How we work
The fundamentals of our teamwork are stated in our organizational principles which we call Orga 4.0. The four Orga 4.0 principles – Decision Making, Responsibilities, Evolutionary Organization, and Transparency – guide the way we believe Testbirds should operate and how we like to work together.
How we define "New Work"
You might have heard a lot of buzz around “New Work” recently. From our own experience, it takes a while to grasp what New Work is really all about. Generally, we’ve grown up and have socialized (also in working life) in a world of hierarchies, status, control, employer/managers vs. employees and vice versa, non-transparent decisions, etc. Even if we’re not aware of it, it does influence a lot of our thinking and behavior. So for us, the most important part of New Work is a change in people’s mindset and self-leadership.
That’s why we came up with the following underlying worldview that we use as a basis for our organizational principles, and which guides every decision, discussion, and our behavior: Everyone has the best intentions in mind. We act based on the information we have as individuals, inherently trying to create a positive outcome rather than personal gain.
That means we fundamentally trust our colleagues, believe that they have good intentions and are capable of learning and acting responsibly. And when we make mistakes, we own up to them.
Let’s look at our individual organizational principles in a bit more detail.
Decisions are made by the role(s) with the most relevant information. Advice process trumps consensus.Learn more
As we’ve grown, we’ve needed to consider how we can maintain a flat hierarchy without compromising our ability to make decisions efficiently. Therefore, we’ve established our decision making process: front-line individuals or teams have the opportunity to make decisions that affect their work directly.
Whenever someone takes responsibility for a decision that’s not part of his/her role and complexity is high, he/she consults the experts on this topic and the people that will be affected by the decision. After receiving feedback and having finalized the details, the decision is communicated to the company and is executed.
Ownership of responsibilities is clearly defined. Everyone owns and fills their responsibilities autonomously.Learn more
Every colleague has a set of tasks and responsibilities that he/she has agreed to and committed to fulfill. The multitude of tasks and responsibilities shall reflect the interests and talents of the employee as well as the needs of the organization. In a self-leadership manner, we want every employee to take responsibility for their own roles but also for the company. We don’t wait for managers to make strategic decisions to adapt to the company’s needs – we come up with new ideas, projects, or strategies to improve on our own. That’s how fluid and natural hierarchies emerge.Show less
We aim for incremental transformation. Everyone should raise ideas and issues in order to facilitate change.Learn more
What we understand as an evolutionary organization is a fast and efficient way to evolve and grow as a company and to adapt to changing needs. Instead of implementing extensive transformation processes after a certain time, we constantly make smaller changes, because there isn’t a perfect organizational structure at any time. Anyone at Testbirds can kick off a change.
The idea, for example establishing a new position or service, will then be diligently discussed before possibly being implemented. If no one can spare time for the project, there is a collective trust that it’s probably not important right now. When everyone is free to sense the need for change and to act on it, change is a given, it happens naturally, everywhere, all the time, and mostly without pain and effort.Show less
Relevant information is shared transparently unless it causes harm.Learn more
The amount of information someone is allowed to see is normally connected to the individual’s status in hierarchy. As a self-leadership organization, we need to have all available information to make optimal decisions on a strategic and day-to-day basis, to start evolutionary processes in the organization, to fulfill our responsibilities to the fullest, and to see where we are heading.
In our monthly All Testbirds Meetings, for example, we share a lot of information related to the financing and operations of the company. There is an exception for this principle, if the information may cause harm. This includes personal information, for example. This high level of transparency is only possible due to our underlying worldview that everyone has the best intentions in mind and is trusted to handle information with integrity.Show less