Agile People Conference theme 2015: The organization without managers – flip or flop?

Some companies today decide to go all the way and get rid of formal managers alltogether. It’s one thing to start a new company without any formal managers (successful examples include Buurtzorg, Morningstar, Gore, Björn Lundén information etc.) and to transform from being an organization with formal managers to one without (Zappos). What happens when we don’t have formal managers and how do we cope with the challenges that may arise in these situations?

The panel discussion (moderated and facilitated by Tommie Cau) will bring up the smoking hot topic of leaderless organizations where we will listen to views from some of the worlds most influential people in this area:

Jos de Blok (CEO Buurtzorg): Buurtzorg (neighborhood nursing), is a Dutch company with 9000 employees (in 2014) offering home care services to more than 60.000 patients / year. Founded in 2006 with one team of four nurses, Buurtzorg has transformed home-based health care and it has created an innovative method for nursing care at home. As a community based and client centered company, Buurtzorg connects highly qualified licensed nurses and clients to create positive and proactive solutions that are effective, holistic, and sustainable. Organized in small autonomous teams of up to 12 nurses within a neighborhood-sized care area, Buurtzorg nurses bring groundbreaking synergy and expertise in a direct and connected relationship between care-giver and client.

James Priest (Holistic Development Consultant, Sociocracy 3.0): James Priest combines 18 years of project management experience with over a decade spent supporting intentional communities, public, voluntary & community sector organizations, mainstream & alternative education providers & individuals to thrive. He’s an enthusiastic advocate of transformational tools and methods that facilitate self-full-fill-ment, conscious relationships & collaborative organization.


Karin Tenelius (CEO Tough Management Training): Inspired by studying service management, reading books by for instance Ricardo Semler, she developed a radical, practical way of developing, organizing and lead companies and workplaces that allow groups of employees to impact and take charge of the business they are involved in. This creates extraordinary results. She has done this as CEO in companies owned by others, and the last ten years in her own companies.

Meri Williams (Managing Director, Chromerose): Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s a CTO and also runs micro-consultancy ChromeRose, helping digital & technical teams be brilliant. An alumna of Procter & Gamble and the Government Digital Service, she has had a career spanning development, project, programme & product management and more recently engineering & operations leadership. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.

Maria Z Furenmo (HR & Talent Management Consultant, Stardust Consulting: During the past 17 years, Maria Z Furenmo has held senior positions in strategic HR and Talent Management at among others Nordnet Steel Group Outokompu and most recently as HR Director for the fast-growing gaming company NetEnt (publ). A common thread in Maria’s career has been change and the associated leadership challenges within the IT industry. Maria also has a long self-management experience and experience in management work. The relationship between performance and well-being is something that Maria has taken up by and for the individual’s ability to manage, operate and take responsibility for their own performance and motivation.

Check out the conference web site and book your tickets at

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Welcome – together we create better organizations!


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