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The End of Hierarchy: Natural Leadership at W.L. Gore

MIX co-founder Gary Hamel’s conversation with Terri Kelly, president and CEO of W.L. Gore on the celebrated company's long-running experiment in natural leadership and managing without managers.

The 54-year-old maker of Gore-Tex high performance fabrics and some thousand other products—from Elixir guitar strings to Glide dental floss—employs more than 10,000 people in some fifty locations and is consistently ranked one of the best places to work and among the most innovative companies in the world.

At its heart is a management model that’s been ahead of it’s time for more than half a century. Bill Gore set out to build a company that was innovative at its core—and human to its core. In this conversation, Gary and Terri unpack the progressive principles and radical practices at the heart of W.L. Gore’s culture of innovation. How do you transcend the tradeoff between freedom and control? How do you distribute the work of management and build leadership capability across the entire organization? How do you make productive, collaborative decisions? And how do you measure and reward contribution in a peer-regulated organization? 

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alkaly-mohamed-conde's picture

What an enriching style of management!

maryann-farrugia's picture

Well i think in a business you don't need a hierarchy anymore because its just a title of course there a boss but this hierarchy sometimes affects people and work. Sometimes people will feel jealous or will feel why is this person ordering me etc.

Maryann Farrugia (OBP Management)