08: A New Transformative Way of Leadership

Primary tabs

Doug Kirkpatrick – Self Management in the Workplace
In this episode, Doug Kirkpatrick talks about the implementation and structure of a self-managed organization. Doug Kirkpatrick is the author of Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization. Doug is an organizational change consultant, TEDx and keynote speaker, executive coach, writer and educator. He holds degrees in economics and law and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources with the Society for Human Resource Management. He currently serves as Director for the Association for Talent Development. Doug played the first season of his business career in the manufacturing sector, principally with The Morning Star Company of Sacramento, California, a world leader in the food industry, as a financial controller and administrator. He now engages with The Morning Star Self-Management Institute and other vibrant organizations and leaders to co-create the future of management.

HR Studio Podcast QuoteKey Learnings From This Episode

  • Morning Star Contract
    • Human beings should not use force or coercion against other human beings. That is the foundation of law everywhere in the world. Every law against assault and battery, theft, burglary, kidnapping and murder are predicated on this principal.
    • People should honor the commitments they make to each other. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This principal is also foundational to law.
  • Keeping track of day to day things: There needs to be some coordination mechanisms in place. Employees develop a Colleague Letter of Understanding which involves individual peers working out their personal mission statements so they have an overall organization mission statement.
  • Stepping Stones: The concept of performance metrics in Morning Star is known as Stepping Stones. Stepping Stones are performance measures in graphs showing trends that are published transparently across the enterprise so everyone can see the performance of any given process at any given time.
  • How to be successful in a self-managed organization:
    • Take initiative: It’s important to be able to take initiative and be proactive in the workplace. If you’re going to be an effective self-manager you have got to be able to summon energy and take initiative. It’s not about doing things without talking to people. It means identifying opportunities and proactively identifying threats, problems and obstacles and summoning the energy to speak up and take action to initiate things and move forward.
    • Have tolerance for ambiguity: When you don’t have a pyramid and chain of command it’s messy. You have to figure out who your stakeholders are in your particular role and work out agreements with them and renegotiate agreements with them when required.
    • Be mindful, conscience and present: Have perseverance and grit. Being able to be in the moment and to deal with life in the workplace as it comes, and be present is really important.
    • Have a contribution mindset. In Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive he said it’s key that people seek out opportunities to contribute value to their fellow colleagues.
  • How does an organization transform from hierarchy to self-managed? It starts with the intent of the person who has the ability to initiate this kind of strategic direction (such as the CEO). Once the intent is formed it’s a matter of involving all the stakeholders.

“No manager tells you what to wear in the morning, or what movies to go to, or what colors socks to wear, or where to go to college or where to live or anything else…people figure that stuff out for themselves. Everyone is a self-manager.”

Recommended Reading and References From this Episode

To Follow Doug Kirkpatrick

Doug’s Question to HR Studio Podcast Group Members

Doug Kirkpatrick HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Doug Kirkpatrick HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Monday, June 27, 2016 - 8:00am
Kyle O'Connor
Doug Kirkpatrick
HR Studio Podcast