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Running a Team in an Open Organisation – A Case of Mailjet Project

Established after Officience switched to open organisational model, “Mailjet team” is an autonomous team with no manager. By applying this system, we hope project staffs would be responsible for and go extra mile with their tasks. This story of Mailjet team explains operation of the team and how self-management liberates and brings happiness to all support angels.

Mailjet – The Team and The Principles

At Officience, we are a team of 6 people working on a project named Mailjet as customer support angels. “Mailjet is an all-in-one solution to create, send and optimise both marketing and transactional emails. Its cloud-based infrastructure is unique and highly scalable. A proprietary technology optimises the deliverability of the messages” (Mailjet, 2015). Operated since December 2013, our team is the first line support aiming to resolve queries from Mailjet’s customers and to provide first-class customer experience.

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At Mailjet Vietnam, we advocate innovations and self-management. We encourage people to push their comfort zone by actively taking on new opportunities. You can yearn for new knowledge and skills by joining activities that you are interested in. Nevertheless, to ensure the quality of deliverables at the end of the day, we set up our team on three principles: Trust – Shared Responsibility – Open Learning Environment.

Trust comes first

Top-down management is fading out and is replaced by no-manager model; anyone at Mailjet can be a leader and is responsible for his/her own career path. Such autonomy can only exist if people within the community have mutual trust, which means former managers trust their team members in their engagement activities and quality of work. As an angel at Mailjet Vietnam, you are trusted to do everything: adjusting recruitment process, managing your work schedule, or working with clients on new mission or team’s performance. The results so far have been promising with the scale-up of projects, more efficient communications, and fewer layers of management.

Shared responsibility

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Having no managers means there is no one to take responsibilities when something goes wrong, but it also implies that no one can take credit for the success of the project. Everything is shared among the Mailjet team based on the concept of ‘collective contribution’.

Open learning environment

This principle applies not only to the Mailjet project but to Officience generally. We want Offies (i.e. people working at Officience) to be successful with their career and to be happy when coming to the office. This vision can only be attained if one is in his/her element – working in something that he/she loves and is good at. We build our company that is not only open in terms of hierarchy, but also open for new horizons. We build a community in which you can meet people having same causes and sharing the same interests; and when those ideas meet, a brilliance scratches the surface. Working in projects that you love – Innovating ideas you are interested in – Pursuing the path you desire – Taking control of your life; those are values at Officience and what we hope Offies can feel in their veins.

The Old-fashioned Managers & The Newborn Coaches

What happened to the ex-managers? How could they be convinced to give their power up?

We don’t have managers, but we do have leaders. The roles are changed in this organisational structure. They are not the ones to take blame or compliment anymore. Instead, facilitating mode is on. At any blocking points, regardless of professional or personal issues, our coaches are there to seek advices and to share sincere feelings. No control over the team also allows more time for them to fulfil their role as Engagers. They are evangelists, business development specialists of Officience.

Over a year of establishment might not be long enough to justify the success of a model, but day after day, it builds up a belief in us. We enjoy going to work and learn something new everyday. At the end of the day, looking at the mirror, we see a happy reflection of us, little older, little wiser. Together as members of Officience tribe, we together are building a study as the first organisation in Vietnam to apply No-manager model. Let the evolution begin!

by Khanh NGO

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