Presentation: Breaking Hierarchy - How Spotify Enables Engineer Decision Making

Track: Human Systems: Hacking the Org

Location: Empire Complex, 7th fl.

Duration: 2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week: Monday

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In more hierarchical organizations, innovation and decision-making is something that traditionally happens at the top of the hierarchy and the lower levels of the org is focused on execution. Management owns a large part of the decision-making process, and engineers are largely there to execute on the direction set. There are however other ways.

In this talk, I will share how we approach the problem of fully leveraging the capacity of everyone in the organization. Spotify has made some significant efforts around how we position our engineers equal to managers, how we drive technical strategy and make decisions at scale. You will learn about useful models for structures and decision making, and hear several specific examples of how we approach leveraging the fully capacity of every individual.

In this session, you will learn

  • Several useful models for how to approach decision making at scale.
  • How Spotify leverages a decision-making framework to enable people to effectively argue what to do and how
  • Why and how to engage individual contributors in strategy
  • How to reorganize a team in a highly inclusive manner

Speaker: Kristian Lindwall

Site Lead Engineering, San Francisco @Spotify

Find Kristian Lindwall at


Monday, 24 June

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