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The No-Limits Enterprise

Organizational Self-Management in The New World of Work

“The new business environment is too complex for traditional, command-and-control management — which is why self-management is emerging as a better way to live and work. Nobody knows or understands this better than Doug Kirkpatrick who’s been on the frontline of its development. Anybody looking for smarter and more humane ways to work, that dignify everyone involved, will find a treasure trove of ideas and experience in this book. It could not come at a better time.” 

— Margaret Heffernan, CEO and Author, Willful Blindness

Doug Kirkpatrick is an organizational change  consultant, TEDx speaker, executive coach, author, and educator. He recently released his third book, The No-Limits Enterprise: Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Workan Amazon bestseller with Forbes Books, and is Founder and CEO of D’Artagnan Advisors, helping companies embrace the future of work. A member of the Forbes Speakers network, he has served as a director on a number of boards including the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the world’s largest talent development association with 35,000+ members in 120 countries, and the Leadership Institute for Development, Education and Research (LiDER) to develop leaders throughout the Americas.

Doug began his career in the manufacturing sector, principally with The Morning Star Company, a world leader in the food industry, as a financial controller. He now engages with Vibrancy, Open Leadership NetworkGreat Work CulturesSemco Style Institute, People-Centric OrganizationsBusiness Agility InstituteResponsive and other vibrant organizations and leaders to co-create the future of management.

His books include Amazon bestsellers Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization, now available in six languages, and From Hierarchy to High Performance: Unleashing the Hidden Superpowers of Ordinary People to Realize Extraordinary Results.

5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for target audience, but cavat should be noted.

The NO-LIMITS Enterprise ISBN 9781946633279 ForbesBooks Copyright and written by Doug Kirkpatrick. After an unusually large number of strongly supportive statements by individuals of prominence, the author’s book subtitled Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work, the author’s introduction, Life is a Concert (or it should be), presents overall tenets with respect to self-management and the importance thereof. He quotes Kahlil Gibran: “Work is love made visible”; presents Buurtzorg, a highly prosperous Netherlands-based health care company (initiated by Jos de Blok) where 9000 health care nurses work remotely delivering care. They work for the company but make decisions as they see them; he explains that people (most prominently the millennials) want their creative, innovative and passion about their work to be appreciated and understood; briefly speaks of Morning Star, a Tomato products distributor company (where he initially became involved in the business) which probably is the most well-known for self-management company success. The book’s content is presented in 2 Parts. Part 1, the promise of self- management consisting of 4 chapters covering the breakdown of bureaucracy; 15 unavoidable challenges found within; the power of self-management; before you plan: self-management considerations. Part II, the self-management roadmap, consisting of 6 chapters covering new ways of working; determining where your organization fits in the self-management continuum; establishing your self-management philosophy and principles; self-management implications (or what to expect); making the case for self-management; bringing self-management to life: 12 real-world components; A conclusion - making “no limits” your reality; About the Author; A passion for freedom and accountability at work; Our services. Extensive Acknowledgements follow immediately, leading to an explanatory Forward and ultimately, the Introduction as briefly summarized above. Discussion: The business of running a business gradually has been changing since those establishing such organizations with advent of the Industrial Revolution. They had only the Army, its chain of command and its organizational abilities as a template. Humans became increasingly dissatisfied with their need to ‘slave’ for many hours a day to receive pay for their labor which they did not enjoy. Chapter 2 provides a list of 15 unavoidable challenges provided by bureaucracy employed by most businesses - Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, virtual reality, increasing information, and communication moving at speed of light, Robots, AI, all of this additional knowledge when much of business is still at the level employed when we moved into the Industrial Revolution. Thus the required Bureaucracy is wasteful of human life; simply stated, 8 hours/day of doing something not desired is just that, a waste of life. Thus, gradual change has evolved and has gained increasing momentum with the advent of new generations who are unwilling to spend long hours performing tasks which have no relationship to their personal thought patterns and desires. The increased level of interest has been initiated by a few future thinking entrepreneurial individuals and aided immensely by the arrival into the workforce of the millennials, a generation that seeks a work/life balance and have no fear of job loss, plus, a driving need to be engaged as part of a group (company) with a purpose and meaning that is part of the larger world. Repeatedly, the suggestion is made that to best run a business, it is best first to become a philosopher with the other necessities added as needed. Names of numerous prominently successful owners of self-managed companies are provided. Chris Rufer, a single truck owner fascinated by philosophy as well as an MBA was fascinated with human principles and management practices, established Morning star, one of the premiere successful self-management companies, by believing people worked best when they were free to manage themselves at work as they did in their daily life. He also believed they were happiest and most successful. Jaipur Rugs in India is another entrepreneurial self-management phenomenal success story as are Vagas, a Brazilian software company and numerous others blossoming throughout the world as well as here in the United States. In all, the book provides extensive coverage of every aspect of how “Strength of a self-managed organization, where every individual is part of a human network of accountability, responsible to everyone else in the enterprise itself” actually functions. These basic tenets, and philosophies serve to undergird the human network. Summary: The author, partner in the full-spectrum international consulting firm, NuFocus Strategic Group, consults, lectures on self-management around the world and appears to be the present-day spokesman for a large group of advanced-thinking individuals in the rapidly growing movement toward self-managed business. His book covers every aspect of the subject and certainly is a must read for any person desiring to enter a business and become a success in this era of constant change and regeneration. For this reader, the redundancy and repetition typically exhibited here emulates the tendencies of all lecturers and would benefit from judicious editing for readers. However, the material, to reiterate, is a must read.

