The Dolt’s Guide to Self-Organization
Jurgen Appelo
jurgen@noop.nl
version 3
Jurgen Appelo
writer, speaker,
entrepreneur...
www.jurgenappelo.com
Get my new book for FREE! m30.me/ss
Goal #1
OK, so what is self-organization really?
Goal #2
How can we make self-organization work?
Agenda
Self-organization
Direction
Delegation
Communication
Conclusion
We have been taught about
linearsystems
But then reality confronted us with
non-linear systems
That is like teaching people all about
fruit flies
And then lumping everything else together in
the group of… non-fruit flies
Huh?
Let’s adopt a more realistic approach
First, there was a
(big) bang!
…and then strings formed particles
…and particles formed molecules
…and molecules formed solar systems
…and living cells
…and cells formed species
…and species formed groups
…and groups formed ecosystems
…and economies
…and every system organized itself.
Self-organization… a definition
“Self-organization is a process of attraction and
repulsion in which the internal organiza...
Organization without
management?
Cool!
but…
Self-organization has a dark side…
Self-organization… the dark side
http://www.flickr.com/photos/agder/2783124139/
But people care…
about value.
“Self-organization requires that the system is
surrounded by a containing boundary.This condition
defines the "self" that ...
The containing boundary has a chance to
direct self-organization
towards value
Agenda
Self-organization
Direction
Delegation
Communication
Conclusion
Directed self-organization
Don’t go here! Go there!
Governance + leadership
Don’t go here! Go there!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/egadapparel/3212007816/
Self-organization is the norm
Management is the special case
We all manage something every day
But management
must be balanced
Self-organized
For example: a software development team
Self-selected (= self-designed)
Self-organized and system selects ...
And then there’s
Emergence…
Supervenience
Emergent properties appear at a higher
level that didn’t exist in the components...
Emergent,
but not self-organizing
Self-organizing,
but not emergent
Emergent +
self-organizing
A development
team
The Darkness Principle
“Each element in the system is ignorant of the
behavior of the system as a whole [...] If each elem...
The Law of RequisiteVariety
“If a system is to be stable the number of states of its
control mechanism must be greater tha...
In human terms…
A team is too complex to
manage by just one person.
Only people have the ability
to manage complexity.
Therefore, management requires…
Distributed
governance and leadership
Agenda
Self-organization
Direction
Delegation
Communication
Conclusion
Managing a
lifeless system
is all about instruction
Managing a
living system
is all about communication
Techniques for delegation
Key Decision Areas
Reinertsen, Donald. Managing the Design Factory. New York: Free Press, 1997, page 107.
Make explicit li...
Key Decision Areas
Reinertsen, Donald. Managing the Design Factory. New York: Free Press, 1997, page 107.
However…
Authori...
Situational Leadership
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situational_leadership_theory
Four different “leadership styles”
1. Te...
Situational Leadership
However…
It might be good to distinguish
between informing people (push
your opinion) vs. consultin...
RACI Matrix
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix
Involvement depends on tasks
Responsible
Account...
RACI Matrix
However…
Key decision areas are better
than tasks, and there should be
no separation of accountable
versus res...
We will now mergethe ideas
behind the previous examples...
1. Tell: make decision as the manager
2. Sell: convince people about decision
3. Consult: get input from team before decis...
Light (low impact)
Example: coding guidelines, workshops
Moderate(medium impact)
Example: self-education, tool selection
A...
Empower the team empower individualsor
Choose
(sorry, no magic formula)
The delegation Checklist
• Are tools available?
• Understanding of results?
• Boundary conditions clear?
• When is the wor...
