Adopting Self-Management: A framework for increasing Employee Engagement and Business Results


Tim Masson: All right. Welcome everyone. I'm Tim Masson. I am the cChief Steward and CEO of Raise Recruiting. And we're here to talk today about self-management operating your organization without managers. So hopefully that is a fun and exciting and controversial topic for everyone. And that we can have some good time here together today.

Tim Masson: So, yeah, so, so adopting self-management or a practical framework for increasing employee engagement and business results in an unpredictable world. I've got a panel of speakers here joining me this morning. And so I'm just going to introduce them before we get going. So, if you want to talk to Shelly, can you introduce yourself first?

Shelley Hull: Sure. Shelley Hull here I am a recent addition to Ian Martin and a Raise Recruiting family, and I'm also new to staffing. And I joined as the director of marketing in the fall of last year, and decided to join in this conversation.

Tim Masson: Michael?

Michael Leacy: Hi , My name is Michael Lacey. I'm the Chief Sales Officer and Executive Vice President for Raise Recruiting. I've been in the staffing industry for over 25 years. Worked all over North America, and I've been with rRaise Recruiting for over the last 10 years. Excited to be here. Talk about this topic. 

Tim Masson: And Anisa? 

Anisa Haq: Hi everyone. My name's Anisa. I am a senior recruiter account manager. I've been at Raise Recruiting for about five years, but have been in staffing for over eight years. At this point, I'm really excited to be here and meet you all. 

Tim Masson: And for many of you, I guess I'll just introduce our company quickly as well. Our company initially called the Ian Martin group until just this year.

Tim Masson: We've been around for about 65 years in the industry. We have about 5,000 contractors, but the scale of our organization we've been rebranding as Raise Recruiting because I think as you'll see where we're really looking at the next several decades of innovation in the industry. And we want to be a part of that transformation.

Tim Masson: So we're heavily involved right now in helping clients innovate around direct sourcing. You know, in another, a number of other programs that have been really. But that's not what the topic is today. The topic today is about the strange and unusual way that we operate. And that's called self-management and we kind of have this, you know, why self-management, why would you join the session?

Tim Masson: Why would you even think about this for your business? And really the question is kind of in the midst of the great resignation and a global pandemic, doesn't your business need engaged employees and an adaptive operate model. We found, you know, and just to give you a quick story or quick anecdote at the start of the pandemic, I think as leaders of staffing companies, we were all scared to be honest about what the future was going to hold.

Tim Masson: I think many of us anyway, myself, certainly. And but we had been operating in this self-managing model that we're going to tell you about for a period of time. And really what we said to our teams is the absolute, last thing we're going to do is. But we need, you know, 500 people in the company to think like owners, to think like CEOs and figure out other ways that we can reduce costs and also creative ways that we can pivot and increase revenues and find clients that we can serve that are still active.

Tim Masson: During this time, especially during the initial lockdowns in March 2020. And incredibly people leaned in so hard. We were able to find expense reductions, dramatic expense reductions so that we were more profitable through the pandemic, especially in those early months when business was declining.

Tim Masson: And then we found some amazing client opportunities that were kind of unprecedented in our company's history. And those combined with our traditional organic growth, like suddenly we've actually been able to double double our revenues since just two years ago, they started the pandemic. And so, you know, when we're talking about this model that we're operating today, the biggest reason we think it's awesome is that it's just better for people.

Tim Masson: It's better for people that work in the organization, it creates a more meaningful experience of work. But once you get it implemented and people are really operating in this way and in this mindset, it's better for business to and it's far more adoptive and we've seen those results through the pandemic.

Tim Masson: So it's been, yeah. And just, we kind of each are kind of playing a bit of a role here today, so I'm going to be facilitating. And then we brought along folks that kind of represent different types of employee groups as we've gone through this transition from, you know, a traditionally managed organization.

Tim Masson: It's been around for 65 years to one that's now operating in self-management. And so, Michael Lacey is kind of the former manager. He's been here a long time and he went through that transition on that side. Anisa is the former non-manager. So she wasn't working as a manager and has still gone through the transition.

Tim Masson: To be honest, it's taken on a lot of initiatives and a lot of things you know, from her position in self-management that a manager might have done in the past. So she'll tell you more about that. And then people often ask us, like, how do people come into the company? How do they adjust to this? It's so unusual compared to the way other companies operate.

Tim Masson: So we brought Shelley Hull along, who's our new director of marketing and she joined us about three or four months ago. And so what she can talk to you about and tell some stories about is just what the experience is like of transitioning into our company from another organization. So, our goal is to spend only about let's say 10 minutes just presenting our system to you and kind of giving you a little context on how it works. And then we want to open it really for Q/A for you guys to talk to the folks on the panel and, you know, learn what you can make the session valuable for you. All right. Let me just change slides here.

Tim Masson: Okay. So first, why does this work? Well actually it's based on real behavioral science. So really most people, and we'll see on the left here, this guy with a stick and a carrot most businesses believe that's the way that you manage people. You know, you give them carrots, you give them.

Tim Masson: Rewards and punishments in our industry, you know, it's commissioned plans and, you know, hammering them with you when they don't meet their metrics. And Dan Pink's started to find nearly two thousands. He published the book drive, which is really about motivation and meaningful work and results in a creative knowledge worker type setting.

Tim Masson: What he found is that actually that carrots and sticks are not the most powerful way for people to be motivated instead. The most powerful motivator is what he calls intrinsic motivation. So that kind of feeling of, I just love to do it. The feeling you get when you do your hobbies or play your sports we can all experience that at work.

