BOSSA Nova: A Synthesis of Management Concepts

This article is the fifth and final article in a planned series prepared from our new book: Company-Wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy. The first four articles summarized each of the BOSSA nova core values: Self Organization, Transparency, Constant Customer Focus, and Continuous Learning. This article summarizes the four values. We would like to turn it into a poster for hanging on an office wall:

Self-organization: Use accountable cross-functional teams that select themselves and follow their passion with responsibility.

  • Use accountable cross-functional teams
  • At different levels of abstraction
  • With a common aim (meaning clear purpose, measures, and targets) that
  • Govern through shared values and ideals not through rules.


  • Select themselves (for a meaningful duration),
  • Follow their passion with responsibility for whole and meaningful pieces of work, and
  • Hold retrospectives and align them across the enterprise to optimize the whole.

Transparency: Create transparency for all involved in two directions by providing information and lowering the barriers to those seeking information:

  • Provide information
  • On progress and delivery related to common aim;

Lower barriers

  • To information needed for
  • Making informed decisions
  • Self-regulation, innovation, and learning.

Constant Customer Focus: “Focus wide” on every aspect of the company: product & process, structure and strategy, and individual contributions and people.

Product & Process

  • Common aim as, for example, summarized in a minimum viable product;
  • Narratives capturing the ideas of personas in user stories;
  • Feedback on each production step as, for example, made transparent by a value stream analysis.

Structure & Strategy

  • Includes owners (shareholders),
  • Value centers & support service teams,
  • Rolling forecasting.

Individual contributions / people

  • Passion bounded by responsibility guides contribution,
  • Relative individual objectives not fixed ones.

Continuous Learning: Always learn and contribute to others’ learning, get feedback and adapt.


  • Learning / contributing to others learning guides all work.

Get Feedback,

  • Retrospectives,
  • Role improvement reviews with peer feedback,
  • Individual objectives separated from bonuses.

And Adapt

  • Your plans as you develop (where development equals learning / training, teaching, researching in interaction with your aim.