Empowerment is an investment
Beware of the micromanagement trap
(no patience while waiting for ROI)
Paradox: empowerment increases status
Agenda
Self-organization
Direction
Delegation
Communication
Conclusion
Manage
individuals
(to protect the self-organizing system)
Manage
top management
(to protect the self-organizing system)
Manage
the environment
(to protect the self-organizing system)
1)Trust your people
2) Earn trust from your people
3) Help people to trust each other
4)Trust yourself
The four types of trust
Agenda
Self-organization
Direction
Delegation
Communication
Conclusion
Self-organization is the norm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wobblyturkey/527370752/
Management is the special case
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
Management = governance and leadership
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
Management = direction and delegation
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
1. Tell: make decision as the manager
2. Sell: convince people about decision
3. Consult: get input from team before decis...
The four types of trust
The End
@jurgenappelo
slideshare.net/jurgenappelo
noop.nl
linkedin.com/in/jurgenappelo
jurgen@noop.nl
www.management30.com
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/
This presentation was inspired by the works of many people, and
I cannot po...
The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization
The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization
The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization
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A description of the term "self-organization" and how it relates to management (which includes governance and leadership).

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http://www.jurgenappelo.com

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The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization

  1. 1. The Dolt’s Guide to Self-Organization Jurgen Appelo jurgen@noop.nl version 3
  2. 2. Jurgen Appelo writer, speaker, entrepreneur... www.jurgenappelo.com
  3. 3. Get my new book for FREE! m30.me/ss
  4. 4. Goal #1 OK, so what is self-organization really?
  5. 5. Goal #2 How can we make self-organization work?
  6. 6. Agenda Self-organization Direction Delegation Communication Conclusion
  7. 7. We have been taught about linearsystems
  8. 8. But then reality confronted us with non-linear systems
  9. 9. That is like teaching people all about fruit flies
  10. 10. And then lumping everything else together in the group of… non-fruit flies Huh?
  11. 11. Let’s adopt a more realistic approach First, there was a (big) bang!
  12. 12. …and then strings formed particles
  13. 13. …and particles formed molecules
  14. 14. …and molecules formed solar systems
  15. 15. …and living cells
  16. 16. …and cells formed species
  17. 17. …and species formed groups
  18. 18. …and groups formed ecosystems
  19. 19. …and economies
  20. 20. …and every system organized itself.
  21. 21. Self-organization… a definition “Self-organization is a process of attraction and repulsion in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization
  22. 22. Organization without management?
  23. 23. Cool!
  24. 24. but…
  25. 25. Self-organization has a dark side…
  26. 26. Self-organization… the dark side http://www.flickr.com/photos/agder/2783124139/
  27. 27. But people care… about value.
  28. 28. “Self-organization requires that the system is surrounded by a containing boundary.This condition defines the "self" that will be developed during the self-organizing process.” http://amauta-international.com/iaf99/Thread1/conway.html
  29. 29. The containing boundary has a chance to direct self-organization towards value
  30. 30. Agenda Self-organization Direction Delegation Communication Conclusion
  31. 31. Directed self-organization Don’t go here! Go there!
  32. 32. Governance + leadership Don’t go here! Go there! http://www.flickr.com/photos/egadapparel/3212007816/
  33. 33. Self-organization is the norm
  34. 34. Management is the special case
  35. 35. We all manage something every day
  36. 36. But management must be balanced
  37. 37. Self-organized For example: a software development team Self-selected (= self-designed) Self-organized and system selects its own members For example: founders of a start-up business Self-directed (= self-governed) Self-selected and no direction outside the system For example: criminal organization Three levels of self-organization
  38. 38. And then there’s Emergence… Supervenience Emergent properties appear at a higher level that didn’t exist in the components Not just aggregation Impossible to “build” the system as an aggregate from the components Downward causality The emergent properties have a real effect on the lower-level components
  39. 39. Emergent, but not self-organizing
  40. 40. Self-organizing, but not emergent
  41. 41. Emergent + self-organizing A development team
  42. 42. The Darkness Principle “Each element in the system is ignorant of the behavior of the system as a whole [...] If each element ‘knew’ what was happening to the system as a whole, all of the complexity would have to be present in that element.” http://iscepublishing.com/ECO/ECO_other/Issue_6_3_10_FM.pdf
  43. 43. The Law of RequisiteVariety “If a system is to be stable the number of states of its control mechanism must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variety_%28cybernetics%29
  44. 44. In human terms… A team is too complex to manage by just one person. Only people have the ability to manage complexity.
