When I started Byte-Code, more than ten years ago (I was 23…), I had no idea of what the most difficult thing in business is: managing people and the hidden complexities that a developing organization creates.
Today, just for the record, Byte-Code comprises about 40 people between Italy and the Netherlands, and its primary business is creating tailored SaaS solutions for our customers.
We had adopted a very flat (almost nonexistent) structure, and common sense governed us, but of course, we were reaching the limit of such a structure, where board members were making all the major calls and decisions. Our form of organization served us well until now, but we started feeling its shortcomings and that we needed to find a way to scale up our organization. However, we didn’t want to put in place a hierarchy.
100% of bytecoders are brilliant coders and have a somewhat bad relationship with old-style “managers,” so an “everybody-does-it-this-way” hierarchy doesn’t fit our way of working, nor the principles of autonomy, mastery, and purpose we try to promote.
I also felt uncomfortable with the idea of introducing managers and the kind of power relations that the pyramid model brings into play, so I started my search for alternative organizational models… and I was happy to find that I was not alone in my journey!
I immediately stumbled on Reinventing Organizations (a must read!) and Holacracy, and very quickly we realized that it was the right way for us. We were almost operating with the principles of Teal Organizations, but without a formal process or structure; in fact, our coworkers pointed out that implementing Holacracy wasn’t such a big change after all.
We think it’s a good foundation for developing custom Teal practices and organization. For us, Holacracy is just a stepping stone towards a better way of organizing to leverage and realize the full power of everyone in the company.
We are all developers and love sprints, iterations, and all that kind of lean/agile thinking that we already apply to our software, so maybe it will be easier for us to run our company like we write our software.
We are aware that there will be bugs, missing specifications, and ever-changing requirements, but we all want to go down this road and see where we will end up.
If you want to have the journey with us, just follow me, as I will post regular updates on how it’s going.