By: Wilma Slenders
Companies can’t survive without leaders! This has been the thinking for hundreds of years. From the smallest company to the largest, most companies are structured with one leader at the pinnacle of the organization. Infrequently, there may be a sharing of the top role.
Why are leaders required?
- To set the vision and direction for the company.
- To ensure that the company is fulfilling its purpose or mission.
- To lead the development of strategy.
- To interpret changes in the marketplace and adjust accordingly.
- To communicate to employees what is required.
- To make the big, or tough, decisions.
- To be the public face of the company.
- To hold people accountable in achieving the company’s goals.
What if your company had no leader? Is that something you can even envision?
I recently came across this article about Swedish consultancy company, Crisp, that has about 40 employees. The company has tried various organizational models, including having one company leader. After trying these different structures, it was decided that perhaps the CEO responsibilities could be shared among team members rather than concentrating them all in one role.
How do they make it work?
What makes the Crisp model successful:
- The company operates more like a family than a group of individuals.
- Employees have a shared understanding of what is acceptable conduct and what is not.
- Decisions that impact everyone are made collectively, however, independent decision making on other issues is encouraged.
- When poor decisions are made, there are discussions about why the decision was made, what happened, and how that situation may be approached in the future.
- Two to three full staff meetings are held every year to share information and make key decisions.
- The company uses its Board to address unresolvable issues if/when they arise.
Other companies have tried similar models to varying degrees of success.
Is this model scalable? Would it work for larger organizations?
What are some takeaways that could be implemented in your company?