Working in Tribes: Choose Who You Work With | Nextinit


Working in Tribes: Choose Who You Work With, and the Projects You Work On

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April, 10


It’s Monday morning. You have to start working on that report you’ve been postponing, along with that colleague you just can’t stand. Yay. It looks like it is going to be a long day.


But, what if you could choose the projects you work on? And the team you work with? In some companies this is already a reality, and tribal management is what it’s all about. 

In fact, IT companies (37Signals, Mozilla, UpWorthy, Universal Mind…) are some of the main supporters of this new way working (like working from home, corporate social networks, coffee breaks, or pets at the office, trends that we have already told you about in our blog.)

image of a lego man working

When it’s Monday, and you have to work on THAT project, with THAT colleague.

What if you could choose the projects you work on? And the team you work with?

But, how does this trend work?

At some companies, it is enough to be at least 4 people and at most 25 to create a tribe on the expertise of your choice. This “tribe” is called to operate autonomously, with its own results statement.

Consequently, services offered by the company get adapted naturally. If, for example, nobody wants to work at cybersecurity, this service will disappear from the company offer.

A team working together as an example of tribal working

At some companies, it is possible to create a tribe on the expertise of your choice.

Really? Which are the benefits?

This new yet controversial way of working has some positive effects. In fact, companies applying it have detected that people working on projects they are not fully engaged with are not delivering the service to the client in the most optimal way it could be delivered.

Thanks to this freedom, people get very competent in the fields they appreciate the most.

The philosophy relying on this trend is the same that the one applied in “unschooling” kids; children learning what they most like are more keen on fully deploying their passion and engagement on a topic, so their learning is faster, and more complete and specialized. This said, you are more likely to really stand out on a field, given that you invest yourself on it.

This trend is also a talent-keeper strategy, as many Millennials look for flexible companies giving them freedom.

But this freedom gets translated in numbers; according to an LRN study released at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2014, companies displaying high levels of freedom are between a 10% and a 20% more productive than those following a traditional style.

Ok, and what about the side-effects?

People that get on well tend to work together. Always. Therefore, the company might lack of a collective entity, being formed by many “ghettos”.

How would you regulate this freedom for choosing projects and teams? Which other measures to increase engagement and passion for the work would you implement within your company? Which is your favorite new way of working? Which new trend would boost creativity within your company? Be innovative and bring together the best of your people’s talent with Nextinit. Now, you can try it for free!