Tim Masson: It's just a matter of how our work is organized and how things are set up. And so Dan Pink basically said that there's three things that somebody needs to experience intrinsic motivation in their work. And they're here on the right hand side. They need autonomy, mastery and purpose. And so, you know, as we started to realize that, and we, our companies, our whole company's purpose is really around connecting people in meaningful work.

Tim Masson: We really focused on this model. And so first, you know, every organization where people experience mastery, they need to learn to do the job well. They need to learn how to do it effectively. And really almost every company that's effective and efficient across the world creates opportunities for staff to develop mastery.

Tim Masson: The next one is purpose. And this is what we've really seen innovation in companies over the last, you know, 20 to 30 years, I would say inspiring brands, you know, Apple being about thinking differently or Tesla, you know, creating the opportunity to kind of transform the world's transportation and, you know, green, our infrastructure.

Tim Masson: When companies have an inspiring purpose, then people attach to them. And Simon Sinek talked about, starting with why, and just the power of that attraction of having a meaningful, why. So many companies have started to implement this? I wouldn't say most, but kind of like 20%, 30% of companies at this point have really made an effort.

Tim Masson: But the last piece is autonomy. If you think about it, that is the most difficult thing to implement in a functioning organization. Right? If everyone in the organization has autonomy, doesn't that mean? We'll end up with. And so this is the area where once we had the first two in place as an organization, we've really focused in order to make sure that people can have the maximum experience of meaningful work, which also means maximum engagement and in the long run maximum business performance.

Tim Masson: Because again, knowledge workers actually, aren't motivated by carrots and sticks, that's a false belief. The truth is they're intrinsically motivated, but you need to give them control of their work. And autonomy in order to unlock the power of intrinsic motivation. Okay. So next slide. Okay. So, at our company, and this is a multi-year process, we kind of started experimenting first with a small team, and then we kind of like semi perfected the model we were going to operate.

Tim Masson: And then eventually scaled it up to the whole organization of 500 people. So all told it probably took us about five or six years to figure out how to implement this. Self-managing a system. We call it the teal operating system. There's one book that uses color coded systems to talk about the way different companies operate.

Tim Masson: And so teal represents kind of self-management. So you can think of those two terms as interchangeable, but yeah, so really we were kind of iterating and experimenting and we were really honestly like, creating a path. I think that for organizations to implement this now, if they were serious about it, it would take two to three years with the resources and tools that are out there and available now.

Tim Masson: But at the time we started this almost a decade ago. You know, we were really cutting the path and trying to create trying to create this. So in a lot of ways, we've replaced managers with this flowchart. So, and the set of principles that we have on the left. So everyone in the company, rather than having managers it's almost like everyone has the authority or the opportunity to act and think like a manager and just kind of reading the bullets on the side, everyone in the company has the freedom to tackle our own problems and opportunities.

Tim Masson: And if you care about it, then you can take responsibility for fixing or changing it. So if you don't like the company's benefits plan then you actually have the authority to start to take initiative to make a change to that rather than just complaining or whining about it. And there's, you know, myriad other issues, like what is our office location?

Tim Masson: Where are we, you know, renting space? Are we are renting space, you know, and then, you know, multiple things. And as we've gone along, we have this principle that says the person who's closest to the issue or most impacted is the one who makes the decision. But first they need to get advice and perspective from others who are either impacted or who have experience or expertise in that area.

Tim Masson: So rather than consensus, it's like the person who's taking the initiative. Is the CEO of the decision. They can drive it forward and lead that particular decision. And if you kind of take this to its furthest extent, that means, you know, who is the most impacted by a rule, the person's rule definition or the person's compensation or the person's the team that they work with.

Tim Masson: And the truth is that it's that individual who is, so we actually have HR processes now that have been set up where individuals can self-manage their compensation setting or their role definition through getting the advice from other people. And then lastly you know, actually in the most healthy well-functioning organizations, Patrick Lencioni who wrote the five dysfunctions of a team, which is really all about building strong and healthy teams you know, said that at the base, we have to create the base of our relationships.

Tim Masson: We have to create trust. And then the next most important thing in order to be a healthy functioning group or team is actually to have conflict, to be able to disagree in a healthy way. Business ideas and moving the business forward. And so in our company, We've had to establish norms really around teaching people to give and receive feedback.

Tim Masson: That's not a habit that we're generally taught in society or in school. So that's a big thing we've spent time training on and then, you know, Folks get really stuck in conflict. We've trained kind of peer facilitators in the organization to help people work things through. So you can kind of see everything I just described is actually the flow chart on the right.

Tim Masson: So when people come into our company, we teach them, you know, this flowchart, your initiative is your manager and this flowchart is what you use in order to get stuff done in your organization. So you can see, you know, you notice a problem and opportunity. You decide if it's worth pursuing. And then there's three categories, the yellow one on the right.

Tim Masson: It's kind of any type of decision. There's two decision types that we have, one is called an advice process. So that's where the decision isn't going to ask other people to change their behavior or affect them directly. So that's, you know, you want to make a major purchase or you want to, you know, Make some other initiative, then you just get advice from others and you make the decision and move that forward.

Tim Masson: If you're asking folks to change their behavior, commit to certain, you know, standards or a practice or a policy. Then we need their consent. And so that's where we basically make a proposal and we asked for people to agree to that proposal. So that's how we make decisions. That cost covers most of the thing.