5.0 out of 5 stars A useful guide on self-management for organizations

Prior to reading “The No-Limits Enterprise” by the talented Doug Kirkpatrick, organizational change consultant, TEDx and keynote speaker, executive coach, author, and educator, I was not familiar with the term “self-management” as applied to a business context. According to Kirkpatrick, organizational self-management is the “philosophy of individuals freely and autonomously performing the traditional functions of management...guided by principles and without mechanistic hierarchy or arbitrary, unilateral command authority over others”. This incredibly useful guide offers a plethora of encouraging and practical information to jettison your business or organization into the future. In this book, Kirkpatrick covers topics such as the promise and hope behind self-management, challenges with bureaucracy, things to consider before you move towards self-management, a self-management roadmap, how to create a self-management foundation and philosophy, real-world components to keep in mind, and much more. Kirkpatrick draws on his years of experience including his tenure at the Association of Talent Development, the largest professional development organization, to offer keen insights, actual solutions you can put into practice, and plenty of advice. Anyone who is interested in organizational self-management should read this book - whether you are a CEO, in HR, a talent development specialist, or simply interested in learning more. It’s well-written with humor and anecdotes, but not cheesy enough so you don’t take the author seriously. Overall a fantastic read.

5.0 out of 5 stars A ground-breaking self-management tool for radically improved organizational productivity and profits.

Modern business and even large corporations are facing the problems of an emerging new generation of young workers who are not prepared to work in restrictive over bureaucratic organizations, as well as the need to trim expenses used for running large and small organizations without comprising productivity. Explaining the management theory of self-management, the author explores how narrowly structured organizations can radically alter their hierarchy and simultaneously achieving increased profits, whilst allowing workers to improve their own working experience and environment. Explaining new concepts of management ideas such as Holocracy, Democracy, Teleocracy, and a host of other similar models, he discusses the similarities and merits of all of these systems. Along the journey, he also includes case studies of large international businesses as well as smaller organizations that have all shown remarkable growth profits after adopting these modern concepts. This revealing and fascinating study explains how many organizations are caught in management styles dating back to over a hundred years or more. After examining the theory of self-management and its obvious advantages, he provides a rigorous roadmap that can be used to change an organization's structure without compromising efficiency and effectiveness during this transitional process. There is also a comprehensive list of references and tools included in the book, as well as sources for advice and training regarding this process. Seasoned executives will immediately realize the benefits of this approach, whilst provision is made for entrepreneurs who may not have the benefit of experience or training in organizational development and behavior. This book is an outstanding and comprehensive guide to reducing the destructive and expensive structures based on obsolete and restrictive management styles and bureaucratic procedures that impede productivity and, ultimately, customer satisfaction and organizational success. It is a comprehensive guide to a radically innovative organizational and management tool finely developed for the challenges of the modern business environment as well as for achieving unparalleled profits and success as well. It will undoubtedly pave the way as an indispensable textbook for future students of management techniques.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Management Perspective

