Companies fear empowered teams. Employee empowerment represents the end of management as we have known it. That cannot happen too soon for me.
I have been privileged to have worked in an empowered team. Without a full-time "official" manager, they were self-managed. Proponents of the corporate management hierarchy might fear anarchy. Instead, this team was democratically run. They were independent, innovative, professional, and accountable; they shared responsibility and ownership. They got things done.
Being a part of an empowered team is a heady experience. Once you've experienced that, you want it again.
The team still exists, but it's "under new management". In other words, there's a "real" full-time manager now and he's taken charge in the way of all managers. There's hope, however, if not for us, for others.