Embracing leadership and devolving it to the employee, allowing them to manage themselves seems a very 21st Century way.
But can people organise themselves, really? Without management?
In the past few weeks, I have been noticing more and more examples of where organisations have removed ‘management’ – i.e. compliance, control, risk, etc.
The first time I really thought of this concept was in 2000 when I visited DPR Construction in San Francisco as part of a service excellence bench-marking trip. I recall being blown away by their flat non-hierarchical structure.
As a fortune top 100 company, DPR gathered the best teams around each project and the team appointed the leader for that time. Once the project had completed, the team would dis-band and new teams would form around new projects, always with the most appropriate leader being appointed.
There are many more examples I have come across in the last twelve years, recently picking up with Dr Paul Thomas who was featured on a BBC programme called ‘Ban the Boss“. His work revolves around a mission to rid the workplace of management. Not managers, I stress. Just management as a concept.
In the programme, Paul visits Blaenau Gwent Council and works with three different departments in refuse collection. It is an interesting programme, stretching my ideas and beliefs beyond where they would normally go! I won’t spoil the show for you, but let you have a look when you have some time to spare…
And just the other day I had one of those most wonderful moments on Twitter when someone shows you something so simple, yet so powerful in it’s message.
I had recently put a Poll on LinkedIn, asking “If you could elect the senior leaders in your organisation, how many would remain in their post?“. As an aside, 57% of respondents have so far said only ‘some’!
As a result of this poll, someone from Monmouthshire Council sent me this video, which I simply love. Watch it right up until the end and please let me know what you think of it.