Leading without structure
Every team need guidance. The idea is that with enough time the bus factor will be equal to the size of the team, but in my experience, until reach the tipping point someone has to do the dirty job.
In a company with a hierarchy, the position that some people fill in the ladder can help to do the job. However, in a company with a flat structure, where everybody has the same weight over the paper, what make a difference are the implicit dynamics of power. However, the people with more implicit power could not be interested in being glue or is not adequate, whatever be the reason, for that position.
The question, then, is how to change those dynamics allowing people that want to help the team have the power to do it. Let's assume you are in that position. What can you do?
From my point of view, you need two things:
- Increase your sphere of influence - A broad vision
A sphere of influence is important as long as you need to involve other people. Luckily, there are a bunch of things that are inside your span of control and that you can do alone. The good news is that those things can help you to extend your sphere of influence. Nevertheless, you still need to invest in creating strong relationship, base on trust and honesty, with your mates.
Gather a broad vision means stop writing code or at least choose very well what deserve your time and what can be done by the people not trying being glue. You will use this extra time checking code, going to meetings, writing documents, researching everything that call your attention, etc.
Probably I am overlooking a good bunch of things, but I think this is a good start.