A space for change makers.

Creating Horizontal Organisations [Interview]


Before the holidays, Christian sat down with Lisette Sutherland to talk about remote working and flattening hierarchies. You can watch the full interview here. At WE THINQ, we are passionate about creating tools and methodologies to help you succeed as a remote and non-hierarchal team. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

Flattening Hierarchies:

  • We really believe in the horizontal process. That every person in an organisation has a lot of ideas, energy, and skill to make the organisation better.

  • When managers are hesitant to adapt a horizontal and innovative approach to work, building trust is the key factor in changing their minds. You can build this trust by working on small, open collaboration projects. We worked with an organisation who built an internal policy collaboratively, and it really opened the doors for further projects of this kind. Let your manager see that the end product is beneficial to everyone.

  • Most people start a job very motivated and entcahusiastic and the company culture can de-motivate people to engage less. It’s the managers job to keep that energy flowing in the organisation.

  • WE THINQ is unrestricted in a sense, and not every organisation is ready for it. People still get uncomfortable with fans commenting on blog posts. People are afraid of it even though it’s very constructive.

  • You need a methodology and a process to get people involved and develop an idea into something meaningful. The most important thing is to focus on people and culture. Build an ecosystem where people can share ideas.

  • We’re moving away from the idea of ‘idea management’. Can you really manage knowledge? Open innovation means it’s fully open and flourishing and not managed by a hierarchal body. The role of management comes in to create the culture and let the flow of people and ideas develop.

Working Remotely:

  • The model of silos of everyone working in the same building is coming to an end.

  • How to hire remote workers: sites like Upwork (formerly e-lance and o-desk) help connect remote businesses with a large pool of remote freelance and contract workers. There is a wide range of experience on the site, but it’s surprising the amount of quality you can find.

  • What to look for when hiring remotely: other than good reviews, looking at how they present themselves on the internet. Are they present on social media? Which online communities do they participate in?

  • Building trust is an important part of working remotely, as well as building personal relationships. Not every conversation needs to be about work.

  • Find the right tool to manage projects within your team, and automate where possible.

The Takeaway:

What advice would you give for people just starting out doing remote working or ideas innovation? If you are really motivated to work with your colleagues and you want to work openly with them, what is the right topic. You need to invest time and resources to implement the process and solutions. It’s a truly empowering effect. So many ideas can come in.