IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE
This document speaks to the core values at Abzu, explains briefly our self-managing philosophy, and describes the foundational processes we practice at Abzu.
This is the list of the “most important” things to know when joining us.
If you need that sort of information, ask an Abzoid.
At Abzu, self-management means:
Self-management does not mean:
- Equality. It’s a misconception that a self-managing organization is completely equal. We attribute everyone equal value, but we each differ in the contributions we make to Abzu. Think of these as natural hierarchies that may come and go instead of traditional power hierarchies.
- Consensus. Everyone should not be involved in all decisions and agree on the course of action.
There are two key processes that we want to describe in detail for Abzu as a self-managing company.
Advice: How we handle decisions
The advice process captures the locality of self-management. This means that more decisions are taken at the individual and team level rather than at the company level.
In making decisions, everyone has the same power, but broader roles may be included in more decision processes.
At the very basic level, the advice process means communicating your proposal for change to the people that you think will be affected by it. The advice process is quick and easy to use, and only a few considerations are needed:
- The bigger the consequence of the decision, the more people (and from a more representative cross section) you should involve.
- Seek out expert opinions.
- Don’t seek consensus; seek a good, sound decision.
- Consider how hard it is to reverse the effects of your decision.
- Remember that you are only getting advice. Advice can be disregarded, and it is fully in your right to do so.
- You choose who to involve in the advice process. This means that you are entrusted to look for valuable inputs. Be sure to challenge your normal “echo chamber” in the process!
Conflict resolution: How we handle disagreements
We encourage a culture where tensions or conflicts are brought to the surface. This means that we handle conflict as a way to reach understanding, inspire creativity, and learn about our differences.
At Abzu, we have the following process for people in conflict:
- First, they sit together and try to sort it out privately.
- If they can’t find a solution agreeable to both, they nominate a colleague they trust to act as a mediator. The mediator doesn’t impose a decision. Rather, he or she supports the participants in coming to their own solution.
- If mediation fails, a panel of topic-relevant colleagues is convened. Again, the panel does not impose a solution, but supports the participants in coming to their own solution.
We think that:
To find out more about self-management, go read “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux.