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Excellent post, Ann. Thanks for sharing the article link, too.

I think that the author is wrong about a declining need for managers, since when human beings self-organize they select overseers and such organization exists across cultures and time, indicating to me that the "manager" or "supervisor" role springs from something deeply human.

With that nit picked, though, I agree on mostly everything else. The Brazilian company, Semco, is an interesting case study because it thrives with an almost tribal, self-organizing approach to the enterprise.

But in most companies, there's a real challenge. I offer two quotes. The first is from FedEx founder Fred Smith: "The short definition of leadership is getting the discretionary effort out of people."

The second is from Woody Morcott then chairman and CEO of Dana Corporation: "Why did we hire 55,000 brains and only use three of them."

Wally:

Thanks for your comments, and the fantastic quotes - your perspective is always a valuable one. The Brazilian company that you mention, Semco, sounds like a fascinating organization.

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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