  45. 45. Therefore, management requires… Distributed governance and leadership
  46. 46. Agenda Self-organization Direction Delegation Communication Conclusion
  47. 47. Managing a lifeless system is all about instruction
  48. 48. Managing a living system is all about communication
  49. 49. Techniques for delegation
  50. 50. Key Decision Areas Reinertsen, Donald. Managing the Design Factory. New York: Free Press, 1997, page 107. Make explicit list with “areas of authorization” Prepare project schedules Select key technologies Set documentation standards Etc… People should not walk into “invisible electric fences”
  51. 51. Key Decision Areas Reinertsen, Donald. Managing the Design Factory. New York: Free Press, 1997, page 107. However… Authorization per key decision area is not a “binary” thing
  52. 52. Situational Leadership http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situational_leadership_theory Four different “leadership styles” 1. Telling 2. Selling 3. Participating 4. Delegation Work your way to level 4
  53. 53. Situational Leadership However… It might be good to distinguish between informing people (push your opinion) vs. consulting them (pull their opinions)
  54. 54. RACI Matrix http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix Involvement depends on tasks Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed Make explicit what people can expect from whom
  55. 55. RACI Matrix However… Key decision areas are better than tasks, and there should be no separation of accountable versus responsible in Agile teams
  56. 56. We will now mergethe ideas behind the previous examples...
  57. 57. 1. Tell: make decision as the manager 2. Sell: convince people about decision 3. Consult: get input from team before decision 4. Agree: make decision together with team 5. Advise: influence decision made by the team 6. Inquire: ask feedback after decision by team 7. Delegate: no influence, let team work it out The Seven Levels of Authority
  58. 58. Light (low impact) Example: coding guidelines, workshops Moderate(medium impact) Example: self-education, tool selection Advanced (high impact) Example: self-selection, open salaries Three levels of maturity in empowerment
  59. 59. Empower the team empower individualsor Choose (sorry, no magic formula)
  60. 60. The delegation Checklist • Are tools available? • Understanding of results? • Boundary conditions clear? • When is the work due? • What does progress looks like? • How often to report? • Coaching available? • Is risk factor addressed? • Right empowerment skills? • Right level of authority? • Individuals or to teams? • Right order of delegation? • Discrete chunk of work? • Skills to do the work? • Right format for work products? Adapted from: Behind Closed Doors (Rothman, Derby)
  61. 61. Empowerment is an investment Beware of the micromanagement trap (no patience while waiting for ROI)
  62. 62. Paradox: empowerment increases status
  63. 63. Agenda Self-organization Direction Delegation Communication Conclusion
  64. 64. Manage individuals (to protect the self-organizing system)
  65. 65. Manage top management (to protect the self-organizing system)
  66. 66. Manage the environment (to protect the self-organizing system)
  67. 67. 1)Trust your people
  68. 68. 2) Earn trust from your people
  69. 69. 3) Help people to trust each other
  70. 70. 4)Trust yourself
  71. 71. The four types of trust
  72. 72. Agenda Self-organization Direction Delegation Communication Conclusion
  73. 73. Self-organization is the norm http://www.flickr.com/photos/wobblyturkey/527370752/
  74. 74. Management is the special case http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
  75. 75. Management = governance and leadership http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
  76. 76. Management = direction and delegation http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
  77. 77. 1. Tell: make decision as the manager 2. Sell: convince people about decision 3. Consult: get input from team before decision 4. Agree: make decision together with team 5. Advise: influence decision made by the team 6. Inquire: ask feedback after decision by team 7. Delegate: no influence, let team work it out The Seven Levels of Authority
  78. 78. The four types of trust
  79. 79. The End
  80. 80. @jurgenappelo slideshare.net/jurgenappelo noop.nl linkedin.com/in/jurgenappelo jurgen@noop.nl
  81. 81. www.management30.com
  82. 82. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ This presentation was inspired by the works of many people, and I cannot possibly list them all. Though I did my very best to attribute all authors of texts and images, and to recognize any copyrights, if you think that anything in this presentation should be changed, added or removed, please contact me at jurgen@noop.nl.
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