I’m proud to report that my first article on Huffington Post is live! A huge thanks to my friends at the Great Work Cultures tribe for including me in their initiative. I hope you enjoy this piece on the future of work and self-management.
When I was doing the research for my book, Igniting the Invisible Tribe, I stumbled across an article by Gary Hamel called “First, Let’s Fire All The Managers.” Released by Harvard Business Review in December of 2011 about a California-based tomato processing company called Morning Star, I found the idea of an organization “self-managing” itself to be fascinating, compelling — and frankly, confusing as hell.
How in the world could an organization work without leaders!? It seemed absurd.
But it clearly… wasn’t. Morning Star was apparently a very successful organization where hundreds (in peak-tomato season, thousands) of people work. They’re the world’s largest tomato processor; or in other words, you’ve almost certainly eaten their product. They claim revenues over $700 million per year. And they’ve been working this way for over two decades.
What’s going on here? Perhaps more importantly, if traditional “management” is as grossly inefficient as Hamel suggests in the above-mentioned article, why hasn’t self-management caught on?
Here are three reasons why “self-management” principles haven’t yet taken hold as a viable organizational structure… and why they will, (very) soon…