Managing without impeding self-organisation



From the series of posts on Self-Organisation.

I used to play football and basketball with friends every now and then in the afternoons after school. We formed 2 teams with the
same size and with players filling the basic roles required for the game.

We were free to self-organise guided and constrained by the teams size and roles. Teams size and roles defined our 
boundaries/barriers. In a self-organising team there are many boundaries/barriers that can be set and tweaked.


This excerpt from Joseph Pelrine training material describes 
boundaries/barriers:

They define the edges of the system, who is in and who is out. By changing the barriers of the system, who is included and who is not, you change the dynamics in the system. In a sense, a boundary is the opposite of an attractor – people will shy away from it. “Barriers” is a more appropriate term than “boundaries”


Boundaries and barriers can be rigid or elastic, and the elastic ones are more resilient.  They are useful when:
1) They are good, beneficial, fit for purpose
2) The team is capable to benefit from them


Boundaries and barriers can be set by an agile manager or a coach. And also originate from external factors such as company strategic direction, company policies, budget, technology, partners, clients, and project goals and priorities. An agile manager and a coach can set and tweak and visualize boundaries and barriers to guide and safeguard the team:


to direct and influence the emergence of behaviors toward positive directions, 
to amplify the emergence of beneficial behaviors and to reduce or revert the non beneficial ones.


So managers can influence the outcomes without micro-managing and without impeding self-organisation.


Print | posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:25 AM

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