Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TED talk on the Bossless Organization

Back in June I had the opportunity to speak at TEDx Houston on the University of Houston campus.  It was a fantastic experience I really enjoyed.  Well, the professionally edited video of my talk is finally available: "What is Social Systems Architecture and why does it matter?"  It covers kind of a wide range of topics over 20 minutes, including material from my other blog, Houston Strategies:
  1. The Opportunity Urbanism philosophy of cities and how Houston is an exemplar of that model
  2. Branding Houston
  3. A transportation/transit solution for decentralized cities (like Houston)
  4. Organization 2.0 and the Bossless Organization model
  5. Reforming K-12 education with empowerment
As a reader of this blog, #4 is probably what you're interested in, and that starts at the 13:37 point if you want to jump ahead.

And yes, if you're wondering, I broke all the TED talk rules by packing way too much into my 20 minutes (and apologies in advance for the frequent throat clearing; lesson learned: no ice water before speaking).  But I got some very positive feedback from the audience, so at least some people appreciated the difference from the usual TED talk model.  The video does a decent job of capturing the slides too (use the bottom right-side arrows to make it full screen), but you can also download a pdf of the slides here.

Enjoy.  As always, thoughts and feedback are welcome in the comments.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Human Project

A couple friends of mine (and fellow M-Prize winners!) are raising money for a very cool project: an application to enable a conversation on the future of our species (yes, I wish they'd think a little bigger too ;-)  They're in the last few days of Kickstarter crowdsourced funding, so check out the video and then support as you're inspired - even if it's just a tweet or Facebook "like" to spread the word.  Thanks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gary Hamel: Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment

He does an amazing job here of packing the essence of Management 2.0 into a concise 15-minute video with very cool and perfectly synchronized background graphics.  Highly recommended.  Zoom it to full screen for best watching.  Original content/post here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gary Hamel's Pyramid of Human Capabilities

Love this!  Obviously the point of management 2.0 is to bring out the higher levels in employees.  More here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gary Hamel writes about the Bossless Organization in the Wall Street Journal

Here's the excerpt:
The boss-less organization: From bosses to mentor/investors
A hack from Tory Gattis

How do you move from a “command-and-control” leadership structure to one focused on motivating and mentoring? That’s the challenge Tory Gattis, founder of OpenTeams, takes on in his hack. Gattis argues that organizations need to abandon the boss-subordinate hierarchy in favor a new relationship that brings internal “mentor investors” together with intrapreneurial teams. Like Silicon Valley’s angel investors, mentors would provide funding, offer advice and make connections—but wouldn’t directly manage.

Key elements of the hack: Employees pitch ideas for investment—for a small project aimed at operational improvement or something grander. There is a large network of mentor investors who are able to provide funding and project teams are free to shop their ideas around. Investors can form syndicates to back bigger, riskier investments. Over time, successful investors and teams would command a larger share of resources.

In an organization built around Gattis’ hack, every idea would have the chance to compete on an equal footing and no single manager would have the power to kill a great idea. That would be a huge spur for innovation and proactive change.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Self-Management Institute features the Bossless Organization

Not sure how long it will last, but it's up now (and here in their archives).  Morning Star is a real company of substantial size that has no bosses and no hierarchy.  There's a lot of other good material there too, so check it out.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The problem of leadership and bureaucracy articulated

On the surface, this article titled "Solitude and Leadership" from a lecturer at West Point wouldn't seem to have a lot to do with the theme of this blog.  But it does one of the best jobs I've ever seen at articulating the core problem with bureaucratic hierarchies.  Overall it's one of the best articles I've read in years - and I read a lot of articles.  NYT columnist David Brooks gave it a best-of-2010 award.  Definitely read the whole thing, but here's a couple excerpts to get you interested:
"That’s really the great mystery about bureaucracies. Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you. Pleasing your teachers, pleasing your superiors, picking a powerful mentor and riding his coattails until it’s time to stab him in the back. Jumping through hoops. Getting along by going along. Being whatever other people want you to be, so that it finally comes to seem that, like the manager of the Central Station, you have nothing inside you at all. Not taking stupid risks like trying to change how things are done or question why they’re done. Just keeping the routine going.

...environments where what is rewarded above all is conformity... I realized that this is a national problem. We have a crisis of leadership in this country, in every institution."
And that's why Management 2.0, Organization 2.0, the Bossless Organization, or whatever you want to call it is so critical to the future of not just our country, but all of human civilization.