I used to wonder why organisational charts were drawn with the executive roles at the top – instead of the other way around to show that the management layers support the operational ones to get work done. This support takes many forms.

  • Control – Watching out for bad things and preventing them
  • Assistance – Watching out for areas that are struggling and helping directly or arranging for help to be provided
  • Decisions – Ensuring that information is flowing to and from teams so that decisions can be made – at whatever level is best for the decision to be made

The management function can also be described as similar to being a conductor – making sure that work is flowing in and out of a team smoothly and the team has the right skills and capacity to do the work.

I have been wondering what it could be like if we did not have management as a function any more.

  • Everyone could be responsible for observing the system of work and making improvements whenever needed – in a continuous way.
  • People could find their own valuable work to do – and just get on with doing it – this includes helping others when they need assistance.

There is a lot of value to be gained from having different views of data and information available. We currently cover this by having management layers – I wonder what we would call this function if we did not have management any more?



It is a beautiful Sunday morning and I was reflecting about the way I used to perceive time.

I used to see the weekends as jewels that were very far apart on a string of grey and dull time that included the obligations of work in between. I would despair that the weekends were so short and start to feel stressed from Sunday lunchtime about how little I had achieved in the weekend.

That was a long time ago – now I see things very differently.

Each day is a gift and I am curious to find out what I will learn from every single day. The reason this has changed is because of the joy that I have in learning new things and having the freedom to do this at work as well as privately.

I am grateful to all the people that have helped me to understand new ways of working related to Cynefin, agile, lean and beyond. You know who you are – if we have ever spoken/tweeted around these topics, or if you have written posts, tweets or books that have inspired the people I have spoken to…Thank you.