Haupz Blog

... still a totally disordered mix

The Spotify Model

2022-10-31 — Michael Haupt

There's still a certain hype around the "Spotify Model", even though Spotify isn't implementing it any more, and even though it has not worked all too well there. The hype probably stems from the catchy terminology, temptingly suggesting orderliness and maximised freedom for everyone involved at the same time.

Thing is, one does not simply design societal structures; they emerge. History teaches us that attempts at the former will rarely succeed, and the few successes rarely function well when used as templates. (Of course, the bold implication here is that companies, or product organisations, are "societies" - they are, at a certain level of scale.) The same holds for company culture: one doesn't design (and impose) it; it emerges from the things people at the company do.

In both these cases, desirable changes happen not by prescribing the new situation, but by giving an objective, creating the incentives that make it a desirable and worthwhile goal to work towards, and by constantly reminding and setting examples. For example: You want more agility in how the place is running? Make it measurable, observable, starting from first principles and with what you have - and live it from the top down.

The way a company works is part of the culture. The two are inseparable. And emergent.

Tags: work