Every company has its stories, the ones that are first shared during onboarding and form the building blocks of what an organization values. For Table XI, part of that story was a literal table, a scratched-up old wooden one that seated six, taken from our founder Josh Golden’s old apartment. In early days, TXIers would sit around that table with wine and Thai food after hours, hashing out company goals and decisions collectively.
Of course, as the company grew, there were points where we needed different structures to help us get where we wanted to go. We adopted EOS to guide company goals and priorities, grew the leadership team to encompass more roles and points of view, and organized our practices and practitioners in different ways. But one thing held true for 19 years: TXI, like that old wood table, was flat.
Flatness seemed to work for TXI for a while. When the company was just a couple dozen people, most from similar backgrounds and levels of privilege, and everyone knew one another well and worked from a central office in Chicago, the idea of creating a hierarchy felt artificial and unnecessary. It felt more like a burden or a barrier than support. But by the time I joined the leadership team two years ago, I had a hunch that flat wasn’t working as well as it needed to anymore.