October 01, 2010

How important are titles for you?

Listening to the conversation below between Terri Kelly and Gary Hamel, I heard Ms. Kelly say the following:

At W.L. Gore & Associates, you go to the person you need to go to in order to get something done. They do not want hierarchies or command-and-control management.

At W.L. Gore & Associates, they resist titles. The whole notion of a title puts you in a box. And worse, it puts you in a position where you have assumed authority and can command.

People, who work for W.L. Gore & Associates, call themselves associates. They self commit to what they want to work on. There is no boss telling them what to do.

Leaders, who work for W.L. Gore & Associates, are there because they have followers. In other words, leaders are not appointed. People, who work for W.L. Gore & Associates, decide who the leaders will be.

Bill Gore, the company’s founder, was motivated by bringing innovative products to the market. Mr. Gore was influenced by Douglas McGregor and Abraham Maslow. Bill Gore knew that if you can’t encourage collaboration and sharing of knowledge, you are not going to get innovation.


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