Sonic Garden, represented by the author, is a group of engineers who develop systems. This company does not have a headquarters office. Neither managers, departments, nor evaluations have sales targets.
When you hear its characteristics, you may imagine that a company established by an individual or a few people receives only simple data entry and article writing work. However, all 35 Sonic Garden employees work full-time, hire new graduates, and invest in education. There are many parts that are no different from the ordinary companies that set up offices.
How does Sonic Garden control and manage the organization? This book answers that question. As the title says, you don't need "management". Still, it is more efficient than being able to do creative work that provides new value to customers. You can understand that by reading this book.
Regarding the examples of Sonic Garden introduced in this book, there are many parts that can be done only by a system development company. However, the original purpose of eliminating management is to achieve both "achieving overwhelming results as an organization" and "overwhelmingly enjoyable work for working individuals." This can only be achieved if the organization can achieve and maintain "high productivity."
For this purpose, industry differences may not have much to do with it. If you have an awareness of problems with your organization from the same point of view, you will surely find what you want to incorporate.
The main points of this book
To increase productivity, first of all, "review" is performed to review the work. Furthermore, it is also important to break down work on a daily basis by "disassembling tasks" and abandon unimportant work.
Only if each member has the power of "self-management" can an organization that achieves results without management be realized.
By creating a horacracy organization, employees will become more independent and more productive. On top of that, if you do work that requires creativity, you do not need to manage numerical values such as evaluations and sales targets.
Efforts to increase productivity
Review the method with "Reflection"
Low productivity, poor growth of subordinates, no sharing of know-how-it's not uncommon for organizations to cover their delayed progress with overtime. However, it will eventually go bankrupt. Instead of working overtime, we must radically review the method itself.
At Sonic Garden, which is represented by the author, there is a time for "reflection" to review the way of working. Review the way of working and the way of working from the viewpoint of "why the problem started to occur" and "whether the problem will recur if left as it is". This does not discuss issues that are currently occurring, such as "Let's review the schedule because progress is delayed."
Looking back doesn't work even if you try to give an opinion indiscriminately. There are four tips.
The first is to use a framework called "KPT". K stands for Keep (good thing), P stands for Problem (bad thing), and T stands for Try (next try). Use the whiteboard to look back at these three areas.
The second is to get K and P out with everyone. When each person is noticed, it changes from an individual's to a team's. After sharing K and P with everyone, discuss T with the whole team.
The third is not to make T a mental theory, but to put it into a concrete action. For example, if T is "be careful not to make a mistake", it cannot be confirmed whether it has been achieved. Even concrete actions that can be verified later.
The fourth is to start with an hour of retrospectives once a week. The shorter the frequency, the faster the direction can be corrected, and the less the amount of correction is required. It may take an hour at first, but it will soon be completed in a short time.
This retrospective should not end once. By repeatedly improving the way you work, you will find the most productive way. In addition, the awareness that "our site will be improved by ourselves" should take root in the team.
Focus on important tasks with "task separation"
If you handle work as a large unit, it may be difficult to see the progress of the task, or it may take time for less important tasks. What you should do there is "task separation". It consists of four steps.
First, confirm the purpose and goals of the job. Let's cut off things that do not lead to goals and goals.
Next, the work is broken down into task items. If you find a task that does not lead to the goal, discard it as well. Divide one task into 30-45 minutes so that the task is not too big.
Next is an estimate. Before embarking on a task, try simulating it in your head. If you can't imagine it, move your hand a little and get started.
Finally, combine importance and estimates to prioritize. I want to set priorities in a row so that I can simply start from the top.
Do not forget to set the end condition for the tasks prioritized in this way. Otherwise, it will be difficult to see which tasks have been completed and how far they have progressed.
Members also need to be motivated to be productive and maintain quality work. However, it is not something that can be said to "get motivated", and motivation is not something that others can control. Therefore, it is necessary for members to prepare a job that they need to think about themselves and to have them take the initiative in that job. Ask them to do "work" instead of "work" that anyone can do.
It is also important to convey the overall picture and purpose of the work. By doing so, even those who are in charge of only a part of the work process can work from a higher perspective and feel that they are contributing to the team. You may be able to come up with better ideas for your goals.
In addition, we aim to solve problems together by "consulting problems" instead of "requesting work", enabling us to work positively through businesses that are meaningful to society, and providing frequent feedback on the results of our work. It is also effective to do things and create a "flow state" by leaving a little difficult work.
Self-management that eliminates management
LV1: Can do a given job alone
In order to achieve results without management, it is necessary for each member to think and act on their own, "self-management." Here, we will focus on the three levels of self-management that members should aim for.
