The Corporate Rebels Handbook Series: Roles and Responsibilities

Pim de Morree
Written by Pim de Morree March 15, 2023

This post is part of an ongoing series that gives you an insider’s look at the Corporate Rebels company handbook. If you’re new to this series, we suggest that reading the quick intro post explains why we’re doing this—and what to expect. In today’s post: how we distribute our work into roles and responsibilities.

At Corporate Rebels, we don’t work with fixed job descriptions—it simply doesn’t work well for a dynamic company like ours. Plus, fixed job descriptions are a poor way for people to discover and develop their talents. And that’s definitely one thing we want to avoid.

Roles and responsibilities

Rather than constraining our team members with the boundaries of fixed job descriptions, we choose to distribute work into roles and responsibilities.

In this system, people can pick up available roles and construct their own ideal jobs. Furthermore, you don’t have to be limited to just one role in the company. For example, you can pick up the “finance lead” role and combine it with “social media lead” and “content creator”. Whatever floats your boat!

And here’s the best part: These roles are not permanent if you don’t want them to be. You can change your roles over time. So, if your interests change, your roles can change with them. Simply pick up different roles in areas you’d like to develop yourself within.

Our roles can be viewed in our company’s Peerdom account. This tool enables our team to visualize the available roles and keep track of who picks up what—otherwise, things could get a little chaotic.

Distributing work via roles and responsibilities is actually much simpler than trying to pin down a whole list of roles and responsibilities within a fixed job description.
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Creating, changing, and deleting roles

Of course, roles and responsibilities are not a free-for-all; there have to be some boundaries for how and when roles can be changed. It’s not like you can just log on each day and click on something you want to do.

So, each month, during Rebel Day (more on that in a future post), we provide the opportunity to propose new roles and change or delete existing ones. You can also use this opportunity to propose leaving or picking up specific roles.

But this is important: when defining a new role (or changing an existing one), consider these two key aspects:

  • The purpose of the role

  • The main responsibilities of the role

The process of changing or adding roles during Rebel Day is as follows:

  • Proposal

  • Clarifying questions

  • Reaction round

  • Amend & clarify

  • Objection round

  • Integration

Once a person has made it through this process with their peers, it’s full speed ahead. The person who changed roles is responsible for updating the role in Peerdom, but after that, it’s all in place and official.

Radically simple

We’ve written plenty about this topic over the years, but the condensed version is this: we believe fixed job descriptions create unnecessary boundaries for employees, restricting them to specific roles that others may be better at (or more interested in) while preventing them from taking on roles they can thrive in—or simply learn more about for their own growth (something that benefits both the employee and the organization in the long-term).

Distributing work via roles and responsibilities is actually much simpler than trying to pin down a whole list of roles and responsibilities within a fixed job description and then having to constantly update them as time goes on or as turnover occurs.

In nearly every case, fixed job descriptions approach work backward and make things more complicated than they need to be.

Alright! That’s it for now. See you in the next post of this series: Decision-Making.

Written by Pim de Morree
Pim de Morree
As co-founder of Corporate Rebels I focus on: researching, writing, speaking, and building our company.
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