The Road to Super Flat Organization #4 : First Open or First Flat?

“With what should we start?”

It is a FAQ from managers and leaders who want to install an “Open and Flat” ideology in their organizations.

First, Open


The conclusion is this: the importance of an “Open” culture is ten times more important than a flat organization, and it should be the first step to start.

Moreover, I would say that Super Flat Organization begins and ends with openness.


I talked about the importance of openness in an organization and the necessary steps to make changes in “#2: Explaining “Why” Before the Change”

Things to disclose


Ultimately, it is everything. However, I will show you the list of things you should disclose.


Things you MUST open up

You must let everyone know what your company is thinking regarding its activities, and the results, namely, figures.


-Output of managers’ key concepts on company culture, vision, strategies, etc.

-Income statement and balance sheet (PL / BS) of the company and each business


By doing this, everyone will learn about their situations and positions of their company in the market.
In other words, everyone can share the same starting point, that is to understand the current situation.



Things you SHOULD open up

You should also disclose money issues as much as possible.


-Expenses including transportation fee

-Salary and evaluation


Many told me that they feel this challenging, but this will increase fairness and boost individual growth.

I wrote about why an open-salary system will help individual growth in another article:

How Much Do They Get Paid? This is Why Everyone Should Know That/

When Flat?


When your work environment is open, you will find it easier to spot meaningless activities (such as long, redundant reporting orders or documents for reporting) in your organization.

When you came to realize them, you will start removing the hierarchies.


For example, we abolished the supervisory officer system in 2011 at ISAO (Colorkrew at that time).

In the system, managers such as myself supervised the department leaders.


As the openness in the organization prevailed, I realized the roles of managers and department leaders overlap.
Therefore, we decided all managers should have the role of a department leader.


Afterward, the same thing happened with department leaders and group leaders, so I integrated them into department leaders.


The key is this: First, to keep considering and seeking the best organization for the present situation. Then, according to the result, reforming the organization instead of preserving it.



I hope this helped you to visualize the flow of how openness is encouraged, communication is changed, and the organization is improved.


Continued to: The Road to Super Flat Organization #5: What Happened at the Exact Moment of Super Flat