Want to grow your organisation and enliven and engage your workforce?
Do you understand the real purpose of your organisation? Do you even think it has a purpose?
Perhaps you are looking to increase resilience and flexibility or tap in to that under-utilised potential in your fellow workers?
Maybe you'd like to go further and ensure that what you have built is maintained and future-proofed by the very people that run it?
Below are some companies who have broken the rules and achieved some or all of the above. They have also profited handsomely in many ways by doing so.
Each organisation has a link on it's name if the organisation is still up and running. As time allows I'll be adding more information on each, right now you may need to dig around to find what is exceptional about each of these organisations.
I hope you find their stories inspiring.
Based: Arlington, Virginia - USA and worldwide
Does: Electricity provider
Dennis Bakke and Roger Sant started consulting firm Applied Energy Services (AES) in 1981, in Arlington, Virginia, in a very classic and heavily industrial line of business. AES built and operated thermal and hydroelectric power generation systems, as well as electrical grids. Within ten years, the company had built power plants in 29 countries, joined the Fortune 200, and grown their employee base from 1,400 to 50,000.
Source: Reinventing Organizations - Frederic Laloux 2014)
Bakke and Sant have since left the company and it is not clear if their successors have maintained a self-management structure.
Based: São Paulo – Brazil
Does: Tin can manufacture
Based: Eindhoven - Netherlands
Did: IT support
Notes: BSO/Origin merged with two French companies in 1997 to become ATOS Origin, now ATOS
Does: Social media management
Based: Almelo - Netherlands (also Japan, Sweden and USA)
Does: Healthcare provider
Buurtzorg grew from 4 nurses in 2006 it to nearly 8,000 nurses in 2014 whilst savings the Dutch health care system roughly 40 percent in costs. More >>
Based: Berlin - Germany
Based: Hallencourt - France
Does: Design, optimize, die-cast, machine and assemble parts for the automotive industry
Based: Toronto - Canada
Does: Job Applicant Tracking System
Based: Sheffield - UK with subsidiaries worldwide.
Does: Wire connector manufacture
Based: London - UK
Does: IT and Computer training courses
Based: Bangalore - India
Does: Software development and outsourcing
Based: Spring City, Pennsylvania - USA
Does: A complete system for self-organisation
Based: Bournemouth - UK
Does: Design and manufacture of man-machine interfaces for land, sea and air applications
Based: California - USA
Does: Tomato processing
Morning Star started with two, simple principles.
These two simple principles evolved into a template for conduct within Morning Star.
Morning Star have also set up an Institute to train their colleagues (employees) and also others who are interested in the concept. This is another hallmark of self-managed organisations; most are happy to share their success.
They also provide a useful guide to some of the misconceptions surrounding self-management.
Based: Ventura, California - USA
Does: Outdoor clothing and gear
Based: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - USA
Does: Diversified human services
Based: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire - UK
Does: Chemical company
Notes: In 1951, the Founder, Ernest Bader and his family, gifted the company to the workers. The shares of the company were transferred to Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, thereby creating a common trusteeship company.
Based: São Paulo – Brazil
Does: Engineering and Engineering services
Based: Louisville, Colorado - USA
Does: Multimedia publishing company
Based: Leeds - UK
Does: Wholefood distributors
Based: Sarasota, Florida - USA
Does: Designer and manufacturer of high-performance screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds
Based: Newark, New Jersey - USA
Does: Polymers, textiles (Gore-Tex) and electrical products
Based: Las Vegas, Nevada - USA
Does: Online shoe retailer
Based: A Coruña, Galicia - Spain and worldwide
Does: Clothing and accessories designer, manufacturer and retailer