With agile going mainstream more and more entrepreneurs, are looking for new ways to organize their company.
When a company goes agile, it has an impact on the company culture.
Some of the smart managers I coach, ask me:

  • what’s next?
  • where can I look for examples of companies that don’t work the traditional way?

This is a list of books & documents about companies that are working in a less traditional way.

Although not a book (yet), the most amazing company I know is /UT7. read the /UT7 story at Infoq
nothe rblogpost about how Buffer works as a Distributed company

If you are not in a mood for reading, you might want to watch this video about how open source projects survive poisonous people

Scott Berkun also wrote an interesting book about the year he worked at WordPress
The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work

Update 2:
In the year 2014, I want to learn by doing. I would like to join companies with creative (aka non standard structures or ways of working) and help them a week or so. (If they work distributed maybe even longer)

Yves lots of people don’t have the time to read these books. True, will you give me links to articles about these and other companies in the comments?



19 Responses to “7 books with stories about innovative company structures”

  1. yhanoulle says:

    I just found a new one that looks interesting: Remote (Office not required) http://37signals.com/remote

  2. First, Let’s Fire All the Managers
    by Gary Hamel http://hbr.org/2011/12/first-lets-fire-all-the-managers Story about Morning Star. Can send you the pdf (contact me via email).

    “4 tactics to change from directive leadership to a self-correcting organisation” by Joris Luijke, Head of Global HR/Talent team at Atlassian (31.10.2012, http://www.managementexchange.com/story/%22traditional-management%22-%22trust-management%22 )

  3. Tom says:

    Hey Yves,

    You shoul add github as well: their motto is: “optimize for happiness”: automate or remove all the boring work & friction…

    More detail here:

  4. Hi Yves,

    Jimdo (Hamburg/Germany) certainly is an example for a very different company culture. You might read through their founder’s blog a bit here http://www.3founders.com/deutsch/archiv-2012/ (german), watch a video about their FeelGood-Manager here http://vimeo.com/53967812 (german), or a video about their analog+digital Kanban wall here http://vimeo.com/43397424 (english). Or just come around next time you’re in Hamburg… 😉

  5. Mark Kilby says:

    Also look at Rally’s Agile Business book at http://www.rallydev.com/agile-business-book

    I just wrote a blog post that gives a bit more background on the book. http://mckilby.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/successful-agile-transformations-come-in-3s/

  6. one company I left out of this list is CRISP.

    They have a ton of blog post of how they organise themselves. one of “recent” decisions they have taken, is to remove the CEO role.


  7. http://dna.crisp.se/ is another example of a non traditional org design. This one is consulting house

  8. yhanoulle says:

    thank you Alexey, the crisp example is indeed something that belongs here.

  9. Did you know there is a book about a non-traditional way of organizing back-offices at ING? Lean operational management combined with small autonomous teams, and flexibility in stead of queueing to cope with fluctuation. Here is the link:


    I’m the autor.
    Menno van Dijk.

  10. yhanoulle says:

    Hi Menno,

    NO I did not know.

    Thanks for telling me, I will for sure buy it. On this link it says there is no digital version.
    Do you know if it exist or they will ever make it?


  11. next to the book of ricardo, you can also start by watching this video.


  12. Thijs D'hulster says:

    Hi Yves,
    you should definitely check out the Buffer culture : their values are inspiring https://open.buffer.com/buffer-values/ but the blog in general is worth following