#Leadership #Changemaking

What is Unbossing?

Before launching Unbossers we had a lot of ‘back and forth’ from clients and people in our network about the name. What does it do to you? Do you experience recognition or rather notice some
healthy criticism? We noticed ‘Unbossers’ as a word always triggers people. All kinds of feelings and thoughts pop up. It rarely leaves people indifferent. That’s why we decided to take the ‘risk’ that comes with the name. Before anything else, our purpose is to go into dialogue with people and that’s what we hope to achieve. In this blog you’ll find the essence of what Unbossing means to us.

Unbossing is a way of being and working that brings employee engagement, business agility and customer experience into one cohesive storyline.  It’s the moonshot for professionals at all levels of the organization that want to thrive in the chaos of the 21st century. 

We believe leaders and corporate changemakers world-wide are at a crossroad: balancing the external expectations of the bureaucratic, command-and-control organization with their authentic desire to lead and work in a different way. Unbossing holds the potential to combine the pursuit for business success with care for yourself and humanity.

Face the challenges in the workplace

  • 52% of workers are likely to consider changing companies this year.
  • 80% employees do not feel motivated at work
  • Lack of employee engagement costs the global economy 8.1 Billion Dollars
  • Since 1983, the number of managers and controlling functions has risen by a 100% whilst other executing roles only rose by 63%
  • A totally dissatisfied customer decreases revenue at a rate equal to 1.8 times what a totally satisfied customer contributes to a business

Just because the world is out of control, doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do about it. Unbossing is saying goodbye to 20th century hierarchies, KPIs, job descriptions, titles, bonus schemes, marketing tools and sales strategies.

Conventional understanding of management and work is just not doing it anymore. Step by step, Unbossers are dedicated to figure out an alternative model that makes the traditional one obsolete.

4 dimensions of unbossing

Unboss the ego
Dimension one is about helping people connect with their true values and act in alignment with these. They learn to recognize their own negative patterns and thoughts. They take care of themselves and stop
putting too much emphasis on what other people think. They take personal responsibility for the ups and the downs. They have an ideal and they commit to it. The decisions we make today, determine our tomorrow. Unbossing starts with ourselves and there is no investment as sure as the investment we make in ourselves and our future.

Unboss the manager
Dimension two is about reinventing the managerial hierarchy. “Trust people, don’t control them”, is the starting principle. Managers split their traditional responsibilities into smaller roles and distribute these amongst the team members based on competencies and intrinsic motivation.

Unboss teams
Dimension three strives for team members no longer to be strictly managed by a manager or employed by an employer. They become partners that think and act like owners. Make teams self-managing and
give them the freedom to decide on strategy, people and salary. These rights come with a commensurate degree of accountability. It is the combination of gain and loss sharing, freedom and accountability that give unbossed teams their edge.

Unboss your hierarchies and processes
Dimension four of unbossing is about harnessing the collective intelligence to make the organization better today and tomorrow. It is an iterative and never ending process of improving the tools, systems, structures, rituals and processes. Agile, Lean, Open Strategy, Holacracy, OKRs,…all these methodologies are part of the unbossing way of being and working.

Become an unbossed organization

The result of Unbossing your once-traditional management model and killing the competitive liability of bureaucracy is a company where:

  • everyone is directly accountable for (internal) customers
  • employees are energetic intrapreneurs
  • an open ecosystem of users, inventors, and partners replace formal hierarchy.

Unbossing closes the gap between the value created for customers with the value received by employees. Bureaucratic norms are left behind in seven critical ways:

  1. A common purpose is the glue between all stakeholders involved
  2. Focus on creating value for the customer and society
  3. Anyone who shares the purpose can be involved
  4. Money is not a goal in itself. It is simply a by-product of doing the job well and getting the best outcomes for customers
  5. People are brought together: some are remunerated, others contribute as volunteers
  6. People find intrinsic motivation and incentivisation in the work they do
  7. An organizational model that mimics the architecture of the internet: “small pieces, loosely joined”


our Unbossers Network

Build a people first-organization the unbossed way:

Do you want to learn concrete steps on how to combine the pursuit of business success with putting people first? Just take a look at our Unbossers Network which offers low-key accessibility into global connections and teachings for you and your organisation.

We will be happy to welcome you there!