Frst, Let’s Fire all the managers

First Let’s Fire all the Managers

An article review


“First Let’s Fire all the Managers” is a interesting article  published in HBR based on a true management model which is successfully being practiced in a large food processing organization by the name of M/S Morning Star, the company started as a tomato trucking company.

The article is very exciting and very hard to believe that an organization is running without managers.

The only thing which has helped me in digesting the concept is that it is coming from a reputable business journal, the Harvard Business Review. The company Morning Star has been following this model since last two decades, so it must be working for them.

The concept originated by the founder of the company Chris Rufer; is simple, it is just that there is no Boss; all of the members of the organization are their own boss. Every individual work area is independent, responsible for meeting their targets which conform to the corporate target. Each individual is a profit center and is responsible to generate his/her profit as per the corporate requirement which at the end of the business cycle supports the bottom line. Every business area is allowed to incur the budgeted expenditures, can make the improvements in their process as they feel is required after consulting with the pre and post process owners. There is no concept of promotions, no fancy titles, accountability is at all levels, creativity is ample as all the members of the team are expected to create new ideas which improves the organization. Team and team players are a must.

Organizations that are setting up the hierarchical level with line and divisional managers are earning awesome value and profit. Today how much we learn about the successful companies of the world, they are almost the hierarchical based company. But, Morning Star has thought to enter the industry by using the manager-less concept. There are some of the causes of entering into this concept:

  • The cost of deploying managers in an organization is very costly. It additionally creates the hierarchy and the benefits and salary for them increases anonymously.
  • Decision making becomes slow: As the hierarchical level increases, manager’s eagerness to use the authority may delay the work flow process and slows down the decision making process.
  • Powerful managers even can make costly and devastating decision if the power is centered in one person.
  • Some time, the powerful managers can kill the important concept and ideas of the lower level employees.

An organization without boss becomes successful only when the employees of an organization are competent enough to face the challenge and bear the risk. It is not for those who are quiet pessimistic and like to work under direct guidance. Employees set their own goals to accomplish it. And for the resources needed to achieve those goals, they need not have to wait for the purchase officers’s decision.  Each and every person can purchase whatever they like that supports the individual/ organizational goals. So with this decision, employees are free to choose the sector in which they want to work for.

Although there is a minimal chance of arrising the conflict between the employees, there is also a solution for it. If the conflict appears between two parties within an organization, there is an independent body that helps in resolution of conflict. So it is resolved internally.

So, for the smart and deserving candidate who wants to be a leader and very eager to face the challenges. This type of organization is very much beneficial. It gives satisfaction at the workplace and increases delegation. But due to the lack of adoption capability, it is found that more than 50 % of the total workers leave the organization. Proper selection of the employees with proper guidance is seen very essential in this regards.

In the absence of a single rigid manager, everyone’s a manager. The job of managing includes planning, organizing, directing, staffing, and controlling, and everyone at Morning Star is expected to do all these things. Everyone is a manager of their own mission. They are managers of the agreements they make with colleagues, they are managers of the resources they need to get the job done, and they are managers who hold their colleagues accountable.”

Although the context of firing all the managers in each and every organization is almost impossible, the move taken by Morning Star is incredible. The organization and the human resource fit the modality. But it is very hard to find the competent and self motivated human resource in every context.


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