How we work at Gore sets us apart. Since Bill Gore founded the company in 1958, Gore has been a team-based, flat lattice organisation that fosters personal initiative. There are no traditional organisational charts, no chains of command, nor predetermined channels of communication.
Instead, we communicate directly with each other and are accountable to fellow members of our multi-disciplined teams. We encourage hands-on innovation, involving those closest to a project in decision making. Teams organise around opportunities and leaders emerge. This unique kind of corporate structure has proven to be a significant contributor to associate satisfaction and retention.
We work hard at maximising individual potential, maintaining an emphasis on product integrity, and cultivating an environment where creativity can flourish. A fundamental belief in our people and their abilities continues to be the key to our success.
How does all this happen? Associates (not employees) are employed for general work areas. With the guidance of their sponsors (not bosses) and a growing understanding of opportunities and team objectives, associates commit to projects that match their skills. All of this takes place in an environment that combines freedom with cooperation and autonomy with synergy.
Everyone can quickly earn the credibility to define and drive projects. Sponsors help associates chart a course in the organisation that will offer personal fulfillment while maximising their contribution to the enterprise. Leaders may be appointed, but are defined by 'followership.' More often, leaders emerge naturally by demonstrating special knowledge, skill, or experience that advances a business objective.
Associates adhere to four basic guiding principles articulated by Bill Gore:
Fairness to each other and everyone with whom we come in contact
Freedom to encourage, help, and allow other associates to grow in knowledge, skill, and scope of responsibility
The ability to make one's own commitments and keep them
Consultation with other associates before undertaking actions that could impact the reputation of the company