Creating Teams: Xmas Trees Experiment

There will be always the time when you’ll need to make changes in your teams. This may be due to change in workload, people joining or leaving the group, change of methodology, etc. We also had this situation in our office. In our case we were beginning to move towards a more agile model plus we were moving to a new office space. As we wanted to have more cross-functional autonomous teams, we thought this could be a great opportunity to take our next step. But how to do it? It was very early stage in our transformation of culture … Continue reading Creating Teams: Xmas Trees Experiment

Fill The Gap Feedback Experiment

This is a rather advanced feedback exercise. It can become very awkward for inexperienced teams and get dangerous if not controlled properly. Sometimes the line between a genuinely positive transformation and a complete morale destruction is very thin. However, it is very powerful. All teams, even those which seem in perfect harmony at first sight, have their little bugs. Those little bugs may not seem worth addressing. Sometimes, it even feels like an overkill to discuss them as they can generate what it may be perceived as unnecessary unrest for a perfectly functioning team. I beg to differ. In my … Continue reading Fill The Gap Feedback Experiment

The Poker Chips Feedback Experiment

The Poker Chips experiment gave us a whole new level of transparency, communication, trust and performance. So much that I strongly recommend every team to try it and sustain it, but before I go into details, I must set the right context so you understand where we were coming from. After we ditched the hierarchy and moved to a self-managed environment, we had to experiment with a lot of innovative practices to cope with the gaps that the lack of structure left us. Our teams are used to come up with many democratic approaches to make decisions and implement processes. … Continue reading The Poker Chips Feedback Experiment

Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 4: Star Awards

At this point, we have experimented quite a bit with different methods and, more importantly, we have grown in terms of trust, transparency and self-management. Check out our previous experiments if you haven’t done so yet (Experiment 1, Experiment 2, Experiment 3). This time we wanted to tackle one of the flaws that all of our previous methods had, and that is to provide recognition right after the fact and have a process that runs throughout the year rather than just once every 6/12 months. We still had to stick to the corporate annual budget cycle so this is what … Continue reading Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 4: Star Awards

Adding HR Skills to the Mix

For years, we have lived with no official HR person. This is pretty unusual for an office of over 70 employees, but hey, we aren’t a usual company; after all, who else is investing in a team of 3 full-time employees fully dedicated to transforming our culture? We thought this profile could help us and we decided to include it in our Kaizen team, and for that, we found the ideal person, her name is A. The main responsibilities of A are still the typical ones that an HR is expected to do but on top of that, she is … Continue reading Adding HR Skills to the Mix

Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 1: Best Employee

We did it, we removed hierarchy and managers, we are now all equal. Great. However, as you may already know, most content in this blog refers to a self-managed office within the context of a bigger, hierarchical organisation, our self-management can only get so far, but still, pretty fun. Before we realise, is that time of the year when the “bigger company” asks us to submit our proposals for promotions and salary increases. There used to be a clear step-by-step process for this, centralised through the managers. With no managers, what do we do now? To be honest, we didn’t … Continue reading Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 1: Best Employee