Self-managed Companies | Business Podcast episodes-Host Dawna Jones

To make it easier to navigate my mind at work, episodes from the Inspirational Insights podcast (2016-current) and the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast (2008-2016) are listed by topic. This page is about self-managed companies.Bear in mind new episodes are added regularly. See the Inspirational Insights podcast on Spotify or at the home page.

Business Podcast Episodes Self-Management

Bridging both my podcasts is a series on self-managed companies and ways of operating to create higher engagement, greater flexibility, and agility.  You’ll find more companies lower down but here are three examples of how companies are reinventing management to restore freedom, flexibility, and creativity to the workplace.

Tomatoes and Self-Management: Morning Star

The story of the world’s largest tomato processing company and their decision to be a self-managed company. A conversation with Doug Kirkpatrick of the MorningStar Self-Management Institute. Episode hosted on

Understanding the Practicality of Moving to Self-Management with Doug Kirkpatrick

Digging deeper into how self-management at MorningStar works, Dawna speaks to Doug Kirkpatrick about decision-making, financial management using a gamified approach, and why resistance to change doesn’t exist in a self-managed environment.

The Road to Self-Management: Matt Black Systems

Aeronautics company Matt Black Systems found the traditional style of managing far too costly so through a series of experiments they went from traditional to their own brand of self-management – Fractalism. A conversation with Andrew Holm. Episode link on

Revolutionizing Health Care: The Buurtzorg Way

Dutch health care company Buurtzorg’s CEO, Jos de Blok, explains the evolution of Buurtzorg from vision to a simple, flat organizational structure and self-governing nurse teams to deliver better health outcomes, increase both patient and staff satisfaction and reduce costs. Starting out with just four nurses, Buurtzorg has grown to 9,700 nurses and 850 teams serving 70,000 patients a year by 2015 using a principle-based approach. Episode link on

Nearsoft Inc. with Matt Perez

Nearsoft modeled their culture off of pioneering self-organizing company Semco led by Ricardo Semler. Matt Perez takes us inside the company to share how freedom-centric companies run.

Menlo Innovations with Rich Sheridan CEO and author of Joy, Inc.

Tech company Menlo Innovations has a lofty mission. Liberate the world from bad code. The implications are enormous to you as a consumer or user. Learn how a tech company instills joy in the process of creating code that runs your experience in health care, consumer and other applications.

Self-Managing Governance Structures and Processes

It all begins by getting started. Start by researching what other companies have done to see what principles and values you’d like to apply to your own situation.

Redistributing Power – Sociocracy 3.0 with Michael Gothe of CRISP and James Priest of S3

Swedish tech company CRISP boldly goes where other companies hesitate so they’ve been working with Sociocracy 3.0 and James Priest for a number of years. S3 is a modular way of trying on self-managing processes for decision making and more. M. Gothe from CRISP and James Priest explain. Episode hosted on

Getting to Grips with Agile with Jason Little and Jay Goldstein

Lean and Agile are software development methods that have an inherent mindset built-in. Put the customer first, stay open to adjustments, for instance. There is a collision between traditional command and control management and a more Agile (fit for flexibility) approach. In this conversation Jason Little, author of Lean Change Management and Jay Goldstein, co-lead of the Learning Consortium, explains what Agile is and why it rocks the world view of traditional thinkers. Episode link.

Can Flexible Companies Scale? with Steve Denning

When a software dev process like Agile becomes a mindset can the shift in thinking power a totally engaged workplace? Steve Denning describes what happens when the Learning Consortium asked these questions and then held site visits with early adopter companies like Microsoft, Riot Games, Magna, and Ericsson. Click here to see the Learning Consortium report. Episode Link

Dipping Into LiquidO with Stelio Verzera

Italian innovation company (and my collaboration partners in business innovation) have designed an agile governance system they call LiquidO. Co-founder Stelio Verzera explains. Episode link.

Leading in a Boss-less Company with Michael Pacanowsky

W.L. Gore has had a boss-less business culture from the beginning. Michael Pacanowsky worked and consulted inside W.L. Gore & Associate for 29 years and has now returned to academia as the Gore-Giovale Chair in Business Management at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business at Westminster College. He explains how boss-less management works and describes what the Center for Business Innovation is doing to support change agility. Episode link to

Implementing Holacracy with Anna McGrath (consultant to Zappos)

Holacracy has been badly maligned by business opinion and media. While it may not fit everyone it is worth looking under the hood given the need for alternative forms of governance that can outlast the leader. Anna McGrath worked on the implementation with Zappos. Hear her thoughts. Episode link to

Operationalizing Holacracy with Tom Thomison of and Holacracy One

After implementing Holacracy in hundreds of companies world-wide Tom Thomison is now bringing the back-end administration up to meet the challenge.

An Open Architecture for Open Participatory Organizations with Bonnitta Roy

Bonnitta Roy has designed an open architecture framework to guide companies in setting up self-managed open participatory organizations. Episode hosted on

Vistaprint Learns from Menlo and Steve Denning updates us on the Learning Consortium

How Vistaprint took a site visit to Menlo and used it to rethink their business culture. Steve Denning updates us all on the latest Learning Consortium results.

Freedom at Work – Freedom Centric companies with WorldBlu CEO Traci Fenton

WorldBlu offers the platinum standard and scorecard for replacing fear with freedom, attracting high-level companies like Zappos, Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, Nearsoft (EP5) and Menlo Innovations (EP7).

Liberating Leaders with Isaac Getz, author of Freedom Inc.

Most organizations deny fundamental human needs seriously limiting performance and innovation. When employees have the freedom and ability to act in the best interests of the company, performance improves. Dr. Getz shares examples of phenomenal business results from companies whose leaders built total freedom-of-initiative organizations. These leaders understand that three universal human needs—intrinsic equality, the opportunity for growth, and self-direction—must be met for all employees. To nurture and sustain the freedom culture, these leaders share their vision of the company so that employees can “own” it.
We talk about the role of the ego as an enabler or leadership liability, why the CEO does not hold the power, a day in the life of a liberated organization, and lessons learned from over 300 liberated companies worldwide. You will also learn about the transformational journey as leaders let go of the belief that they are the smartest person in the organization.
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