Gore & Associates.
What do these companies have in common? Well, besides the fact that they are forward-thinking, pioneering firms, they all practice a leadership style called open allocation. In open allocation, employees select how to spend their time and the projects on which they’ll work. There is no such thing as hierarchy. In an open allocation culture, employees are accountable to the business and to their peers. As long as they can show that they’re contributing value, they can switch assignments whenever they want – there are no managers or rules about headcount to hold them back.
In an open allocation scenario, teams essentially manage themselves and are only temporary. The concept reminds me of Gartner’s swarming idea, in which a project group forms based on expertise and interest and then disbands when its goal is accomplished. Rather than an executive calling for a new team, the informal leader is the employee who came up with the idea for the project – tenure or “rank” aside. A new strategic initiative will only get off the ground if the “leader” can convince others to invest their time, talent, and resources.
No Blame, More Gain
The benefits of open allocation are many. Decisions are smarter and better informed because the people making them are closer to the work, and employees can provide input free of strict, inflexible communication channels. Team members are automatically more motivated because they wouldn’t have chosen to work on a project if they didn’t believe in it and weren’t excited about it upfront. And if they are unhappy, they have to recognize that it’s because of their own choices rather than a managerial mandate. Instead of leaving the company, they just move on to another project.
For the rest of the post, head over to SilkRoad's blog.