Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence

With Host Claudette Rowley – Transformation Talk Radio – Every 2nd & 4th Friday 10 AM (PT)/1 PM (ET)

“Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization”

With Special Guest Doug Kirkpatrick


I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Kirkpatrick on my show Cultural Brilliance Radio. Doug Kirkpatrick is an organizational change consultant, TEDx and keynote speaker, executive coach, author and educator. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post Blog on Great Work Cultures, and he is the author of “Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization”. As a partner in NuFocus Strategic Group, an international consulting firm, he leads organizational transformation and education initiatives around the world. In 2017, he signed a publishing agreement with Forbes Books to author a new book on the future of work. On today’s show, we will learn how Doug has successfully developed self-managed organizations, the power of managing complexity with simplicity, and how to overcome obstacles to self-management. Doug will share his insights on strategies, tools, and best practices for designing a successful, sustainable self-managed organization.

Below is an article written by the Conscious Business Radio team about the show.


Cultural Brilliance helps you experience groundbreaking ways to transform your company’s culture. Host Claudette Rowley invites some of the foremost experts on organizational culture to help understand how to make a brilliant culture the rule rather than the exception.

Claudette had the opportunity to speak with Doug Kirkpatrick. As a partner in NuFocus Strategic Group, he speaks and consults on organizational self-management theory and practice. Doug also shares the message of organizational innovation through his book “Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization”, TEDx talks, blog posts, podcasts and academic journal articles. He has been called “a leading expert in the field of organizational design”. Doug is a certified executive coach, senior professional in Human Resources, and is a former public official – as director of the world’s largest talent association. He has keynoted and presented to learners and audiences across the United States and countries all over the world. Doug works with multiple groups, including Great Work Cultures, Work Revolution, and the Center for Innovative Cultures to co-create and advocate for the vibrant, self-managed organized workplaces of the future.

Today’s discussion starts with an explanation of the term ‘self-management’. Doug says the idea of self-management is the absence of command authority and the management of oneself, in the context of an organizational environment as opposed to management. Self-management recognizes the reality that each one of us is already a manager in our own personal lives – we have no boss to tell us who to date, who to marry, where to go to college, what to do for a living, whether to buy a car or a house, or have children. Somehow, we figure out these major life decisions  on our own without a boss.. So, the theory of self-managed organizations is that if people know what to do and how to do it in the workplace, why do they need a human boss looking over their shoulder? Doug goes on further to explain the reason many organizations feel management is necessary it partly because of tradition. Management is how everything gets done in the world. It’s planning, organizing, controlling, selecting and coordinating as those functions apply to every project, every enterprise that’s ever existed – from the pyramids to the Great Wall of China – and everything since. So, management is essential, that’s how work gets done in the world.  But it’s possible for those functions to be carried out by people in the workplace, without having overseers that essentially direct, control, and tell them what to do. When traditional management functions are distributed and decentralized, bureaucracy -related costs are lower, decision-making is more efficient, and the entreprise is leaner and stronger.

To listen to the full show, click here

For more information on Doug Kirkpatrick’s work, and his book “Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization”, visit

Click here for Claudette Rowley’s website, Cultural Brilliance

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