Flat hierarchies… Jumping in at the deep end!

4. januar 2018

It is not a secret that whenever it comes to business then our biggest asset is people we work with. This is true for  most industries, especially it is relevant for the IT industry. The Scandinavian values of Conscensia, a Danish outsourcing company, help us to keep strong focus on our talents and make it quite easy to maintain a positive working atmosphere within a flat organizational structure.

For a newcomer it may take some time to understand the specifics of such an environment and adapt to it; especially if that person comes from a different corporate culture. However it also might be even a funny exercise at some point. We’d like to share our impressions back to the time when we were first facing with it.

  • In the beginning without having an org chart in front of you, it’s quite tricky to understand who is responsible for what at first sight; who is a manager, whom to ask for approval etc. It might seem like a puzzle during first days of working in the company, when you’re introduced to lots of new faces welcoming you and trying to involve you in everything, everywhere where your expertise might seem relevant. But then time passes by, you’re getting up to speed, completing your ramping up, and then puzzle pieces start to fit into complete picture.
  • Transparency and other aspects of communication. If you want to ask something you can ping the CEO of the company who sits at the next desk (this is what Carsten is often doing when visiting our office in Lviv) or meet him in a corridor, kitchen, make a call or drop an e-mail. For some people it may seem quite unusual at first.
  • Decision-making – that could be real fun. Everyone has an opinion, and what is more, everyone is expected to have one but, in the end consensus is key to long-term success. And yes, some decisions could take longer time to be made, but in the long term this approach brings fruits.
  • Trust and responsibility. Everyone is expected to be responsible for getting his/her job done, but no one will be rushing after you asking your progress on a given task or how you’re going to accomplish it. There is the goal so it’s either “tell me the goal and I’ll decide how I am going to accomplish it” or “tell me how and then I decide on what it will be in the end”. Of course no one cancelled the best practices of software development, and there are processes in place, milestones etc. However, even when writing code our Danish colleagues love to have space for some creativity.

Perhaps there is no ideal solution in terms of what corporate culture is the best – it will always depend on the purpose, context, business specifics etc. There are numerous possibilities to do something in different ways – we can always add more rules, structures, policies. However we need to remember that giving people a natural way to find the right place within organization creates one the best “climates” for finding, integrating and retaining the best talents.

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