Tomatoes and self-management

Apr 19 2016 by Dawna Jones Print This

How does a business gets things done when there’s no boss and no-one is in control? Morning Star, the world’s largest tomato processing company, proves you don't need managers to run a successful company.

play now

Morning Star is a California-based tomato processing company that adopted self-management in 1990. It is also the largest tomato processing company in the world, handles 40 percent of California's processed tomato crop.

Founder Chris Rufer walked in with a set of principles that the team agreed would form the basis of an entirely different approach to running a company. Now with over 400 colleagues, one of the original team members, Doug Kirkpatrick, explains how things get done when you don’t have a boss and no one is in control. In this interview, you’ll learn:

  • How decisions are made
  • How accountability is established
  • What are the key characteristics behind successful self-management
  • What happens when you move from command and control to self-management
  • What qualities stay the same between traditional and self-management
  • Why the concept of management tax (via Gary Hamel) makes self-management highly cost efficient
  • Three questions that test the health of your management practice
  • Why self-management makes leaders fit

Doug Kirkpatrick is an executive coach, organizational change consultant, author and TEDx speaker. He engages with the Morning Star Self-Management Institute, the Center for Innovative Cultures, Great Work Cultures and other vibrant organizations and leaders to co-create the future of management. Doug also blogs for the Huffington Post and is part of the NuFocus Strategic Group. Twitter: @Redshifter3


Evolutionary Provocateur

Dawna Jones
Dawna Jones

The Evolutionary Provocateur bi-monthly show is for executives, managers, and supervisors (OR for leaders at all levels) who have noticed that it is not what you know but who you are that has the biggest impact.

Dawna Jones, the show's host, believes that by raising awareness and understanding we can make a quantum leap to a new level of innovation in business - but it has to be done collectively.

What better way to do it than by provoking the evolution of how you see yourself and your role!

Find out more about Dawna at