Developing Leaders for Flat Organizations: Lessons from W.L. Gore & Associates


The “new” organizations are connected networks with few titles and as little hierarchy as possible.  Leaders accomplish their work through influencing and engagement instead of authority.  Their team members span many cultures and geographies, and their relationships are both vast and personal. 
In an era when leaders emerge through the grace of followers, how do organizations develop leaders?
For more than 50 years, associates of W.L. Gore & Associates have been refining skills, processes and practices for influencing and delivering value together without hierarchical power.  More than 10,000 associates create and sell innovative products for electronics, fabrics, industrial and medical device industries – without a single manager.
You will learn:

  • What is the role of leaders in flat, ‘bossless’ or self-managed organizations?
  • What are the unique skill sets of individuals who lead in these environments?
  • What processes and practices support leadership and leadership development in flat organizations?


Dr. Debra France

Leadership Development and Learning Design at W.L. Gore