Tim Masson: And then in the middle of that kind of peel section, Is all the HR processes. So we've basically replaced those with templated versions of the advice process that people can run. And then lastly, as I mentioned you know, where there's conflict the blue side on the left is we have feedback and a resolution conflict resolution process that we can help support.

Tim Masson: So all of these tools, this resource is publicly available. On our website, the current link is And you can go there and you can download all the templates and resources and materials that we use to run this system. All right. And then, yeah, so that's a description of the whole thing.

Tim Masson: And I'm going to start off. So we are excited to have Q/A for the rest of the time. I'm going to start with one question for our panel, and then it's going to be up to you guys to put some questions in after that. And Jacob and I will kind of track those and make sure that they get us to the team, to the panel.

Tim Masson: So again, Shelly, Michael and Anisa. For you guys, you know, what is the best thing about operating this way? And what's been the hardest about learning or transitioning to this model of working. Could you guys, maybe each answer that.

Tim Masson: He wants to start. Shelly seems like you're ready to go. 

Shelley Hull: Oh, I was ready to go. For me, especially coming, being fairly new and coming from a very traditionally run organization, a big thing that I really liked and was almost shocked was through how structured the feedback process. I really liked that there is a process through which we give regular feedback, so that it's the norm and not the thing you do, you know, once or twice or three times a year with a boss, but you're doing it in the moment it's expected.

Shelley Hull: So, you know, you can get off a call with a colleague and both know like that went horribly. And the next time you connect, you could end up in a bit of a feedback conversation between the two of you. And it's a natural thing to do, even when the conversations can be difficult. And I know. Do you have a deep appreciation for that?

Tim Masson: Awesome. Michael, do you want to go? 

Michael Leacy: Yeah, Tim, I'm going to I'm going to, I always like to start with the negative and end with the positive. So I'm going to start with the hardest part about self-management. And for me, it was really about not being able to be that final decision maker for all things under kind of my responsibility.

Michael Leacy: As I mentioned, but 25 year veteran of the staffing industry, I'd loved making those decisions, especially difficult ones. I like to think I was actually pretty good at it, but if we were going to make self-management a reality in our organization, we needed to show all the employees that we were serious about it.

Michael Leacy: And so really what did we do? All of us in management and executive roles, we gave up our positional authority. Externally we all have titles, but inside the organization, we all became advisors to employees. And so what that meant was that we were there to help support those decisions for them. The best thing about self-management is really the way that we make decisions throughout the organization.

Michael Leacy: We moved from what was considered that command and control top down to really a bottom up approach where everyone is as Tim mentioned everyone in the company can now make decisions. Tim outlined earlier through our operating system, we develop those processes to provide a framework so that every employee who identifies a problem or opportunity can be a decision maker.

Michael Leacy: And really the process is simple. Once you identify that problem or opportunity, you gather a group of advisors who are close to the issues, and gather their advice. Present their issue. Advisers can ask questions, provide reactions, and then the decision maker presents their proposal or vice proposal. And ultimately those advisors agree or disagree.

Michael Leacy: And so the one thing is the process might take a little bit more time upfront, but I will say the outcomes are better. Well thought out, and as these decisions are implemented, they get implemented quicker because there's a lot more buy-in to that whole decision process.

Tim Masson: Yeah, Thank Micheal. Anisa? 

Anisa Haq: Yeah. So I think as someone who developed our onboarding and sponsorship program for all of our new hires coming into the organization, I'd say that the hardest thing about operating in a self-managed way is teaching our common practices to new hires, especially to those events, those candidates that come from companies where they've already been in leadership roles. And I think to give away your managerial authority, realistically does come with difficulty for some, and to not only have to walk them through their role and training. But also teaching them the basics on how we operate. I think that can sometimes be a bit challenging and something that people do struggle with in the initial first few.

Anisa Haq: But the best thing about operating, I think in a self-managed way for me is that sort of engaged workforce. So you're involved in the decision making process. And in other companies that haven't yet adopted the concept or self-managed way of working, sometimes the decision is often made for you.

Anisa Haq: Right by your managers or your bosses. But it was raised through the common practices that we've had the opportunity to develop. There is a room for you and your coworkers to sort of equally contribute and come up with a decision. If you feel close to that problem and wanting to be a part of it.

Anisa Haq: So, I love that part about operating in the . 

Tim Masson: Right. That's cool. So, and guys, maybe you guys can just show me with your hand which one of you wants to take this question, but Victor from manpower is asking is meaningful work, a valid framework, even if you haven't achieved mastery or is mastery a critical first step to deploy this approach, somehow magically that appeared on the screen, which is.

Shelley Hull: I mean, I can take a stab at it and you know, they can jump in as they want you. I don't think for work to be meaningful, it has to be something you've mastered. I think the definition of meaningful work in a self is very personal. So what I define meaningful work to be is going to be different from my colleagues on the panel.

Shelley Hull: And those of you who were here attending this discussion. So I think when your work is meaningful, you try to achieve mastery in it because. It is something that fits a purpose for you. So you are working towards something that does mean, or has an impact on your voyage. You want to be exceptional at it. So, I hope that answers it, but I don't know that you have to be a master of what you're doing it over for it to, to me something, or have a purpose.

