Fractal operations are joyful, self-managing organizations

Start-ups and many small businesses operate naturally with self-managing principles, just like living systems in nature. You can keep the start-up spirit alive by learning proven self-management processes and practices from established organizations. These joyful, freedom-based workplaces encourage individuals and teams to learn and develop skills that produce the best decisions for the company.

The Age of the Self-Managed Organization

A fractal is a complex geometric pattern exhibiting self-similarity in that small details of structure viewed at any scale repeat elements of the overall pattern. Regardless of the degree of magnification used to view a network diagram of a self-managed enterprise, whether at the level of the individual (a single node), the factory or business unit (a sub-group of nodes), or the entire enterprise (all nodes), the same two core principles are present and operating. One also finds the functions of management (planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, controlling) at every degree of magnification, because in self-management everyone is a manager. There are no titles, bosses, VPs, supervisors or hierarchy of any kind. There is only work, and people that engage in work. The fluidity of this arrangement enables individual and enterprise agility—a critical success factor in a complex world where information moves at the speed of light.

Great Work Cultures, Huffington Post Blog 10/27/2014


In fractal, self-managing organizations, teams and individuals make decisions instead of bosses. They rely on leaders (and each other) for advice and mentoring while taking responsibility for the roles they fill and the customers they serve. Decision-making responsibility (and the accountability that accompanies it) helps individuals and teams mature and excel and make even greater achievements.


The FractalOps workshops are inspired by the research of Frederic Laloux. He was a McKinsey management consultant who grew tired of dysfunction in client organizations. He heard about companies that were operating with distributed decision making instead of top-down control, and he quit his job to perform research and discover how they operated. 


Frederic's book resulted from two years of research on organizations with 100 or more employees. Filled with case studies and specific practices and processes that define self-management, this book is the founding guide for the curriculum we offer at FractalOps. We gift him a portion of our proceeds in gratitude for placing this content in the public domain.


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