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Monday, December 3, 2012

What Matters Now: Post #10--Ideology

Ideology Morning Star
Managing Without Hierarchy: Morning Star—This company is the world’s biggest processor of tomatoes and has one of the most innovative management models. Morning Star has a self-managing model (ideology), one with no directives from others and no supervisors. All employees submit their Colleague Letter of Understanding (CLOU) detailing what they must do individually to fulfill their personal missions in the company. Employees negotiate their agreements with people they interact with and include activities and performance metrics. Business Units also negotiate the same sort of CLOU with other units. Organizations are a complex web of relationships and at Morning Star, the CEO, Chris Rufer, believes that his company is stronger by making those relationships more bottom up and sideways (peer oriented) than top-down. Morning Star employs an open requisition system where employees can buy the equipment they need and are responsible to colleagues for what they bought and why. This system rests on the basic assumption: The best person to solve a problem is the one closest to it. Morning Star fosters competition for impact, not promotion (no career ladders here). People are free to: succeed (pursue their own path); have clear targets and transparent data (common data and personal metrics); calculate and consult (spend $ based on a personal business plan); manage conflict resolution and due process (mediate their issues with someone else, including a peer mediator); use peer reviews (freedom and responsibility to peers); elect compensation committees (like law firms deciding on partner comp). Such self-management leads to more initiative, expertise, flexibility, collegiality, judgment, loyalty and so much more. [See p. 229 about how to get started on this path of self-management.] Some quick steps: 1) everyone writes down their mission statement—how will they contribute to the success of their colleagues; 2) expand employee autonomy…what rules, policies, and procedures can be changed to help you succeed in your mission to help others; 3) develop a team P&L with transparent numbers; 4) remove distinctions between managers and those “managed.”

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