Tim Masson: I'm going to add one thing in here too. Thank you, Shelley. That's awesome. That's coming to mind for me, which is that Actually meaningful work, meaning itself is subjective. So it's defined by the person. And what we found is we found a book called times to perform which has all of it, which is also about all this stuff to do with intrinsic motivation and performance.

Tim Masson: And we. We extracted a simplified model from that book, which is, again, it's kind of a three circle diagram where meaningful work is the intersection of what the business needs, what you're good at and what you're motivated by or you feel play or intrinsic motivation or connection to.

Tim Masson: And so the truth is that meaningful work is actually quite fluid. And it's almost impossible for the executives or the managers in the company, maybe easier for the managers and even harder for the executives to, to kind of dictate meaningful work for people because that one component, which is what people are motivated by, is constantly changing.

Tim Masson: And the reason it's constantly changing is because people are constantly mastering new things. So they go from being challenging and exciting to be in kind of routine. I'm good at it, but it's kind of boring, right? And often that's where people end up like, I'm really good at this thing. And it's good for the business, but it's not challenging or motivating for me anymore.

Tim Masson: Right. And so what our organization allows people to do. Own, their own role definition process. So they're still responsible to go out and find out what the business needs are from. You know, whatever other people, whether that's former managers and executives and experienced folks or different, you know, different people in the organization, that's a part of the process, but they're the ones who define their roles.

Tim Masson: So they know what's going to be challenging and meaningful and engaging for them at the next stage of their career. And they're able to articulate what they're good at. And we have a structured process by which people do that, so that it becomes the responsibility of individuals to define their roles and constantly be checking themselves to make sure that their work is meaningful and is also making a positive impact in moving the business forward. So hopefully that helps. Like it's like, you know, I think mastery is an ever-evolving thing and folks can master something, you know, at an entry level and then continue to grow their career.

Tim Masson: And, you know, I think there's a couple of other questions about retention, but I think this is the most amazing retention program ever. Like we have people working here, we have one very senior person. Who would change careers every two years? You know, because that person was bored and then she came and worked here and now she's been here about six years and literally she's changed her career still every two years because she gets bored, but she's done it within our organization.

Tim Masson: And so so as a retention strategy, this is the first, we're the first company that's been able to retain her. Even though she has been able to actually change her role. And so again, this gives it that's the way that this works in terms of retention. 

Tim Masson: Okay, awesome. So, I'm gonna, I'm gonna transition to the next question here. It's actually about so it's from Leo Petrilli.

Tim Masson: And he's mentioning about being an alcoholic and long-term recovery, but I think we've talked a lot about this in our organization as well. And I'll just extend it maybe for the panel to just think about mental health in general. So his question is really, you know, engaged.

Tim Masson: Employees are sober in place, but engaged. I could maybe translate that or broaden it to engage employee. Our healthy employees. And maybe you guys can just talk about the connection between sort of mental health, what we experienced and seen and how our system intersects with that.

Michael Leacy: Well, that's an interesting question. Got to think about this one. 

Shelley Hull: I don't mind sharing if no one else says anything to cause. I joined Raise at the kind of breaking point of being with an organization where my mental health was not good. And it hadn't been so for probably about two years. And in the first few months of joining, I had some serious personal things happen in terms of family and illness and in working in a self-managed company, being able to.

Shelley Hull: Have a team that was very respectful of self being able to express without being, having to be vulnerable within a space that I felt comfortable about in order to share and having people around you who helped navigate the day-to-day as well as understanding the person before. Like you were a person before you are someone that is working at a job, made managing a lot of that very on in joining a new company and, you know, pandemic, it actually helped to alleviate a lot of the stress that I was still carry as well as the new stresses that have been added.

Shelley Hull: And part of that is when you are self managing, there is a responsibility to self. So it's not just about managing your own feelings, your own emotions and the things that are going on with you, but actually being reflective enough to understand the impact on others, based on those situations and how those behaviors may be expressed.

Shelley Hull: And through that sharing, you know, I am working with a phenomenal group of people very fortunate, but like, I imagine what it would've been like navigating that where I was, and. No, I couldn't have even found them how I would've gotten through, you know, that kind of two months stretch where, you know, I had to kind of be in and out and you're like, I'm in a new job.

Shelley Hull: They're going to fire an eight, you know, and none of those things ever felt like they would be a reality. It was, you know, I'm being trusted to get my work done and, you know, giving me the space to manage my mental health, the way I needed to in dealing with personal things, but also managing my job. So I think, you know, this is a really.

Shelley Hull: A timely question. And, you know, we're all dealing with extra stresses in the day-to-day. So, you know, being able to tap into yourself as well as reflect and communicate, I think is such a big piece of how we work and where we work. 

Tim Masson: Micheal, Do you want to jump in?

Michael Leacy: Well, that's a real hard response to follow up on, but I'll try at least, which is, you know, this has been, you know, two years.

Michael Leacy: Actually almost over two years now with the pandemic and it has been hard on all employees on a worldwide scale. I don't think we really know what the results will be as we come out of this. But I will say that within this organization with Raise is typically it would be the company who would be thinking about the resources required to help our employees, but a number of employees took it on themselves to really go and do research and actually understand what kind of resources were available in the market and brought that to the organization.

Michael Leacy: And we implemented. Some strategies. We also partnered with an organization really to provide all the needed resources that our employees would require. So again, from a self-managed perspective, the employees took this on, but really we were really thinking about the rest of the employees and what they could do to help support them during this time.

Tim Masson: It's just such an important topic. I want to make sure Anisa, are you good? Or do you want to add anything here? 

