Via firstround.com Article
How Medium is building a new kind of company with no managers
“As one of the fiercest and most faithful adopters of Holacracy – a radical new theory of corporate structure – Medium is experimenting with a completely management-free environment that’s laser focused on getting things done. …
‘Traditional management just didn’t agree with me’
For two years, Stirman managed a team at Twitter and never felt quite right about it. There was always the tension between being their boss and being their peer. He read all the ‘right’ books on management and took the advice to heart: don’t get too chummy, shield your team from anything they don’t need to know, ask them to identify roadblocks to progress, reward them all equally. He hated it.
“Management perspective looks at reports as resources – like how can you get the maximum value out of this person,” Stirman says. “But when I think resources, I think like natural gas or coal mines. Thinking about a person’s life that way just seemed really dehumanizing.”
Frustrated with poor results, he decided to go off script. He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof. “When you sit across a table from someone, ask them ‘What’s going on in your life?’ That will always remove more hurdles than asking them ‘What’s blocking you at work?’” he said.
‘Whenever problems popped up, I’d totally ignore them and pay attention to the people who had them. Suddenly all these issues were just dissolving. I swear it was like a Jedi mind trick.‘”