• Dean Williamson

So what is self-management anyway?


A large part of our work is to help our clients progress towards self-management. We believe in moving towards this (even if you don't go the whole way to a self-managing organisation) for any client who wants to improve culture. But I get the sense that many orgs don't really understand it, or why it will probably be of value to them.


Self-management is the ability of a person or group to self-manage, or self-govern.

Self-management is the ability of a person or group to self-manage, or self-govern. While this sounds really basic ("like, duh, it's in the name, genius!"), this is counter to traditional manager-led organisations - because "management" sits outside the team or worker (what we call an "individual contributor", or "IC").


In these settings, it is the role of the manager to ensure team productivity, manage workflow and performance, and resolve issues. The radical shift in self-management is that the manager is removed, and these responsibilities become distributed across the team, and therefore also the responsibility of IC's.


The flow-on impacts of this small change are quite fundamental. A team has to operate on a completely level of responsibility, and also on different set of decision-making rules.


So imagine if you didn't have a "manager" (or if you are a manager, imagine if your role didn't exist), and you'll start to move into our playground!

29 views1 comment