Autonomy at workplace has several ramifications. On the one hand, it can be the ideal platform towards creativity and developing business innovations. But on the other, it can also lead to negligence and ambiguity at work. Spotify is one company that has developed the ideal system to balance between employee autonomy and accountability. For a start, Spotify allows complete independence for innovating but proven, established norms or processes must be followed either way. As innovation cycles in the digital age last barely a few months, the group’s alignment has to be controlled. Thus at Spotify, teams are small so that supervision is easier. Their teams are known as squads, are agile, cross-functional and self-organized. On average a squad includes not more than eight people. The leader of the squad is chosen by the members and not dictated form above as is the norm elsewhere. The player-coach form of leadership is encouraged as it best promotes management training. Squads together comprise tribes. Spotify even has guilds which have members from across squads. In this method innovation is encouraged, but the established processes continue to be implemented if found successful. The constant review within squads ensures that the autonomy does no impinge upon the accountability levels. So all the squads eventually align together while not falling prey to excess control.


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