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posted by on Wednesday March 08 2017, @10:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the socialism-at-work dept.

BBC reports

Do you really need someone to tell you what to do at work? Three years ago, Swedish software consultancy Crisp decided that the answer was no.

The firm, which has about 40 staff, had already trialled various organisational structures, including the more common practice of having a single leader running the company. Crisp then tried changing its chief executive annually, based on a staff vote, but eventually decided collectively that no boss was needed.

Yassal Sundman, a developer at the firm, explains: "We said, 'what if we had nobody as our next CEO--what would that look like?' And then we went through an exercise and listed down the things that the CEO does."

The staff decided that many of the chief executive's responsibilities overlapped with those of the board, while other roles could be shared among other employees. "When we looked at it we had nothing left in the CEO column, and we said, 'all right, why don't we try it out?'" says Ms Sundman.

Because they are all in charge, workers are more motivated, [says Henrik Kniberg, an organisational coach at the firm]. Crisp regularly measures staff satisfaction, and the average is about 4.1 out of five.

Last March, VentureBeat said

Crisp, a boutique consultancy company in Sweden, is made up of approximately 30 people, but none of them are truly "employees". They have zero managers; not even a CEO. Decisions are made through consensus, and instead of relying on some manager to allocate tasks, Crisp developed its own protocol detailing the chain of responsibilities when a new task appears.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @12:47AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @12:47AM (#476799)

    > "Uh, I forgot my title, one sec..."

    This might be the story in a few years, but for now, http://dna.crisp.se/docs/index.html [crisp.se] says:

    None of the 30+ consultants are actually employed by Crisp (although we do have a few employed office staff).
            We have no managers, not even a CEO. Instead we rely on self-organization and transparency. Almost everything is bottom-up, and anyone can drive any decision.
            Crisp’s main purpose is to enable consultants to be happy, and Crisp Happiness Index is our driving metric. Strong revenue and delighted customers are a side effect, not a goal.
            Crisp doesn’t want to earn money from it’s consultants. It is in practice a non-profit company (although not formally so). Consultants keep most of what they earn.
            Our ownership model is designed to keep our stock financially worthless. There is no incentive to “cash in”.
            Consultants are 100% autonomous. They can do whatever they want (as long as they don’t hurt the brand or our house), and work as much or as little as they want.

    It seems like a stretch to call this a company, more like a shared work space. If it falls apart, my first guess is the last point above--a conflict over a customer, when one "consultant" tries to pinch work from another "consultant".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @01:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @01:51AM (#476824)

    The "almost" in that statement bothers me.
    I would like to see an actual example of a top-down something which happens there.

    TFA mentions that they are required (by incorporation law, it appears) to have a board of directors.
    It isn't said, but it seemed to me that that is made up of Worker-Owners who were democratically elected and that it has no one from outside the operation sitting on that.
    As such, "top-down" doesn't seem to apply.

    None of the 30+ consultants are actually employed

    Exactly. There are no "employees".
    The term which applies is Worker-Owner.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]