The road to self-management

May 16 2016 by Dawna Jones Print This

Find out how one company went from being traditionally managed and organized to being a radical autonomous system with a quantum leap in profitability.

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Andrew Holm and Julian Wilson redesigned aeronautics engineering company Matt Black Systems to revolve around the smallest unit - a person. With the help of four metrics - quality, delivery, profitability and conformance - the company shrank in size while achieving quantum leaps in profitability

Learning from a series of failed attempts at finding a better way of operating, they looked to nature to come up with something they call ‘fractalism’. Each employee became a business ‘cell’ and was given the autonomy, skills and knowledge to run their own operation while sharing what is required for the company to keep its edge such as research and development.

In this podcast, Dawna and Andrew talk about:

  • The journey from a traditionally managed company to a fractal design
  • How the cell design focused on the customer and what that meant to delivery and profit
  • The surprising lack of co-relation between overtime and sales
  • The phenomenon of social loafing
  • Why it is hard to hide from your own performance in a self-managed company
  • The secret to how a big picture thinker makes a successful partnership with an analytical engineering mind.

You can read more about their journeyhere on the HuffPo.


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