Morning Star is one of the world’s leading processors of tomatoes—and one of the most progressive models of a self-managed enterprise we’ve seen. The company was founded in 1970 with a distinct philosophy: people are most productive, creative and happy when they have personal control over their own lives. And the best organizations are those in which people are not managed by directive from above but when coordination happens among peers who manage their own relationships and commitments. And, seemingly impossibly, they’ve built a company to bring that philosophy to life: no bosses, no titles, no job descriptions, and a sweeping scope of authority when it comes to making decisions (about hiring, how to spend the company’s money, what direction to take).
Hear Paul, the co-founder of the Self-Management Institute and, until recently, Morning Star’s head of development, describe the company’s extraordinary—and extraordinarily effective—approach to replacing manager-management with peer- and self-management. It’s a dynamic, inventive, productive, and deeply human approach to structuring and managing work—and a powerful alternative to the standard operating system of bureaucracy.