The No Limits Enterprise: Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work by Doug Kirkpatrick presents a fresh and innovative approach to managing business enterprises and millennial staff in the current decade. In this book the reader will find that it is not "business as usual" when it comes to invigorating, inspiring and managing staff. The emphasis of the teaching and encouragement from the book no longer places the emphasis of the production and happiness of the workforce at the feet of the out dated and archaic boss/single manager style of operation. However, the shift is placed more upon the engagement of the employee and one that works towards their happiness and subsequently their productivity in the workplace. In addition, to being a good read that will challenge the old style management system the writing may possibly facilitate a paradigm shift. This shift maybe experienced by the current manager and perhaps initiate a rethinking of managers who are on the cusp or embedded in the old style of a boss telling the employees what to do and how to do it. The author begins his enlightenment in this book based on a concert that he attended. It was a Leahy performance and he was struck by the fact that the performers, both musicians and dancers, were all equally empowered and no one individual seemingly was in charge of any of the others. Subsequently, his take away from the evening's night of entertainment was highlighted by the true spirit and work of all performers working in concert to provide a quality night's entertainment for the audience. So, he claims, it can be for the productivity of today's businesses. The No Limits Enterprise: Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work by Doug Kirkpatrick provides a clear and concise writing that is not only sound conceptually, but is backed by example after example demonstrating the success of this new style of organizational self-management. As part of his argument he has also included in his writing a list of tell-tale signs of breakdowns based on bureaucratic approaches to operational methods, challenges that a traditional system of bureaucracy faces and various charts and graphs to help the reader navigate the presentation of the new and powerful system of management.