Level 1 is the stage where you can do the work given to you by yourself. You can disassemble the contents of your work to create a task list, and decide the order and priority. I'm in a state where I can finish my work and report while managing my time.
From an organizational point of view, you have to tell the client and the people around you about your situation, such as "how far you have been done" and "how long will it take for the rest". Since work cannot be done by one person, reporting, contacting, and consultation are essential.
From my point of view, be able to get a good rest. Don't overtime too much, and don't let someone take care of you.
LV2: Achieve results with given resources
Level 2 is the stage where you can achieve results with the resources you have been given. Here, you need project management skills to decide what to do and what to quit within the time and budget you have been given and to produce results. A more bird's-eye view is required, such as "what kind of work will produce great results" and "how to avoid costs".
From an organizational point of view, solve problems in consultation with stakeholders and superiors. Rather than making detailed reports and contacts, it is necessary to have the ability to solve problems while chatting with people in the organization.
From my point of view, I want to be able to continuously produce stable performance. You need to get proper rest, stay healthy, and be immune to mental ups and downs. In particular, it is necessary to stabilize the mentality and maintain an attitude of not being overwhelmed by the evaluation of others.
LV3: Find a job yourself and get results
Level 3 is the stage where you find a job and achieve results. Do whatever you think is good for your company or team, and manage resources for that.
To be able to do this, you must understand the business model of your company or organization. Who is the customer, how to solve the customer's problem, what kind of person / money flow will occur along with it … Only after understanding these things can we take actions that are beneficial to the company or organization. ..
From an organizational point of view, people who can self-manage cooperate with each other to produce great results. It is a level to communicate and collaborate with people who are on an equal footing in search of greater results.
From your own point of view, set goals and tasks yourself. People at this level must be able to move strategically without instructions from their manager or boss.[Must read point!] Eliminate the control that controls people
A horacracy organization that has lost its hierarchy
In Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging, there is a shortage of young people who support the hierarchical structure of organizations. What is attracting attention there is "holaclassy," which is a flat organizational structure with no titles or job titles.
Adopting horacracy increases employee independence and productivity. Since management costs are reduced, you can concentrate on work that is more directly linked to value and profit. Furthermore, the stress and internal politics created by hierarchical relationships will be eliminated, and the company will become an open company.
In a horacracy-type organization, there are no authorizers. Nor does the president make a decision. Under that structure, anyone at Sonic Garden is free to spend money and take paid vacations.
Why doesn't the problem still occur? When it comes to paid leave, we make adjustments so as not to bother others. This is because all employees share all the information regarding expense reimbursement. You don't need an administrator because everyone can see everything.
Simple labor is easy to evaluate. It's the same no matter who does it, and if you do it, you will get results as much as you do.
The opposite is the job that requires creativity. It is not possible to evaluate individual sales alone, and risk prevention functions are not evaluated unless risks occur. Moreover, when it comes to highly specialized work, subordinates may even be more familiar with the field than their bosses. A person with a bad evaluation may be discouraged, and a good evaluation does not mean that motivation will last for a long time.
In order to solve the problem of conventional evaluation, Sonic Garden decided to take a simple method of eliminating evaluation. In other words, the salary is basically the same for each occupation, and the bonus is divided into mountains. As a result, the burden on the management side has been greatly reduced.
Although the evaluation system has been eliminated, we are continuing to "match" the vision of each member with the vision and management policy of the company. This is because the maximum performance of each member and the maximum performance of the company can be achieved only in a work or environment where both visions match.
Match the vision
For members who sympathize with the vision of the organization, there is no doubt that it will be a motivation to work. But whether you really do your best depends on going one step further and doing your job for yourself. The coordination of the visions of the organization and the members is meaningful only when we thoroughly discuss this "for ourselves" and reach the point where we both agree and get angry.
For example, Sonic Garden has adopted a "vision training camp" as one of the means of matching. It is a program that allows you to stay at an inn for one night and two days and have a thorough dialogue without using a computer or smartphone. It is a good opportunity to combine the vision of the individual with the vision of the company and think about yourself and the company from a bird's-eye view.
Recommendation of reading
In this book, it is recommended to change various rules that naturally exist in working in an organization. Other than those listed in the summary, for example, reviewing meetings and internal operations, eliminating education and commuting.
However, the author also states that not every company can do exactly the same. Therefore, in the summary, I introduced the part of the idea that is the key to eliminating management, rather than the detailed methodology.
The most important thing is to balance "individuals to work happily" and "to produce results as an organization". What is generally practiced to achieve both is to "work hard, try to do it properly, and increase efforts to improve it." That shouldn't work.
This book will be a great reference for those who are beginning to feel the limits of such an approach, especially those in managerial positions.