Unboss | Jacob Bøtter

Summary of: Unboss
By: Jacob Bøtter


In the era of social media and evolving workplaces, hierarchical management is fading, creating the need for a new approach known as ‘unboss’. This concept challenges the outdated norms of organizations and emphasizes the importance of a shared sense of purpose among employees, managers, and stakeholders. In the book ‘Unboss’, Jacob Bøtter explains how to transform conventional companies into network-based organizations that thrive on innovation, collaboration, and transparency. This summary will guide you through this revolutionary approach showing how to redefine profit, create value, and build a purpose-driven organization that thrives in today’s dynamic world.

The Unbossed Company

The book challenges traditional management concepts and argues that companies must evolve to meet changing times. In an age where individuality and innovation are prized, hierarchical management with departmental silos can hinder progress and limit satisfaction for employees. Companies need to prioritize a sense of purpose over profits and create a culture of collaboration and shared values, involving managers and employees alike. The legacy of Frederick Taylor’s scientific management model, which emphasizes specialization, is no longer viable in a knowledge-driven economy. To thrive, companies must embrace a new model of an “unbossed” company, focused on common goals and shared values.

Building Strong Networks

Modern organizations need to operate as networks that involve employees, suppliers, and contractors. To attract collaborators, such as customers and vendors, businesses must have a clear purpose. In the past, the idea of partnering with customers was unheard of, but social media has made it a necessity for success. Business schools still teach outdated tactics, while financial metrics are the only measure of success for many companies. To thrive in today’s market, businesses must start viewing their customers as allies and work to build strong networks.

Embracing the Unboss Approach

In order for organizations to thrive in today’s knowledge-based world, they must discard old hierarchical concepts and embrace innovative ideas network-wide. The “unboss” approach, which promotes purpose over profit and encourages innovation, can help save organizations that face extinction. An unboss is a team member who empowers employees to make decisions, creates trusting relationships, and shuns the symbols that traditionally set leaders apart from their employees. By accepting the unboss viewpoint, organizations can transform into social institutions with a purpose that attracts loyalty from all stakeholders. In an unbossed organization, employees have the freedom to decide where they should work and are motivated by a belief in what they do.

Creating Value for a Purpose-Driven Organization

This book emphasizes on the importance of creating value that aligns with a company’s purpose. Companies that are focused on profit have lost connection with their core values. Generating value attracts talented professionals who are interested in contributing more than just money. The book recommends using the “obituary test” to evaluate a company’s contribution to the world, its employees, customers, and stakeholders. Purpose-driven organizations are more likely to succeed in attracting both customers and employees who share the same values. The book emphasizes making a positive impact on stakeholders to create a valuable brand.

Unbossed: The New Way of Working

The traditional hierarchical structure of management is no longer effective in today’s knowledge-based firms. Unbossed organizations operate through projects, allowing employees to participate as professionals and providing them with guides and mentors of their choice. The role of middle managers has been replaced by team leaders who are more in tune with the company’s strategy and the needs of their teams. However, both face outdated management practices that do not align with the mindset of modern employees. Unbossed organizations bring purpose and inspire movements, as seen with Apple’s success. By organizing work as projects, these companies encourage innovation, flexibility, and creativity, resulting in more engaged and motivated employees.

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