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Innovation, Autonomy and Accountability

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My presentation to the UK Department of Media, Culture and Sport. Autonomy is a strong tool to unlock innovation in your organization. The constant question is how to handle accountability in autonomous organizations. In this talk, I look at the benefits of an organization with autonomous teams and discuss ways of ensuring accountability and governance in those organizations.

Published in: Leadership & Management

Innovation, Autonomy and Accountability

  1. 1. Kevin Goldsmith Vice-President of Engineering, Consumer Spotify @KevinGoldsmith Innovation, Autonomy & Accountability Kevin Goldsmith Vice-President of Engineering, Consumer Spotify @KevinGoldsmith
  2. 2. Why Autonomy?
  3. 3. AUTONOMOUS adjective au·ton·o·mous - ȯ-ˈtä-nə-məs (of a country or region) having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs. "the federation included sixteen autonomous republics" having the freedom to act independently. "school governors are legally autonomous" synonyms: self-governing, independent, sovereign, free, self-ruling, self-determining, autarchic; self-sufficient "an autonomous republic"
  4. 4. The Traditional Organization
  5. 5. VP client director client manager client manager client manager client manager server director core manager infra director server manager server manager
  6. 6. VP client director client manager client manager client manager client manager server director core manager infra director server manager server manager Centralized decision making ClearAccountability Simple Budgetting Aligned priorities
  7. 7. VP client director client manager client manager client manager client manager server director core manager infra director server manager server manager Decision-making bottlenecks Collaboration bottlenecks Punishes risk-taking Inflexible
  8. 8. The Autonomous Organization
  9. 9. Team A Team B Team DTeam C Team F Team GTeam E Lead Local decision making Risk-taking rewarded (Fail Safe) Nimble /Adaptable No speed limits
  10. 10. Team A Team B Team DTeam C Team F Team GTeam E Lead Alignment is more challenging Accountability isn’t automatic More effort to monitor Budgetting is complex
  11. 11. Team A Team B Team DTeam C Team F Team GTeam E Lead
  12. 12. Alliance
  13. 13. Alliance
  14. 14. Leadershipin anautonomous organization
  15. 15. How do you lead a team that makes it’s own decisions?
  16. 16. U.S. Navy photo byTom WatanabeU.S. Navy photo byTom Watanabe
  17. 17. U.S.Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn
  18. 18. Accountability
  19. 19. Ownership brings accountability
  20. 20. Leadership sets the mission The team owns the mission
  21. 21. Roles on the team are defined Who should do what is always clear. People know what their primary job is. This doesn’t mean that roles cannot shift, if needed.
  22. 22. Success criteria is agreed on Leadership and the team define the criteria which defines success against the mission.This can change, but should not change often.
  23. 23. The realm of opinion is a dangerous place.
  24. 24. “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. 25. Inpracticeat Spotify
  26. 26. DATA VISION EXPERIMENTSLEARNING PRODUCT INFORMS GUIDES GENERATES DRIVES PROVIDES
  27. 27. Questions twitter: @kevingoldsmith

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