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Een kleine toevoeging op gisteren: hackernews does is again naar aanleiding van de slechte reputatie op manager-gebied van Microsoft. Dezelfde verhalen over territoriale dictator-managers natuurlijk, en hoe een manager eigenlijk onder z’n mensen hoort te staan. Maar een mooi concreet tegenvoorbeeld voor het uberhaupt ontwikkelen van ‘lagen’ geeft iemand in de vorm van Valve. Geen managers, helemaal geen. Hij schrijft over hoe Gabe begon met Valve:

When he looked into the history of the organization, he found that hierarchical management had been invented for military purposes, where it was perfectly suited to getting 1,000 men to march over a hill to get shot at. When the Industrial Revolution came along, hierarchical management was again a good fit, since the objective was to treat each person as a component, doing exactly the same thing over and over.
So Valve was designed as a company that would attract the sort of people capable of taking the initial creative step, leave them free to do creative work, and make them want to stay. Consequently, Valve has no formal management or hierarchy at all.

Die hele pagina is goud, ik zou haast alles quoten, maar hier dan nog even snel mijn tophits:

How could a 300-person company not have any formal management? My observation is that it takes new hires about six months before they fully accept that no one is going to tell them what to do, that no manager is going to give them a review, that there is no such thing as a promotion or a job title or even a fixed role (although there are generous raises and bonuses based on value to the company, as assessed by peers). [...] That if they decide that they should be doing something different, there’s no manager to convince to let them go; they just move their desk to the new group (the desks are on wheels, with computers attached) and start in on the new thing.
Hardest of all to believe is the level of trust. Trust is pervasive. All of Valve’s source code is available to anyone in Perforce, and anyone at Valve can sync up and modify anything. [...] Unlike many organizations, Valve doesn’t build organizational barriers to its employees by default; it just trusts them and gets out of their way so they can create value.

Nog eentje dan:

People commit to projects, and projects are self-organizing; there are leads, but they’re chosen by informal consensus, there’s no prestige or money attached to the label, and it’s only temporary – a lead is likely to be an individual contributor on their next project. Leads have no authority other than that everyone agrees it will help the project to have them doing coordination.

Waar ik straks ook kom te werken, ik hoop dat het er zo aan toe gaat.