Hierarchies? We don't need them!
What does Your Smart Factory mean?
TELE is Your Smart Factory. It is a technology company with a tremendous amount of technical know-how and people who enjoy their work. TELE develops and manufactures control and monitoring solutions for the industrial and energy sectors. But TELE also has a truly novel organizational structure. Without traditional hierarchies. Without bosses. But plenty of personal responsibility. And collaboration. Learn more about Your Smart Factory here
Why do you have a new organizational structure without traditional hierarchies?
Because rigid hierarchies are inflexible and slow and because our success in a networked world depends on us being agile and nimble. But this works only when decision-making paths are short, ideally when each employee independently moves his or her own projects forward. This makes every person an entrepreneur. Initiative, curiosity, fun, responsibility, cooperation, and esteem are expected of each individual.
Innovation + sustainability = profitability
What are the different processes at TELE?
We have three main processes at TELE: Sales, Innovation and Production. These are currently supported by eight different sub-processes in the company. This looks as follows:
- Office Management
Purchasing & Logistics
How are important decisions made at TELE?
We do not have bosses telling us what to do. Instead of hierarchical structures, the different departments at TELE consist of flexible teams who meet in committees to discuss and make decisions democratically. In turn, individuals or work groups are responsible for independently executing these decisions.
Decisions are made by majority rule and are binding for all employees.
Decisions are always upheld and represented by all.
Every participant has an equal voice (with the exception of guests).
Decisions may only be revised by the committee that originally made them.
The “Management” maintains veto rights.
What is a committee and how does it work?
The departments at TELE do not exist in isolation. They are in constant communication with one another. Many committee meetings involve employees from the different departments. Committees are strategic and departments are operative. This means that the departments translate the decisions of the committees into action. All of the authority within the company lies with the two networked committees of Organization and Business Plan. Committees are formed on the basic principal that anyone who possesses special skills, experience or interest in a topic may join. This ensures that decisions are made on the basis of the most in-depth knowledge and ability to execute. Complex topics are assigned to the respective committee, where they are developed and prepared for voting by the committee.
What does a committee chairman/chairwoman do?
Each committee has a chairperson. Committee chairpersons are selected on a temporary basis and change annually. The role of the committee chairperson essentially entails forming the committee with the right participants, coordination of deadlines and topics and the chairing of the committee. The chairperson determines committee topics and monitors and tracks the progress and execution of tasks and goals. In the new TELE organization, employees can participate in different processes and assume a variety of roles.
What is a work group?
When faced with complex issues, information needs to be obtained and evaluated. Only then can a committee make an educated decision. The working bodies, like the work groups, are tasked with researching the fundamentals of complex problems. The number of members in a work group should be kept as small as possible in order to facilitate efficient work that saves resources. The Managing Director of the company decides on the number of members and which employees are authorized to participate. Completely open work groups are also possible.
The following rules apply:
The work group does not conduct business on a day-to-day basis.
A work group is formed and also disbanded by a committee.
A work group is not part of a project.
An overview of all work groups can be found in the infonet.
Agendas and meeting minutes must be created for work groups. Only in this way can the approach of the work group be traced. The work group leader is responsible for this aspect. ISO documents are not required.
What is a jour fixe?
A jour fixe is a regular meeting of certain groups of people. These are established by the department without the need for a committee resolution. A jour fixe involves cross-departmental communication and problem-solving.
Participants may be permanent or temporary. Departments decide for themselves whether to send members to a jour fixe to increase their influence on the flow of information. A jour fixe has no documentation obligations. In practice, however, agendas and meeting minutes are sometimes created in order to track progress. An overview of all jour fixes can be found in the infoNET.
What principles are important to you?
Innovation occurs through the interaction of four basic principles that are encouraged and promoted here at TELE:
We like beautiful things and proceed through the world with eyes wide open. New developments even outside of our industry interest us because they inspire reflection and in-depth thought. Innovations happen by talking with others – internally during a coffee break as well as in cooperation with partners, educational institutions and customers. If we lack the necessary experience to execute a vision, we bring new knowledge into the company. We either learn ourselves or place our trust in the expertise of our partners. We don’t just wait for something to happen “from above,” rather we take the initiative ourselves and tackle the problem head-on.
What is your guiding principle?
- The “company of the future” is a living organism with cells that are both independent and communicating with one another.
With openness and a pioneering spirit, all cells of the organism are constantly searching for new ideas. This is how innovation happens.
In the process, the organism monitors all resources and favors renewable energy. This is how sustainability happens.
Together with others, TELE develops innovations that impress. This is how profitability happens.
Innovation + Sustainability = Profit
Who is responsible for what?
In the TELE organization, employees can participate in different processes while assuming a variety of roles at the same time. In addition to your main job, you can also be selected as a committee chairperson.
The process owner is responsible for his/her respective process. He/she is also responsible for his/her sub-process managers. He/she is also responsible for resources management. Process responsibility is NOT a full-time task, rather an extension of the employee’s day-to-day responsibilities. He/she is never responsible for human resources in his/her process at the same time. His/her tasks include:
Creation, implementation, optimization and coordination of processes.
Definition of goals and monitoring of key performance indicators until the goal is achieved.
Coordination with sub-process owners.
Skilled, responsible/solution-oriented contact person for the overall process and workflow.
Authority over employees in the entire process.
Communication and coordination with all other processes in the organization.
Budget and resource management.
Human resource owner
The human resources owner is the decision-maker and person responsible for employees within a process. Unlike other companies, however, we make a clear distinction between the process owner and the human resources owner. A process owner may never be the same person as the human resources owner and vice versa. We ensure in this way that the process owner and human resources owner communicate and advise each other intensively when important decisions need to be made. The human resources owner is responsible for:
Finding the right new employee hires (organization) up to the selection process in coordination with the process owner (skills).
Termination/firing of employees.
Holding regular employee meetings.
Introducing new employees into the organization.
How do you ensure that everyone knows everything they need to know?
All doors are always open here at TELE. Since we cannot all be everywhere at once, however, we have developed the employee InfoNET. The InfoNET is an online blackboard, events calendar and chat platform all rolled into one. For employees without PCs, the most important messages of the day are displayed on two TVs (coffee lounge and production) and three iPads (1x personnel entrance & 2x in production – on advertising columns).
The following is available on the InfoNet:
All committee meeting minutes and agendas.
Event calendar of all TELE events.
The “Teledeck”: this is where everyone at TELE can publish, discuss and like articles
Lunch ordering: order your lunch in advance here daily.
Ideas portal for improving the organization.
What we are – and what we are not
- active and engaged
- independently responsible
We are NOT…
distrustful fearful closed passive obedient grouchy solitary
Your Smart Factory – Simply Open!
We believe that innovation happens when people come together and have fun. When openness reigns. And curiosity. TELE is a respected monitoring specialist and a crazy innovation incubator. With a lot of technical know-how and people who enjoy their work. TELE combines technologies. Cooperates with others. Free of traditional hierarchies. With plenty of room for independent thinking and extraordinary ideas. TELE develops and produces solutions for a better world.