The company with no boss 群龍無首的公司

Would having no boss be your dream way to work? Or a total disaster?
Would you prefer to have no boss?

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你中意自己的上司嗎?有時候,你是否覺得沒有管理者的企業更有效率?一家瑞典公司對其管理構架做出了徹底地改變,他們把所有的管理者都“請走”,讓員工們分擔決策的責任及自由。跟隨本集《隨身英語》探討扁平化的管理模式是否有助於員工和企業的發展。

課文內容

Vocabulary: Work 詞彙: 工作

What would work be like if you had no boss? Imagine you could make all your own decisions and no one told you what to do.

One company decided to find out if it could work. The staff at Crisp, a Swedish software consultancy, chose to get rid of their CEO and create a completely flat organisation. Having trialled several different management structures, the firm agreed to take the radical step of having no single leader.

First, they needed to establish what a CEO actually did. Then they shared those duties out amongst staff and board members. Employee Yassal Sundman told the BBC: “When we looked at it we had nothing left in the CEO column, and we said, ‘all right, why don’t we try it out?'”.

Which is exactly what they did. And Crisp employee, Heinrik Kniberg, believes it’s been a good move. He says the company can now act faster: “If you want to get something done, you stand up and start driving that”. Kniberg also claims workers are more motivated. Crisp regularly measures staff satisfaction, and say they average over four out of five.

Any big decisions are made during the company-wide four-day meetings several times a year. They do still have a board: it’s a legal requirement. But the board can be used as a last resort to resolve tricky issues.

So, if it’s working out for Crisp, could this model become more widespread? Online retailer Zappos tried out a similar plan but had mixed results. Almost a fifth of Zappos staff decided to leave, and chief executive Tony Hsieh admitted that “self-management is not for everyone”.

Founder of file-sharing service Dropbox, Drew Houston, believes that a leaderless structure is too chaotic.

“Often infinite freedom like that can be pretty disorientating. It doesn’t always feel good, because you no longer know what you’re supposed to do, what’s important and you’re bumping up against other people,” Mr Houston says.

So, what is the perfect balance? How do you keep accountability in a company without hierarchy? Would you like to work somewhere with no boss?

詞彙表

consultancy 諮詢公司
to get rid of 除去,解雇
flat (管理方式)扁平化的
management structure 管理構架
radical 根本性的,徹底的
board member 董事會成員
column (標明職責的)欄
to drive (something) 推動(計劃、項目等的)進展
motivated 有積極性的
company-wide 公司範圍內的,整個公司的
legal requirement 法律規定
last resort 萬不得已時的辦法,最後的手段
mixed results 好壞參半的結果
leaderless 無領導的
disorientating 失去方向感的,令人感到無所適從的
to bump up against other people 與他人的職責重疊
accountability 責任制,問責制
hierarchy (機構)等級制度

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Which two advantages of having no boss were mentioned? 

2. What was the first thing they did once Crisp decided to have no boss?

3. What do Crisp do when they have a problem that can’t be worked out between staff?

4. Which word means ‘in a state of confusion with no order’?

5. True or false: Overall, Crisp are happy with having no boss.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I wouldn’t ask Max unless you really have to. Only ask him as a ______.

radical choice       legal resort       last resort       get rid of the others

2. You need to be ______ for your actions. You can’t just say what you like.

accountable       motivated       radical       leaderless       

3. This is a flat organisation. There’s no ______.

leaderless       hierarchy       board       management structure

4. We need to ______ Simon. He doesn’t contribute anything to our company.

get rid       get rid of       bump up       bump up against

5. Our experiment had ______. Some of it worked and some of it completely failed,

mixed results       a bad result       mixed result       a mixed result

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Which two advantages of having no boss were mentioned?
Heinrik Kniberg says that things get done faster and there is a higher level of staff satisfaction using their current management structure.

2. What was the first thing they did once Crisp decided to have no boss?
After deciding to have no boss, they had to give all the CEO’s roles and jobs to existing staff and board members.

3. What do Crisp do when they have a problem that can’t be worked out between staff?
When there is a tricky issue that staff can’t resolve, the board can take action.

4.Which word means ‘in a state of confusion with no order’?
Chaotic

5. True or false: Overall, Crisp are happy with having no boss.
True. Crisp report a high level of workplace satisfaction.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I wouldn’t ask Max unless you really have to. Only ask him as a last resort.

2. You need to be accountable for your actions. You can’t just say what you like.

3. This is a flat organisation. There’s no hierarchy.

4. We need to get rid of Simon. He doesn’t contribute anything to our company.

5. Our experiment had mixed results. Some of it worked and some of it completely failed.

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