Momentum Event: Organizing without Managers: Exploring new forms of organization

Is hierarchy helpful? How do organizations manage without managers? What is a self-managing team? Is my organization Neanderthal or Teal?

Most of us sense that there is something wrong with our organizations: too much control, too little inspiration; too much transactional behavior, too little collaboration, and so on.  

We also occasionally read about exciting new organizational forms, sometimes just referred to as ‘managing without managers’, at other times, given a weird label, like ‘holocracy’. 

Some of us have experienced the thrill, energy and effectiveness of a self-directed team, as well as the uncertainty, chaos and confusion that can emerge when there is insufficient leadership.

We also bandy about the names of companies that have embraced a different way of organizing, such as W. L. Gore, Zappos and Semco.

This workshop is about exploring these new forms of organization. We want you to gain three benefits:

  1. You will understand better why self-organization has become such a hot topic and what these exemplars are really doing
  2. You will know the principles that are critical to the success of organizations with less structure and less hierarchy
  3. You will experience what it feels like to do some work in a structure-light organization


The workshop will be highly interactive, allowing you to share your experiences and focus on those topics of most interest to you. To gain the most from the day, you are encouraged to ‘browse the topic’ before you come.

AM:  09.30 – 12.30

  • Introduction: How organizational thinking and practice has evolved since the industrial revolution, and what new ideas are appearing on the horizon
  • Experiential learning: Hierarchy and bureaucracy vs flat and self-organizing
  • Discussion: Set agenda for the afternoon

PM: 13.30 – 16.00

  • Small groups: Two rounds of Open Space discussions and feedback
  • Discussion: Open Space as an 'organization without managers'
  • Discussion: Insights that will be useful to your organization 

Browse the topic

Embracing Agile

by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland, and Hirotaka Takeuchi, Harvard Business Review

What kind of impact can Holacracy have from an HR perspective? A former manager shares her experience.

A conversation with Annemieke Verhoeff, Medium

Reinventing Management

Part 1: What Color Is Your Organization?

Part 2: What Happens When No One Is In Charge?

Sharing power: why it requires deep personal change

by Robert Anderson and William Adams

People Want Power Because They Want Autonomy

by Julie Beck, The Atlantic (reporting on a study conducted by researchers from University of Cologne, University of Groningen, and Columbia University)

Organization design and new ways of working

by Jack Martin Leith

Event fee

Essential information

Date: 1 July 2016
Time: 09:30 – 16:00
Location: Ashridge, Berkamsted, Hertfordshire. HP4 1NS


Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell


Read more about Andrew

Jack Martin Leith

Jack Martin Leith

Read more about Jack Martin