The eleventh principle of the "Agile manifesto" says:
"The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams"
Self organization is such a broad topic, that covering it in a blog post, or even on a book would probably not be enough.
What I want to do in this brief post, is just share some thoughts that hopefully will transmit to the readers some curiosity about the huge potential i believe self-organized teams have, for not just building great software, but also for building great self-directed companies.
Given an stimulus of some sort(e.g. challenge,threat,desire,problem,need...), either from within or from the outside, a self-organized team will increase its awareness and will react to it:
- Feelings for gathering information related to the stimulus will arise.
- Need for requirements will start to exist.
- Interesting doubts and questions both technical and non-technical will bloom.
- Debate will take place.
- Priorities will be decided in consensus.
- Interaction with other teams will occur if necessary(more stimulus will be created).
- Actions will be suggested by team/s.
- Team/s decisions will be made.
- Slowly but unstoppable, a self directed organization will start moving in as many directions as its collective mind considers and software will start emerging.
- Feedback will arrive, the self-directed organization will use it and will keep moving.
The company that is composed of self-organized teams is capable of moving in multiple directions at the same time, without the need of central management or a central financing bodies. We say that the company is self-directed.
Self-organized teams are also self-created, the individuals can choose to join or leave a team whenever they want, and even hiring is their responsibility. In fact the teams keep changing shape continuously. Exactly the same principle applies to every single aspect, even vacations. Imagine having as much vacation as you would like... We work for living we don't live for work!
In this type of company every individual has a salary and also an additional reward upon completion of team goals which is determined by the teams gentlemen agreements. This reward is not necessarily cash, it will also be equity ownership. The company will end up being owned by their employees.
If a team fails for whatever reasons its goals, the overall impact for the company would be minimal and for the individual it would not be harmful at all and even in the worse case scenario, the team members can either decide to build something else, or incorporate themselves to other teams.
This is for me a self-directed company and in my opinion, the company of the future.
Just for finishing, one beautiful quote that I think describes very well the spirit of teamwork, and also is useful to lower big individualistic egos ;)
"None of us would be something without the rest and the rest would not be something without each of us"