Valve is an ultra-hip games developer based just outside Seattle, US. The team at Valve came up with the software distribution platform Steam, and games such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal and Day of Defeat.
As well as best-selling games, Valve is also known for its employee handbook. The handbook tries to capture, for incoming employees, the company’s unique ‘Flatland’ culture. Its subtitle reads: “A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do.”
And when Valve says its culture is ‘flat’, it really means it. Quotes include: “we don’t have any management, and nobody ‘reports to’ anybody else. We do have a founder/president, but even he isn’t your manager. This company is yours to steer – toward opportunities and away from risks. You have the power to green-light projects. You have the power to ship products.”
Valve’s no-management approach may be a bit ‘out there’ for some, but it seems to be the way leadership is headed.
From self-management to removing digital clatter, here are some radical new approaches that may be about to transform the way you work…
Frederic Laloux believes that agile, self-managed organisations where people are allowed to be themselves, is where the future lies. His radical alternative to traditional management, articulated in Laloux’s book Reinventing Organisations is part of a global movement of experimentation.
CMI Companion Professor Chris Bones, co-author of Optimizing Digital Strategy and chair of strategy consultancy Good Growth says that, rather than rushing headlong into adopting the latest digital platforms and tools, leaders should step back from the demands for constant investment in new technology and drive better returns from existing assets using a sustainable model of e-commerce.
The Return of Pen and Paper
The Bullet Journal Method is a productivity hack that uses old-fashioned pen and paper to better organise our lives and work and focus on what really matters by helping us to slow down. Bullet journaling has become a worldwide viral movement pioneered by US digital product designer Ryder Carroll.
Countering Everyday Sexism
We reckon 2019 will continue to be a big year for the Everyday Sexism Project, the ever-increasing collection of more than 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality started seven years ago by Brit activist Laura Bates who’s also author of Misogynation: The true scale of sexism. Bates has unearthed a tsunami of once-hidden discontent that leaders and managers can no longer run from.
Computer science professor Cal Newport’s new book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World lays out the path towards taking control of digital tools, rather than vice versa. “Be fully comfortable ignoring all the rest of the digital clatter clamouring for your attention,” he encourages.
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