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Managers in Flat Organizations, How Do You Make the Call?

the-world-is-flat.jpgIt can be difficult to clarify your responsibilities when you're a manager in a horizontal organization (and also exhausting to manage an increasing number of subordinates -- a common consequence of flattening). If you enter a company that's been operating accordingly for quite some time, it may be a little easier. But if you find yourself squeezed into a new role as your company shifts it structure and culture, it can be challenging to identify the best way to manage employees. Especially when those employees have more authority and responsibility, and are fighting to show leadership skills so they can advance -- despite the limited development opportunities a lean environment provides.

In a recent blog post, Hunter Walk, product manager at YouTube, commented on the challenges of decision-making in a flat, cross-functional team. Whereas most managers seek consensus within their teams (Walk believes), he strives for a mandate -- support from upper management and backing from team members who trust the PM to make the difficult calls.

Managers in flat organizations, we want to hear your thoughts. How do you make the call?

(The World is Flat image courtesy of Larsz, cc 2.0)

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