Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ok, so maybe it's not PURELY leaderless...""


"Developers were originally left scratching their heads when the hugely-respected game studio went through a round of redundancies in February. It was seemingly uncharacteristic as not only did it drop important staff members, including Ellsworth and Steam chief Jason Holtman - but the business is built to value and support all developers thanks to a flat management structure.
It even has a lengthy management handbook that explains how this radical operation uses peer review and colleague ratings to hire and fire individuals.
It was this mechanism which Ellsworth battled against to hire her own team - and which she eventually fell foul of.
Her frank account of what happened - detailing the tough side of Valve's idealised structure, how it betrayed her, and why its hiring process are flawed - is 90 minutes long and well worth a watch if you have the time, especially as it details how Ellsworth managed to retail ownership of the hardware ideas she dreamt up for Valve - you can view the first part here."

I wrote about Valve's non-hierarchical structure before, but here is an insider's look at who actually has the power in the company.  But I would point out that this is human nature. People have different personalities, including how expressive and aggressive they are.  OWS tried to make it easy for even shy people to have input, but still human nature puts the shy and quiet people in the back as far as management goes.  Democracy tries to get around that by giving every person an equal vote.  But if you have a management structure where everyone is supposed to be "equal" then don't expect that everyone will have the same amount of input, just because people are people and differences will show.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Brazil protests; the government actually listens!


"ISTOÉ – President Dilma was right to speak to the nation on TV, convene meetings with governors, mayors and protesters to propose a deal?

Manuel Castells – Yes, she is the first world leader to watch and to listen to the demands of people in the streets. She showed that she is a true democrat, but she is being stabbed in the back by traditional politicians. José Serra’s Declarations (PSDB former governor criticized the initiatives announced by the president) are typical of the lack of accountability of politicians and misunderstanding the right people to decide. The political positions are not owned by politicians. They are paid by the citizens who elect them. And citizens will remember who said what in this crisis when the election comes.ISTOÉ – How to compare with the Brazilian movement that occurred in the rest of the world?Manuel Castells – There are million people protesting like that for weeks and months in countries around the world. In the United States, for example, over a thousand cities were occupied between September 2011 and March 2012. The difference is that Brazil has a democratic president Dilma Rousseff and as a handful of truly democratic politicians such as Marina Silva, is accepting the right of citizens to express themselves outside the bureaucratic controlled channels. The true meaning of the Brazilian movement is: it shows there still hope to reconnect citizens and institutions, if there is goodwill on both sides."

Now there's an idea. When millions of your citizens take to the streets, you might want to converse with them and see what the problem is rather than depleting your tear gas stocks and ripping up tents.