Fri., July 26, 2013 7:48am (EDT)

WORKING: No Bosses!
By Joshua Stewart
Updated: 11 months ago

ATLANTA  —  
With committed, motivated employees who know what needs to be done and how, some organizations are foregoing bosses altogether. Our workplace expert Brandon Smith says it can be more efficient and natural leaders will emerge. But it’s not for everyone. (Photo Courtesy of Muriel Miralles de Sawicki via stock.xchng.)
With committed, motivated employees who know what needs to be done and how, some organizations are foregoing bosses altogether. Our workplace expert Brandon Smith says it can be more efficient and natural leaders will emerge. But it’s not for everyone. (Photo Courtesy of Muriel Miralles de Sawicki via stock.xchng.)
Can you imagine having no boss?

No one telling you what to do and when to do it.

No one dictating priorities.

At Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Mich., here’s how it works:

“All employees deal directly with clients,” said Matthew Shaer on the public-radio show On Point. “All employees structure their own day within the confines of the team. They decide how they’re going to approach a particular problem. And they also decide who gets hired, who gets fired, and this is all done on a collective basis.”

Shaer recently visited and wrote about Menlo Innovations for New York Magazine.

“The idea behind it is this: if you’ve got committed, motivated people that take ownership of their work, you really don’t need managers,” says our resident expert Brandon Smith, a professor, career coach and workplace consultant.

He says the boss-less office can be more efficient – but many companies still won’t try it.

(Click here to listen to more of the On Point conversation about the boss-less office.)

Brandon Smith teaches about leadership, communication, and workplace culture at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. More of his advice is on his blog and at theworkplacetherapist.com. While you’re there, ask him your workplace or career question. We might answer you in a future radio segment.