About Doug Kirkpatrick

Speaker, Author, Consultant

Self-Management Thought Leader and Keynote Speaker

Author, organizational change consultant, and TEDx Speaker, Doug Kirkpatrick helps create self-managed, no-limit enterprises.

What’s work got to do with love?

It’s this question that has reverberated for Doug Kirkpatrick throughout his career, from his time as the first financial controller of Morning Star, the world’s leading tomato processing company, to the co-founding of the Morning Star Self-Management Institute in 2008, and up to the present day.

This relationship between love and work also serves as the unifying thread of Doug’s work as an author, underlining the organizational self-management theory of his first two books, Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization, From Hierarchy to High Performance: Unleashing the Hidden Superpowers of Ordinary People to Realize Extraordinary Results, and his most recent work from ForbesBooks, The No-Limits Enterprise: Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work.

Doug’s answer to “what’s work got to do with love?” is informed by years of experience, but most succinctly articulated by the Lebanese-American poet, Khalil Gibran, who said, “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”

After getting his start in manufacturing and working to help Morning Star grow into the industry leader it is today, Doug dedicated his career to advancing the organizational self-management ethos. Today he helps businesses all over the world reach their full potential by re-integrating humanity into the workplace and allowing people to create with love.

Now an author, consultant and executive coach, Doug is a partner with NuFocus Strategic Group, and works with the Open Leadership Network, Leadwise, People-Centric Organizations, the Center for Innovative Cultures, Great Work Cultures, Work Revolution, and others communities dedicated to creating the future of work.


I travelled to Boston last week to hear Doug Kirkpatrick speak about self managing organisations. It was truly inspiring and completely requires thinking differently and creatively. That in itself makes it a game changer.

Bronwyn Bowery-Ireland

Agent for Professional Leaders | CEO Coach | Executive Coach | Women's Idea Meritocracy Group

Doug is outstanding in everything he does. Why? He not just has deep expertise, knowledge, and practice about self-organized entities, but he also shows up with heart and humbleness which is hard to find. He was a speaker at the Future of Leadership Salon which I curate on a regular base, as well joined us on one of my innovation & leadership journeys to Silicon Valley. Every time he was an inspiration to the group. I can't wait to invite Doug again to spread the magic of open space and self-organization. Thank you, Doug, for being you!

Eve Simon

Expert in Leadership Transformation, Igniter for Change, Burning for Inclusion/New Work Culture/Communication/Innovation

I was working with Doug on our "Teal Safari," he was a speaker and shared his broad knowledge on self-organisation, company culture and much more. We let people rate on the different presentation and he scored a 5.7 out of 6! That's pretty impressive and almost impossible ;-) thanks a lot Doug for the great collaboration and looking forward to the next opportunities!

Timm Urschinger

Co-Founder and CEO at LIVEsciences AG

We've had the pleasure of working with Doug multiple times over the last few years. On behalf of our client groups and our WDHB team, we're thankful of how generous he is with his knowledge and time. Our groups have great takeaways from these conversations that often continue long after their events.

Sandra Bednarz, CMP

Head of Quality & Technology at WDHB Strategic Learning

Doug led a corporate retreat for our company and I cannot compliment him enough. His time and efforts were greatly appreciated. In such a setting, Doug's gift is his ability to both provide structure, but also to encourage open discussion among the participants.

Mort Taylor

CEO at Signal Power and Light, Inc.

Doug recently contributed his knowledge, perspective and experience regarding Self-Management during our company's weekly global meeting. I was in our Head Office that day with all of our staff there crammed into the conference room. You could have heard a pin drop. Doug held everyone's attention for a full 45 minutes, and there was much nodding of heads and note-taking during his reflections and answering of our questions.

Hamish M.

Founder and Advisory Board at The Diary Corporation