5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom to Operate

This book should be compulsory reading for students of management and business leaders alike— anyone who wants to know what it takes to lead a company into the next decade. After college, the author was privileged to serve as the first financial controller for Morning Star. Today, as a partner in the full -spectrum international consulting firm , NuFocus Strategic Group, he speaks and consults on self-management throughout North America and around the world. NuFocus, a full-spectrum international consulting firm born in Canada . Our mission is simple: we want to help our clients create thriving, high-performing cultures where people are free to do their best work. “Doug Kirkpatrick dares us to consider a different path to the future for our organizations. Through Doug Kirkpatrick’s The No-Limits Enterprise, combines in book form that combines critical insight and practical steps with a raw and honest reality: true creative human potential can only happen when people are allowed to openly express their passions in environments that don’t crush them under a corporation’s gravity. A true evolutionary leap in how businesses can develop resiliency, innovation, and competitive advantages based on self-management principles and solid business examples. A Workplace Without Bureaucracy could be a title of a similar book. Kirkpatrick provides readers with a treasure trove of systems, tools, practices, checklists, templates, and case stories that they can immediately use to build organizations that are better designed to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly changing world.” “This book is a must read. It reflects an emerging trend which is historically inevitable, and a scientific imperative: breaking free from out-of-date, nineteenth-century bureaucratic thinking for a dynamic twenty-first-century world. Doug Kirkpatrick is today’s prime global exponent of the art and science of self-management. The systematic techniques of self- management are perhaps the most influential innovation in business leadership in recent times. In his writing, Doug superbly exhibits the four crucial traits of any authentic practical teamwork. The group's expertise includes: Organizational Self-Management Implementation, Self-Management, Masterclasses and Workshops, Networked Organization Software, Open Space Technology Agile Beyond Software, Conference Design and Development Keynote Speaking Culture Change Leadership through Development Organizational Assessment. If you want to establish a kind of enterprise that forward-thinking business leaders envision. An enterprise that continuously feeds its own network of engaged, connected, enthusiastic contributors and innovators is an enterprise that is unconstrained by the ills of yesterday’s command-and-control organizational hierarchies. It is an enterprise that, with excellence as its benchmark and beacon, can achieve virtually anything its constituents can dream up. Hardworking boards have a deep appreciation for the company's consequential stewardship and fiduciary responsibility. So, what you are getting into with this book is the application of a profoundly powerful philosophy, one that has the potential to change your work and your life. With this book Doug does a great job of both describing it and teaching you how to apply it. Part II offers you a clear and practical implementation roadmap, with several tools to help orient and guide you with life-affirming principles along the way “ to working in concert.” The codes of commitment and non-coercion have served as the underlayment of legal systems and ethics throughout history. Systems of checks and balances to protect human freedoms so that you could manage your own destiny. Clearly, bringing passion, heart, and humanity to law, governing, and the management of daily life in general is not just a “nice” thing to do. The chances of the entire machine of civilization succeeding are greater when the human beings needed to turn the wheels are free to operate at their highest levels, and when we reduce or eliminate the degree to which any one group or faction can exercise authority over others. Life, as a whole, works better when we all invest in a state of freedom, autonomy, and goodwill. “Any business can transform itself into a No-Limits Enterprise in which every individual is free to innovate and forge new paths to the immense benefit of all. These challenges do not demand complex layers of management; they demand the ability to jettison ancient layers of control, and trust in the simplest of all human traits: the desire to create with dedication and love. —Doug Kirkpatrick, San Francisco, California, 2019 When people are free to act, they’re able to sense those forces and act in ways that fit best with reality. Conclusion: it means that everyone is responsible for motivating himself or herself, and it is not the job of company CEOs, leaders, and managers to motivate people. CEOs, leaders, and managers may create the conditions and organizations in which people work, but people self-motivate, says Koestenbaum, and no one can successfully usurp that responsibility. What you’re getting into here is an immensely practical book. Collaboration undergirds everything; control from any one source would extinguish the joy. Each player’s virtuosity and execution is cheered on toward perfection, propelling a organization as an entity, to higher and higher planes. Scarlett Jensen 3 September 2020

5.0 out of 5 stars This book is just what you need to transform your Organization

The No-Limit Enterprise by Doug Kirkpatrick remains one of the most valuable investments I’ve made in books this year. A student in the field of business and management should make this book a part of their collection. Doug Kirkpatrick is not new to the field of financial management. He was privileged after college to work as the first financial controller of Morning Star before moving over to partner with the Nufocus Strategic Group. The subtitle Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work spells out what the author intends to do with this educative book. Part of his daily life encompasses talking to people and coaching them on how to become better managers. In recent times, self-management remains one of the greatest innovations of the modern business organization, and Dough wastes no time in elaborating his points and pointing out the steps to business transformation. He goes down to explain in detail the four visible signs of authentic teamwork. There are loads of information that every organization that wishes to grow beyond its current stage needs to have. These pieces of information are all in this book.

Praise for THE NO-LIMITS ENTERPRISE

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An excerpt from The NO-LIMITS Enterprise

Here’s a useful thought experiment: imagine a world where every single human being aligned their behavior with humanitarian principles. What kind of world would that be? Imagine if everyone in the world abandoned the use of force against other human beings, for instance, we wouldn’t need military or police forces, or locks on our doors. In short, it would be an amazing world. Of course, we know universal adoption of such principles is not realistic—but that’s not the point. The point is that to the degree people align themselves with civilizing, harmonious and productive human principles, they are better off as individuals and their cultures (organizationally and otherwise) are better off. Principles matter.

~ from Chapter Seven, Establishing Your Self-Management Philosophy and Principles