Inspired by Spotify’s squads and Atlasssian’s Ship-it day we let 90 people choose what they wanted to work on and who they wanted to work with. Through telling the story of Trade Me, New Zealand’s biggest ecommerce platform, we will demonstrate how good leadership can inspire and empower people using a scalable self-selection process along with a vision for an exciting picture of the future.

Flying in the face of conventional wisdom and traditional management practices a middle manager and an Agile coach didn’t ask for permission, and removed significant obstacles and constraints to successfully form 18 self-chosen, fully skilled squads.

In this session we will show how we facilitated self-organisation on a scale we don’t believe has been done before, what we had to go through to convince people that this was a good idea, how we learned how to visualise the process and dealt with brilliant people as well as a few difficult people!

We will describe how we had the exciting opportunity to observe and partake in a social experiment where people made decisions on the fly and stayed true to our values of being trusted, straight up and to grow great people.

All Agile teams self-organise but we took the principles to a whole other level and created the self-organising organisation.

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