Anisa Haq: I am good. Michel and Shelly did a great job.

Tim Masson: Okay. That's awesome. Thank you. Okay, so I'm going to go to Tom Hadley's question. So, Tom is asking if staff retention is a big challenge here in the UK. What would you recommend as quick wins? For organizations looking to stem the flow of key staff in the short term, while also looking at the longer term approach. So can you guys. If you were going to take up a component of our system and recommend it for Tom as a quick win, is there something that he could do? 

Michael Leacy: I can take that on.

Michael Leacy: I think there's really two quick two quick wins you could look at first is implementing feedback throughout your organization and put in a process that allows employees to really provide feedback when necessary. The one thing that we found within our organization before we did this, a lot of misconceptions, a lot of issues kind of were there.

Michael Leacy: But they just festered because nobody had the tools to actually provide that necessary feedback loop that's required. And so we implemented that it's not very difficult to do. It's kind of a multi-step process, but honestly it just gives every individual rather than taking feedback from a personal perspective.

Michael Leacy: It just logically aligns exactly the approach. Number two, I also think it's the advice process. The advice process is actually quite simple and really it can be done in that traditional staffing organization where the teams or the individuals are empowered to kind of identify problems and opportunities, follow that process and really give them some of those decision-making tools and abilities.

Michael Leacy: And I really believe those are two quick wins that you could do that really empowers your employees overall. 

Tim Masson: And just to add to that. My next slide at the very end, I'm going to give you, if you guys stick around, I'll give you some books and references that you can do. And some of the tools that Mike referenced are on that screen. What I don't have on that screen that I would highly recommend is like a quick thing to do is we've worked with we've worked with an author and speaker called Tim Arnold.

Tim Masson: And he's written a book called lead with and which is the idea of managing healthy tensions in the world that we're living in and in business. But he is an expert and engaging facilitator. He used to work with us doing company offsites and. Fun and engaging and really interactive for people and he's taken that experience online.

Tim Masson: So what I would kind of recommend just in terms of getting people re-engaged and connected online is he's he has, he's able to teach the content around. Healthy tensions, also able to teach the content that Mike mentioned around giving and receiving feedback, but make it super fun in an online context then.

Tim Masson: So like, I think that'd be the simplest thing to do. And certainly my email is available at the end, Tom. So if you want to email me, I can make that connection for you. Anything Shelly, anything you guys want to add or should we go to the next question? Good. Okay. All right. This is a killer question from Kathleen Harris at the Focus Talent Solutions.

Tim Masson: So how hard was it to get all of the leaders aboard? Did you have any turnover due to this?

Michael Leacy: Do you want me to take that? 

Tim Masson: Sure Mike you, the former manager.

Michael Leacy: It was hard, Kathleen really hard, and it was more of a mindset shift than anything else. And so from that, to answer your question, we did not have any turnover. Initially. I think everybody conceptually got on board with the idea that this was kind of where we wanted to take this organization we needed to and want it to be a very different type of staffing organization. And we saw this as a real unique benefit, a unique benefit that we could deliver results on behalf of our clients. But over time, there was definitely a few I would call leaders who just really had a hard time getting understanding the processes.

Michael Leacy: But most importantly, just didn't. Did you appreciate where the organization was going? And so it was really difficult when they had to give up that decision-making authority. They liked it. They appreciate it. They liked that traditional model of command and control, and eventually they decided this wasn't the place for them and eventually found a better place for them.

Michael Leacy: And that fit their career aspirations. So, yes, it was hard, but I would say it was very limited, the amount of turnover we had overall. 

Anisa Haq: Yeah, I want it. Yeah. Perfect. 

Tim Masson: You're going to, you're going to speak, cause I really want to hear your perspective on it.

Anisa Haq: I was just going to add to that and say from the perspective of people who are non-managers as well, which maybe you're interested in hearing about, we have so many foundational skills such as.

Anisa Haq: Psychological safety, where we have generous listening and equal talking time, or the concept of feedback that Mike just brought up where we actually have a step-by-step process of explaining FBI, which is situation, behavior, and impact, and then TIR thanking them for feedback. All of these tools that we've developed over the years have really helped those that aren't in manager roles.

Anisa Haq: Provide feedback to those that maybe did come from a previous manager position. And so I think that that's really been helpful from our perspective to have these genuine, wholesome, meaningful discussions with people that may have a leadership or managerial background and allow them to, you know, just have

Anisa Haq: I think a genuine conversation about, okay, what's been going on, what's wrong. What can we do to work together and move forward? And so I think both managers and non-managers have worked together using some of the foundation skills that we've developed really well. 

Tim Masson: That's awesome. Thank you, Anisa.

Tim Masson: Yeah. Anisa My bad. I do that all the time. I worked closely as well with Anita and Anisa. I think that one thing is when you look at this flow chart it engages your intellectual brain. So we call that, you know, it's at a head level, if you understand. But then when we talk about leadership or adjusting to this model, there's you know, getting your head on board.

Tim Masson: And that's not so hard. And then kind of getting your heart on board with it, like, you know, do I really believe, or what are my beliefs? Do I believe that actually everyone is capable, that everyone wants to do the right thing, that everyone is smart, that everyone has the organization's interests at heart.

Tim Masson: So it's really about kind of the head heart. And then how. And habits are hard to change. We know that from, so, so if you're Mike and you've been used to just being the one to make the decisions without consulting others or myself it's, how do I adopt the habits? How do I change the way that I interact with people?

