The best leaders understand that the best ideas come from the ground up – or rather in W.L. Gore‘s case, in the round, in teams. At W.L. Gore there are no bosses, only mentors, champions, and other self-descriptors as associates are invited to define their own roles and play to their strengths in a collaborative fashion. This approach has yielded a company which produces over 1000 products.
Matt May was consulting to a car company prior to joining Toyota, and after interviewing people in the organization he discovered theirs was a culture that stifled ideas in a command-and-control hierarchical fashion. The leaders of the company rejected his report, didn’t believe him and insisted they had an open environment where all ideas were welcome to the table.
So Matt played a trick on them at an off-site meeting – watch here: