Takeaways From Doug Kirkpatrick Talk At The Agile People Sweden Conference 2018

Some takeaways from Doug Kirkpatrick talk at the Agile People Sweden Conference 2018.

  • We live in a VUCA world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. How to cope? How to adapt?
  • In coping in this VUCA world, organizations may help us or hinder us
  • Can we create organizations where everyone has a voice, where women don’t need to lean in, and where complexity is managed with simplicity?


  • People should not use force or coercion against other people
  • People should keep commitments they make to each other
  • People are good managers in their own personal lives
  • People make gigantic life-altering decisions without a boss


  • Organizations are concepts, only human beings are the ultimate reality in making decisions and taking actions
  • Eliminate or reduce the financial burden that is associated with management tax
  • Management tax; managers are always paid more than the people they manage
  • Management is not rocket science. Management is planning, organizing, controlling, selecting, and coordinating (everyone does that already!)
  • Amplify the management skills of the workers and reduce the number of bosses and the bosses of those bosses


  • An organization that figures out how to slash the management tax has a better chance of growth than other organizations that struggle with it
  • Management tax is a moral question, not just economic or bureaucratic
  • The American economy is likely to save three trillion dollars a year by slashing the management tax


  • Zero command authority means zero; it means no one has the authority to walk up to others and tell them what to do
  • It’s not about democracy or majority vote, it’s about protecting the voices of each individual in the ecosystem


  • Command authority create weaker leaders
  • Self-management is beyond empowerment. Self-management is power itself, a power that cannot be repossessed by managers

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