Self–managed Teams: An insider’s Story

What is it really like to be part of a self-managed team? Is self-management the answer to happiness and engagement at work?

Helen Sanderson gave up the power of being a CEO to be part of a self-managed team, and is happier, more productive and has deeper relationships with her colleagues. As in the UK only 1 in 10 people feel engaged at work, she is clearly in the minority. Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University says that the workplace is literally killing us, and in the US it is the 5th leading cause of death. In the UK, Professor Michael West says that ‘50% more staff in the NHS report damaging levels of work stress compared to the general working population’. Yoga classes and nap rooms will not fix this, something fundamental has to change.

Could self-management could be part of the solution? Pfeffer says that healthy workplaces offer autonomy and social support. Helen gives the inside view of how this happens in self-managed teams: how you organise without a manager, being accountable to each other, and how bringing your whole self to work underpins everything.

Helen Sanderson will be joining our TEDx shairng her 15-year work being closely involved in the development of person-centred thinking and planning in the UK. Helen will come to our TEDx with a fresh approach to team management, with her first hand experience of self-managed teams: teams which manage themselves without a manager. Delineating the traditional rigidity of hierarchical management, self-managed teams have shown to be particularly successful for individual and collective wellbeing.

With the management approach growing traction worldwide, this talk will be relevant for anyone looking to work into an entrepreneurial business or business with innovative work practices. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

14 minutes 55 seconds.

Republished with permission.

Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.