Running a large firm without managers
The Morning Star Company, which handles 40 percent of California's processed tomato crop, is the largest tomato processing company in the world. That's impressive, but the most unique thing about Morning Star is that it has no managers. Instead, Morning Star embraces an approach they call "self-management." As Paul Green, Jr. of Morning Star's Self-Management Institute puts it: "Self-management is, at a very very high level, exactly the way you live when you go home from work. We just ask you to keep that hat on when you come to work at Morning Star.
"In our everyday lives, we don't have bosses telling us which careers or hobbies to pursue. If we want to purchase a car or a home, we don't have to get permission. Sure, we consult with friends and family before making important decisions, but as long as we're prepared to take responsibility for our choices, we're free to do what we want."
Employees decide how their skill sets can best help Morning Star succeed and then develop their own lists of roles and responsibilities in collaboration with their colleagues. If Morning Star employees want to purchase new equipment, they don't ask managers for permission. Rather, they discuss potential purchases with colleagues who will be affected by the purchase and, if others with expertise support the decision, they simply buy what they need. There is no R&D department at Morning Star. There are, however, strong incentives for every employee to innovate. Workers who successfully innovate don't receive new titles. They earn the respect of their colleagues in addition to financial compensation.