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Doug Kirkpatrick on Self-Management, Professional Growth and Great Cultures

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In this Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Doug Kirkpatrick at the Agile People conference in Stockholm, Sweden, about what self-management actually means for the people in an organisation.

Key Takeaways

  • Self-management enables everyone in the organisation to thrive and do their best work
  • It’s not about layers of control, rather it’s dense networks of committed self-managers guided by a clear set of principles
  • It’s the responsibility of each self-manager to guide their own career
  • Decision rights come down to who is the best person to make that particular decision
  • Great organisation culture is one where people are happy, free to do their best work, engaged in high levels of good, effective collaboration and are able to contribute to the world

Show Notes

  • 00:28 Introductions
  • 00:46 Self-management enables everyone in the organisation to thrive and do their very best work
  • 01:29 Enumerating the activities of management
  • 01:54 We are all managers in our own personal lives – why shouldn’t we be able to do that at work?
  • 02:15 Shedding costly hierarchy, bureaucracy and friction by allowing people to be self-managers
  • 02:35 It’s not about layers of control, rather it’s dense networks of committed self-managers guided by a clear set of principles
  • 03:15 Everyone has full authority to speak up and address issues of concern that come into their scope of awareness
  • 03:50 Competencies that align with self-management (Huffington Post article) –
    • Communication skills
    • Generosity mindset/contribution mindset
    • Grit and perseverance
    • Curiosity
  • 05:03 It’s the responsibility of each self-manager to guide their own career
  • 05:32 How career management happens through seeking out a willing mentor
  • 06:14 An example of how that played out at Morning Star
  • 07:05 Decision rights come down to who is the best person to make that particular decision
  • 07:28 How negotiation around decision rights happens
  • 07:57 The two fundamental guiding principles from Morning Star:
    • A human being should not use force against other human beings
    • People should keep commitments to each other
  • 09:03 The absence of command authority makes better leaders and better leadership
  • 09:17 The new book From Hierarchy to High Performance
  • 10:02 Defining great organisational culture: people are happy, free to do their best work, engaged in high levels of good, effective collaboration and are able to contribute to the world
  • 10:52 The hard numbers show that firms with great cultures perform substantially better than those that don’t (referencing the book: Firms of Endearment)
  • 11:21 Creating a great culture takes bold leadership
  • 11:50 What makes a great leader
  • 12:18 The key measure of leadership is: does the leader have followers?

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