As management students start to think about their career paths, especially for those graduating soon, one of the things on their minds is how they will differentiate themselves in the job market. Better yet, the opportunists’ who will be brave enough to tackle competitive markets, what kind of unfair advantages could these entrepreneurs come up with in their businesses? Well, one suggestion is how you actually structure the company through your business model and management style. This will determine how successful you will become in the long run, because the people you hire will indeed be the backbone of the company.
Morning Star’s founder, Chris Rufer has built a tomato processing empire that is like no other business model many have never heard of until now. He calls it a “bossless” model, which consists of no managers, no titles, so no one to report to, making everyone have mutual accountability of their work. They set their own goals and meet them, creating an extreme level of achievement.
When everyone having a high degree of accountability, the company strives; therefore you can focus in on the company’s core competency, in this case, the tomato process. In the video, Morning Star demonstrates their process from start to finish, and we can see the dedication from their employees; they take pride in their work every time. It shows how workers evaluate every single tomato for quality, before going on to the next process. Innovation is also encouraged within the organization through everyone’s perspective of how to be more efficient in the process.
Consequently, when you have that amount of freedom in the workplace you can perfect a higher level of quality in your products and services, resulting in a greater profit margin or penetrating a larger market in the end. Why? There is no pressure of doing the job in just an autocratic way, unlike with the red bead Deming’s experiment; where there was no other approach besides the way the boss wanted it to be done, which is impractical in today’s advanced technological age.
Rufer says that this model of doing business is “Quite good, high-performing people love it here, and they flourish,” and it is their competitive advantage in the market. So why don’t more companies follow this model? With traditional models becoming obsolete, our generation needs to figure out other ways to conduct business, in order to distinguish ourselves from the rest. This method of organizational structure is not fit for all businesses, but it is certainly a new and inventive system of increasing productivity, quality and overall well-being in the organization.
There is a saying that people don’t necessarily quit their jobs, but actually quit on their bosses. So, what if you worked at a company where there was no boss to quit on, do you think you would be happier? And therefore, be more productive, and result in products and services having better quality that could be beneficial to everyone?