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Introduction to Holacracy


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Holacracy® can be described as an ‘operating system’ for organizations. An alternative for the traditional hierarchy. It supports purpose-driven organizations with structured and efficient meetings, clarity on roles and how decisions are made and how power is distributed. With Holacracy anyone from anywhere in the organization can rapidly process any tension into positive change. It’s an agile approach to organizational governance and development.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Introduction to Holacracy

  2. 2. When it comes to organization, it often seems like there’s really only ...
  3. 3. Introducing Holacracy A set of design principles & practices for organizing around purpose 1. Agile & adaptive 2. Distributed authority 3. Disciplined & data-driven
  4. 4. From centralized to distributed
  5. 5. Organizing around people...
  6. 6. ... vs. organizing around purpose
  7. 7. Agile & adaptive
  8. 8. Evolution fuelled by... tension Tension: the perceived gap between how things are and how they could be
  9. 9. Processing tensions “More organizations die of indigestion than starvation” - David Packard Co-founder of HP
  10. 10. The promise of Holacracy Processing any tension, sensed by anyone anywhere in the organization, into increasing clarity and evolution toward purpose, rapidly, reliably, and continuously.
  11. 11. RoleRole Distributed authority... Role Accountability Accountability Project Project Action Action Action Action Area of focus Social media Ongoing activity Promoting our products on social media Desired outcome Twitter profile updated First next step Email Tom about new company logo
  12. 12. Governance Operations RoleRole ... in short, disciplined cycles Role Accountability Accountability Project Project Action Action Action Action
  13. 13. Let’s try it: simulation setup Welcome to “The Better Way Company” which provides training & coaching for the “Better Way” method The company has just adopted Holacracy… … and there are lots of tensions to process …
  14. 14. Board Circle General Company Circle (GCC) Coaching Delivery Circle Event Delivery Circle Rep Link Lead Link to GCC Lead Link Lead Link Rep Link Rep Link Other Roles:  Training Design  Marketing  Customer Engagement  Website Manager  Finance The Better Way Company
  15. 15. Governance meeting structure • Check-in • Building the agenda • Processing agenda items – Item 1 – Item 2 – Etc. • Check-out One tension at a time, by one person at a time
  16. 16. Workable in 5 steps (or 6) 1. Proposal* 2. Clarifying questions 3. Reaction round 4. Amendments or clarifications* 5. Objection round 6. Integration of valid objections (if any) * Only the owner of the tension speaks here
  17. 17. Objection or no objection? • We’re going to try it, unless... 1. ... You have data... 2. ... that it creates a new tension... 3. ... for one of your roles!
  18. 18. Implementing Holacracy  Adopt the Holacracy Constitution  Define the initial structure  Initiate regular tactical and governance meetings  Train internal Facilitators  Offer additional training & coaching as needed
  19. 19. The Holacracy Constitution “This Constitution documents the core rules, structure, and processes of the Holacracy ‘operating system’ for governing and managing an organization. It provides a critical foundation for an organization wishing to use Holacracy, by anchoring the shift of power required in concrete and documented ‘rules of the game’, which everyone involved can reference and rely upon.”
  20. 20. Holacracy in contrast Traditional management Centralized Managers x Design Predict and control Tension = problem Holacracy Distributed Self-management Evolution Experiment and adapt Tension = fuel
  21. 21. For more info...