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5 Tips for Self-Managing Your Team

Personal growth
Reorganization
Team processes

15 January, 2019

Edmond Lau details aspects that attribute to coordinating and running viable self-managed organization.

Problem

Implementing a self-managed organization is no easy feat. If you are currently using this model or considering adopting it to your company, here are several items to reflect upon based on my personal experience.

Actions taken

Hiring: Ask new candidates very thoughtful questions. Cover both on the job related knowledge, problem solving skills, and emotional quotient (EQ).

Culture: Figure out what sort of team culture you want to build. It is fun and rewarding when you are able to build a good team with good chemistry.

Collaboration: Encouraging teamwork and collaboration in this environment is key. In a self-managed organization, having real-time communications and collaborations is very important. Consider investing into tools like Hipchat or Slack to encourage more spontaneous discussions and brainstorming.

Shared Vision: Day-to-day decisions are being made by the collective team rather than by a single manager so it is crucial that the entire team has a shared vision, a big picture of the business and the product.

Buy In: You need to get buy in from everyone in the company involving day-to-day operations toward the self-managed model so educate the people on your team. Point out both the pros and cons of Holacracy- a method of decentralized management and organizational governance, and how it would work in your company.

Lessons learned

  • Try to build a team where team members are able to manage themselves. You should hire people who are very good at managing their time, and know very well about their limits and abilities.
  • Don't be surprised if you are misunderstood about how much work or how advanced this model is. Managers who have worked in corporate companies may have a hard time understanding it and other managers in start-ups tend to prefer hierarchy teams.
  • Have discussions with people around the organizational benefits of a self-managed team. Describe the ability to be more agile, or the advantages of having teams without managers so that decision making is streamlined.

Source: https://medium.com/@edmondlauca/6-things-about-running-a-self-managed-team-in-real-life-62e849a81faa


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