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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Danish Flat Hierarchy: Help or Hassle? | Leadership - Entrepreneur

Jonas Gyalokay, CEO and co-founder at Airtame insist, Office perfection or idealism gone mad? Unpacking the Danish mentality and flat hierarchy.

Photo: graphicstock

A recent study by World Economic Forum's called Global Competitiveness Report 2018, indicates that Denmark has the flattest work hierarchy in the world, beating 139 other countries.

WEF's report calls it a "willingness to delegate authority," and while that sounds like a good thing for most companies, it comes with a downside, too. As the CEO of Danish-based company, I want to explore what this means in practice, how we handle hierarchy across multiple offices and our method for direct feedback and communication.

Airtame is a Danish tech startup that produces a wireless HDMI solution for professional settings. Our headquarters is situated in Copenhagen. We also have an office in Brooklyn, California and remote workers globally. In total, we're more than 90 employees.

The Danish mentality 
A flat hierarchy or management structure means that employees are more likely to take things up directly with the CEO or manager in charge. It's about creating a space where everyone, no matter how junior their role is, may speak and offer their ideas, and maybe even criticisms.

This Danish mentality might stem from the progressive socialism we have within the fibers of Denmark and the more relaxed approach to corporate working. Here, we call each other and our boss by their first name, we discuss executive decisions together and encourage family time. In sum, a solid work-life balance is a fundamental lifeblood to success here...

The pros of having a flat hierarchy 
One of the first things you'll notice if you're working in a flat working hierarchy, such as what most Danish companies provide (or at least attempt to), is that employees feel empowered, no matter what their job title or position is. If you aren't allowed to speak up and express your opinions, then why should you care about the decisions made?

Instead, the open and flat structure invites all employees to contribute, and that makes them more productive and creative. With an all-hands approach to work culture, everyone is pitching in and contributing into building it, and it stems from having wider team meetings and an open questioning policy.

Source: Entrepreneur