“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every traditional organization has a Chain of command to follow from the CEO to the VPs to the AVPs to the Senior Manager and so on. The point here is thatat every level of management there is a leader who supports their subordinates and guides them effectively in order to achieve the organizational goals. Imagine an organization with an absence of official structure, without any fixed CEO; where there is no one to scrutinize the way the work should be done. In other words, the employees are self-managing.

Till date when someone says an “organization”, automatically it implies an entity with effective leaders who guide their employees in achieving the goals and objective of the company. But in this new era, there is an emergence of leaderless organizations. Although in a nascent stage,this concept of a leaderless organization is slowly and steadily setting the pace. The idea behind the leaderless organization is not having a centralized organization; there is an absence of a formal leader figure, chain of command is non-existent and leadership is more a choice and through influence and cedibility. Even though there are rules and regulation to abide by, they are not imposed on people.The power is apportioned amongst the people at different locations through different people.

How does the leaderless organization function? Well in a leaderless or a decentralized organization, the power is distributed amongst various catalysts, rather than being with one person. These catalyst guides the people till they become self-sufficient and when they are able to function independently, the catalyst takes a back seat and let the people work on their own. Quite a few companies are following this form of leaderless organization structure one of them is a leading tomato products manufacturer in America called The Morning Star Company; this company is built on the philosophy of Self-Management where every employee holds themselves responsible and accountable in achieving the objectives of the company.

Now the question arises; can a leaderless organization be a successful organization? Will the organization be able to withstand the growing competition without a leader to guide?All the social mediaplatformsexistingare an excellent example of leaderless organization; People can do everything, from selling a product, to creating awareness about some topics and it has reached to the extent that, one post can bring the offender to justice; the popularity of the social media speaks volumes about the leaderless organization. Take the example of Wikipedia, where all the updates and the information are given by people voluntarily without anyone instructing them to do so. The popularity of Wikipedia shows how working in collaboration with each other led this entity in becoming one of the most visited websites in the world.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour” - Henry David Thoreau

 

In a leaderless organization,employees have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives; and are self-motivated in achieving them. A motivated person brings in higher productivity. The trust factor amongst the colleagues is really high as they have to work together in realising the objective. This kind of organization makes the employees better off themselves by helping them in enhancing their communication skills, decision-making skills, their ability to solve a problem and they will discover or enhance their strategic thinking ability

Although beneficial; but only time will tell whether the leaderless organizations is here to stay because breaking the concept of the traditional business structure might be difficult and making people understand the idea of leaderless organization may be taken with a lot of scepticism.