Tim Masson: So kind of needs to go through that process, like intellectually I get it. And now I'm starting to change my heart and change my beliefs. And then, you know, change what you actually do. And that's a process that folks go through and I think is necessary in order to be successful. Okay, cool. Great question.

Tim Masson: Thank you, Kathleen. So I'm going to go to Jamie Herbert from Capstone IT. So, Jamie has two questions I may have missed. Can you share a bit of context, organizational size and when the shifts started versus today and how do you determine the readiness of the org for this shift? 

Tim Masson: Okay. I'm going to take that one because it's kind of practical.

Tim Masson: The company has about 500 employees sort of globally. We have teams in India. We have teams in Ghana. In Africa. We have teams in the Philippines. We have teams in the US. So we're big ish to give you an idea of our size, we have about 5,000 contractors and additional about a third of our business or quarter of our business is prem placement.

Tim Masson: So we're a decent size. And the second question is really about readiness. And I think that the biggest thing around readiness is that The leader or leader, like has to be ready to kind of start to go through that head heart habit process. So if, as a leader you're doing this you know, let's say you're the CEO or the owner of the business.

Tim Masson: You're making this change or transition only because it's going to improve business results. You won't make it all the way there. You kind of have to believe that and care that it's more worthwhile and valuable for people. As long as the business results are at least the same that you're going to have a more meaningful and engaged workplace.

Tim Masson: And that is that's a gift to the world. And it's worth the effort on that basis. And then in our case, what we've seen is that making that commitment has led to dramatically better business results. And so that's been a huge blessing. But I think that in terms of readiness, The organization at some level won't be ready.

Tim Masson: But what we've done is create a pathway, a series of steps. So when we started this, we were doing it with almost no guidance. Now this kind of literature is much more robust than it was before. And I'm actually offering what I'll offer at the end. I'm certainly offering to support other you know, founders, CEOs and owners of businesses to think about making this change and transition and even supporting owners in the exit of their businesses.

Tim Masson: So that's, I really want to scale this because I think across our Industry I want people to love their work more, and I think that's the biggest thing. That'll make a difference in the world, going back to the question about sort of mental health and you know, engagement. So yeah, you gotta do it because you feel it matters.

Tim Masson: Okay. So, Joe leaders from Adecco are asking I'm loving hearing about this because it's how I work. And I see it very beneficial for establishing these feelings of value for employees and individual growth raising exponentially. Okay, cool. So just a comment there, I guess I didn't follow whether it was a question.

Tim Masson: Give me one more second to figure out. Yes. Okay. There's a question from Laurie Mallet from Hatch about a book. So I'm going to give you some specific books around implementing self-management. But there's another book I mentioned called primed to perform P R I M E to perform PERFORM. And I can't remember the author right now.

Tim Masson: But that book really is very specific around like HR practices and engagement of employees and kind of what makes organizations both adaptive and high-performing or functional. So it is a very good practical book and you don't need to benefit from that book, you don't need to implement this whole self-management system.

Tim Masson: It's just a really good kind of engagement framework. 

Michael Leacy: Yeah, the author Neil Doshi. 

Tim Masson: Okay. That's awesome. Thanks Mike. And I'm just kind of going through the questions here. So Hardy Gerald is asking,

Tim Masson: how would you upscale framework, proposition and positioning be best out, across to engage during this great resignation, great reshuffle times, or like, I'm not sure Hardy, if there's, maybe I'm making, maybe Jacob, Hardy could unmute or something is, and maybe ask us questions. So we just understand it a little more clearly.

Tim Masson: Okay. Well, while we're sorting out Hardy, I'm going to go to a question from Avinash. From a Communel. And the question is actually a sales question, which is really important. So, from a core sales perspective, what different approach did you and your team take to engage with professionals in commands to build up business synergy?

Tim Masson: So how do we do sales? And then Hardy, we'll get to you in just a second. 

Michael Leacy: Great. Maybe I could take that one, Tim. So a number of years ago, we really identified bringing clients, salespeople delivery, as well as our back office processes, all kind of in an alignment. And we called it a client centric model, and we found that when teams are focused.

Michael Leacy: On, whether it's specific clients or regions, they really perform better. And so we kind of built that model in one region and then we expanded out across the entire enterprise and we've seen tremendous success, tremendous engagement, and mostly a stronger relationship between our clients and ourselves.

Michael Leacy: Internally the relationship between sales and delivery, as well as back office really brought efficiencies and productivity gains as well, which really helped also building up the momentum and synergy throughout the organization. So I would say that was one of the biggest pieces that we did a number of years ago was that client centric model 

Tim Masson: and a Anisa I'm going to kind of, spring this one on you as well, rather than only from a sales perspective.

Tim Masson: Maybe you could just talk about, you know, working in recruiting. How has your experience kind of changed up the day to day from working this way? 

Anisa Haq: Yeah, absolutely. I think with recruitment and working this way, especially through the great resignation it's been quite interesting in the sense that, you know, there's a lot of candidates out there.

Anisa Haq: There's a lot of shuffling going on and recruiting. Quite busy, so to speak. Everyday has been a little bit crazy, but I think, you know, in terms of the great big resignation, we're actively recruiting a lot more candidates. There's a lot of shifts. There's a lot of changes. There's a lot of processes that are changing also from a recruitment perspective of you know, signing bonuses and things that we didn't really do as much before.

Anisa Haq: So it's been quite a change.

Tim Masson: Awesome. Okay. Hardy, do you want to jump in here and ask your question? 

Hardy Gerald: Thank you so much for the opportunity. Am I audible?

Tim Masson: Yes. Yes. We hear you. 

Hardy Gerald: Thank you very much. So what I really meant was in the current times, when we try and engage with employees, especially when they are attracting so much, and then, you know, there is anxiety amongst them and they're leaving every two years as we spoke earlier.

Hardy Gerald: Is there a way that. We engage with them and try to, you show them a trajectory of growth and tell them that, Hey, you are at X level and you know, you need to be, let's say at X plus levels. So these are trainings you can take. These are the engagements you can do with us as an organization.

Hardy Gerald: These are the processes you can learn where you have. Or there's an improvement opportunity and probably that kind of engagement, you know, rather than just calling them on, you know, viral, Malcolm wellness, other factors are there. But I think if we engage them on a different tangent, do you think it's going to help a little more for them to be, you know, staying with us and looking at a longer term perspective rather than, you know, finding a job quicker.

Hardy Gerald: So that was my question. Did I make myself a little clear?

Tim Masson: Yeah. Shelly or Anisa, what do you guys do? You guys. Perspective on that,

Tim Masson: still thinking.

Anisa Haq: Yeah, still thinking. 

Michael Leacy: Yeah. Maybe I can just pick up here. So my thought is I think this ultimately, and. We've got one of the lowest turnovers in the entire staffing industry. Like it's very low. I'm going to say, you know, call it less than 10%. And I think ultimately it's because we've empowered people.

Michael Leacy: To be able to take responsibility for their roles within the organization. We've implemented a process called the rule advice process. So if somebody sees that there's an opportunity that they can add value, doing some other role within the organization, they can go through again, a process to seek advice.

Michael Leacy: And to really build out a rule for them that will add greater value and hopefully more meaningful work for them. And so to me, these are just some of the things. So it's really about empowering your employees because at the end of the day, if your employees are just not comfortable and they're not being treated fairly, they're going to leave.

Michael Leacy: You need to keep them engaged, but ultimately they want to have the responsibility in their own hands. And so I think you need to empower. In order to keep the turnover low. 

Hardy Gerald: Thank you so much for that answer. That really helps. Thank you very much. 

Tim Masson: Yeah. And I'm going to just jump in for one sec, to Hardy with them and add to that word, empower that Mike used.

Tim Masson: And I think this is kind of, you know, again, for someone in a leadership position like yourself, the real trick here is actually to empower means to give away power and authority. And to make it clear for people that it's safe for them to take initiative. Right. If I can't Jacob, I don't know if you could hide on my screen.

Tim Masson: Hardy's question. It's great that it's there, but I can't. Okay. Awesome. Now I can go back to here. If we go back to Dan Pink's motivation model, what he's saying is people need, you know, purpose. They need mastery in their jobs. They need a sense of purpose. What is it? What's the inspiring purpose of your organization, but autonomy is like actually giving away your power to them.

Tim Masson: And, you know, kind of flipping that power dynamic on its head. And so we use the word empower, but it truly means you giving up power and teaching and structuring people to learn how to use their authority, the power that you've given them to take initiative and develop their careers. Right.

Tim Masson: And so there's a number of kinds of training things. There's a number of materials to do, but at our company, One thing you have asked is, you know, can you create a career ladder for people at our company? We actually don't do that. We actually tell them it's your responsibility to create your career ladder.

Tim Masson: It's your responsibility to create the things that you will see and find as motivating and it's our responsibility to support them. So it's really just turning that entire paradigm structurally on its head and kind of doing the opposite of what we've all been trained in the habits that we've all developed.

Tim Masson: Awesome. Yeah. Anything else? Anisa Or Shelley, you want to add to that before we move to the next question? I think we were kind of almost down to the final question here.

Shelley Hull: I am good at the moment 

Anisa Haq: I am good as well. 

Tim Masson: Well, okay. Actually I'm going to go to Lena. So, in the backdrop of this system, how should we advise the executive and C-level suite candidates with respect to potential companies, they might be interested. Okay. So I think the question, I'm not sure if the question is about recruiting other executives or if the question, which we're probably is a little off topic but I think the way I'm going to take the question is you know, let's say you're working in an organization and you're feeling, you know, connected or inspired by some of the things that we've talked about here, how can you use.

Tim Masson: You know, take some of those ideas to senior executives in your company to encourage them to think about these things. What do you team? What would you think if you guys were well? Shelly you worked at another place briefly, recently what would you have done to you know, to try to encourage or open the eyes of the folks you were working with, the senior leaders at your organization?

Tim Masson: And Anisa took a short break from our company and worked at another company and then came back recently as well. So maybe you can help us with that.

Anisa Haq: Yeah, I did. So I had left Raise for a short three months and realized that it wasn't for me and came right back. And so I think, you know, when you're advising executives or C-level suite candidates with respect to potential companies, they might be interested in it. It's very interesting to see.

Anisa Haq: This sort of dynamic versus a non- self-managed environment. And I think that there's a lot of engagement when it comes to recruitment in a self-managed environment, if that makes sense. And so with executives and C-level suites, it's the opportunity, I think, from a self management environment to work on things outside of.

Anisa Haq: You're your own bubble and what you're used to, it's the ability to work on different processes, work with different people, develop different foundations and processes that they might be interested in that they don't even know that they're interested in because they're so used to doing one thing their entire career.

