leadership Philosophy (TLP) TLP provides a framework and leadership philosophy “that promotes every team member demonstrating leadership in delivering on [the TELUS] brand promise”.
GE’s Aviation Supply Chain created a technique for developing a self-directed work structure at their plants called Teaming, i.e. the idea that associates take on roles that traditionally were performed by management or formal functions, which hereby involve them in the production process and management of the plant.
Tesla, under the leadership of Elon Musk, is a great example of a company that has consciously, and deliberately, made the choice to open source its IP in order to pursue its objectives more quickly, more efficiently, and more sustainably than would otherwise be the case.
In developing their approach to digital, Nordstrom have applied the ‘Nordstrom Way’ to their digital strategy by creating the Nordstrom Innovation Lab. The Lab was created as a lean start-up inside a Fortune 500 company, tasked with developing digital solutions to enable their employees to better serve the customer.
Rational’s customers were served by small, autonomous pods known as field teams. Each field team operated as a fully functional, stand-alone unit, with technical and business experts working closely together.
Favi is organised in ‘mini-factories’, i.e. self-organising team of 15-35 people each. The teams operate without management and each team can decide on processes and rules to run themselves by.
Many of Netflix’s management techniques contradict with dominant thinking in traditional organisations, especially human resources. According to founder and CEO Reed Hasting this is because legacy practices are developed for manufacturing firms to reduce variation, whereas Netflix and other creative firms must create variation to be innovative.
Jeff Bezos has approached building Amazon in a radically different way from most other organisations, with a myriad of small teams each focussing on one part of the ecosystem, a culture of fast-failure and recovery and practicing agile by having short cycles between production and feedback from customers to stay customer-centric.