The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

If there was ever a “well, duh” sub-title, this is it:

The software maker, which once prided itself on a flat corporate environment similar to Valve and Zappos, finds that workers can benefit from a little direction.

This article discusses the progress that GitHub has taken from a holocracy to its current structure. It includes some of the struggles the company has gone through over the past few years and their direction for the company.

I find the topic of leadership and company culture a fascinating one. Some of the most frustrating times in my career have been when there is no clear line of authority. Without this clarity, my experience has been that no one really feels free to make decisions that will have an impact beyond themselves. And talking to colleagues in the industry who have been in some of these types of environments in recent years, I’m not alone in this feeling.

On the flip side, I’ve also experienced frustration with leaders who held too much authority, or leaders who were incompetent. Simply having authority in place is not a guarantee of success. However, I would argue that a complete lack of authority or structure is a recipe for certain failure.

From this article, the following quote from the CBO stood out the most to me:

Without even a minimal layer of management, it was difficult to have some of those conversations and to get people feeling like they understood what was expected of them, and that they were getting the support that they needed in order to do the best work.

That feeling of uncertainty kills progress dead.