Anisa Haq: If that makes sense, I'm not sure if I answered your question, Lena, if I didn't feel free to rewrite it in the Q/A box, but I hope I was able to answer that. Okay. 

Tim Masson: Shelly. I'm going to go to you quickly, too. I don't know if I'm putting it on the spot, but just having worked somewhere else recently.

Tim Masson: If you were to go back and advise people at that company, or if you've talked to any of them, like what would you say? 

Shelley Hull: And right now it's an interesting conversation as you know, old colleagues reach out. And I try to explain to them, yes, I've gone to a place where I don't have a boss and they, you know, kind of given me this funny look, but I think there are things that as people we typically will seek in the workplace, one is transparency.

Shelley Hull: And the other is that, that piece of autonomy and talking about what the implications of that looked like, and the positive outcomes of that I think is a good place to start the conversation. I use the example when I'm speaking to some former colleagues of, I can actually see the process that went through and determine my role, which is a newly created one.

Shelley Hull: Was established for me to even be able to engage with Raise to become a part of the team. And I don't know anywhere else who would be able to actually see how that happened, like actually in writing and people's comments and feedback around the need or no need for it. So while it might be scary to have that level of transparency, it really does create a trickle down effect of empowerment and you do see a positive impact.

Shelley Hull: Even as you know, I was a former people leader. I led teams and Showing that you can actually spread that decision making and actually having a more collaborative environment actually is a huge positive. And I think people who are feeling the ware of managing people would actually be keen to this

Tim Masson: awesome Shelly. I think Mike, so we're going to wrap up, but is there anything more that you would say, like what would you say to an executive to kind of try to encourage them but moving his direction. 

Michael Leacy: I would say don't be scared of it. I would say embrace it. It is definitely something different from an approach perspective, but the benefits absolutely outs out.

Michael Leacy: If I've taken a look at where our company's gone, when I joined, when Tim really, you started taking over as the CEO of the organization, we started at the same time. We were a very siloed based organization. And the move that we needed to make next was really moving to a more culture based organization.

Michael Leacy: And so we have been constantly evolving, and this is really where we are today with kind of the teal operating system, et cetera. I think it has now really empowered as I mentioned earlier, and as everybody's mentioned, it's empowered our employees. To really take responsibility for their own careers.

Michael Leacy: And again, as the organization to really support our employees. And I think it's important if we support our employees, number one, they will take care of our clients. They will take care of our candidates. And so I think that's the support mechanism that's there. And so to me, moving to this model, it really does.

Michael Leacy: Provide that mechanism for organization to be much more nimbler and much more agile in an ever-changing environment that really the staffing industry becomes.

Tim Masson: Awesome. Okay, cool. And Lena's put in some of her thoughts into the Q/A, which folks can read too. Cause she's got some perspective there, which is awesome. All right, well, amazingly we're just at an hour and we got through almost all the questions. So I'm just going to do one more quick thing to wrap up and folks might be interested in some additional resources if they were going to look at implementing this system.

Tim Masson: So these are some books that are useful. There's a book called the decision-maker, which basically just helps you to structure. Mike mentioned something called the advice process. So without changing to a self managing company, still having managers. The author of this book was able through M&A to grow from a company of 10 employees to a company of a hundred thousand employees.

Tim Masson: They were in the power generation space over like a couple of decades. And so he's got a really simple book. It's kind of one of those business stable books and it kind of teaches you how to implement something called the advice process into your existing organization. And so that will have an immediate benefit around this kind of engagement.

Tim Masson: And connection with folks as Mike mentioned as well and my email is there implementing the feedback process with a book called feedback that works and potentially working with Tim Arnold at leaders for leaders is an amazing, also first step. I didn't include that one. If you want to dig a little deeper into self-management and kind of get into the philosophy and read about other companies that are doing.

Tim Masson: There's a book that covers 12 different companies that are doing this really inspiring called reinventing organizations. I would highly recommend the illustrated version, which I know sounds silly, but it's still packed with. And it's really beautiful. And it's not over the top in terms of the textbook version is a bit much, I think for most folks and really all the content is there in the illustrated version.

Tim Masson: So I would really recommend that. If you're at that point where as an organization, you are going to do a full implementation and rollout. We, I wish we had this book Building a system that works almost exactly the same way as is suggested in the book, Brave New Work. And they talk about the 12 areas of your business that you need to adapt in order to make this functional and kind give you steps for how to pick which area to start with and how to move through it all.

Tim Masson: And lastly you know, I think you can see that we're really passionate about this as an organization. I'm personally, extremely passionate about this. I see. You know, connected to my sense of purpose and calling, and I really want in our industry to help. Expand this model so that more people can feel like their work is meaningful and connected.

Tim Masson: And I have a model for ownership, transitions, and exits, that's connected to employees moving into employee ownership and supported by our company. That I am sort of putting myself out there and making myself available to talk with owners around you know, both financing, those kinds of transitions, and then also help giving the transitional support to help employees learn how to lead and manage the business for them.

Tim Masson: So, if you are an owner or a CEO, that's looking to move further. I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to spend some time with you and we can just have a chat for an hour. So reach out to me at and let's build a movement of employee ownership and self-management in our industry.

Tim Masson: Thanks so much guys, and have a great conference. 

Michael Leacy: Thanks everyone. Thank you.


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Tim Masson

Shelley Hull

Michael Leacy

Anisa Haq




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