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Basics of Holacracy

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Introduction and overview of Holocracy based on internet research and Holacracry taster workshop in Amsterdam.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Basics of Holacracy

  1. 1. Basics of Holacracy Some internet research on this topic Margôt van Brakel December 2015
  2. 2. Some quotes.. • A management system that ‘suits’ the ever changing and faster moving world. • Changing the way power works in an organisation. • Becoming a responsive company. • “Don’t throw out structure, replace it! And therefore it must me better.” • Structure: minimal / just in time / dynamic. • Holacracy is purpose driven.
  3. 3. The problem with hierarchical structures: there’s a lot going on that kills productivity
  4. 4. Shifting the management system means shifting power and in doing so empowering the employees
  5. 5. In Holacracy it’s all about working in circles. The new orgchart looks like this:
  6. 6. The difference #1
  7. 7. The difference #2
  8. 8. The biggest difference: Shifting from people to roles
  9. 9. A new approach to organisational structure, meetings, automony and decision making
  10. 10. When playing an new game, you need rules: The Constitution; of course, open source
  11. 11. How it works different meetings for different purposes
  12. 12. Tensions tell us where we need to change and are the input for meetings
  13. 13. Tactical Meetings checklist / metrics / project • Frequency: Typically weekly • Purpose: To get each circle member on the same page and to address any problems hampering progress • Process: 1. Check-in Round: Each person has an uninterrupted chance to mention anything on their mind. 2. Checklist Review: Facilitator reads aloud a checklist for each of the roles, which the person in question responds to either with "check" or "no check." 3. Metrics Review: Each role responsible for a data report shares a brief on it. 4. Progress Updates: The facilitator reads aloud each project, asking, "Any updates?" The project lead either says "no updates" or gives a brief explanation. 5. Agenda Building: Each person has a chance to raise a tension, represented only by one or two words. 6. Triage Issues: Facilitator gives each person with a tension a chance to explain their issue and discuss it with other members. Facilitator determines what next steps need to be taken to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. 7. Closing Round: Each person has an uninterrupted chance to share a closing reflection about the meeting.
  14. 14. Governance Meetings collective and continuous process for tweaking roles & accountabilities • Frequency: Typically monthly • Purpose: To refine a circle's operating structure (i.e. creating, amending, or removing roles, policies, or sub-circles; electing a facilitator, secretary, and rep link) • Process: 1. Check-in Round: "One at a time, each participant has space to call out distractions and orient to the meeting." 2. Administrative Concerns: "Quickly address any logistical matters, such as time allotted for the meeting and any planned breaks." 3. Agenda Building: "Participants add agenda items, using just one or two words per item. Each agenda represents one tension to process. Facilitator captures them in a list." 4. Process Each Item Using the Integrative Decision-Making Process: "Each agenda item is addressed, one at a time, using the Integrative Decision-Making Process," which is a system that allows the proposer to speak uninterrupted and others to weigh in, one at a time. 5. Closing Round: "Once the agenda is complete or the meeting is nearing its scheduled end, the facilitator gives each person space to share a closing reflection about the meeting."
  15. 15. Strategy Meetings • Frequency: Typically every six months • Purpose: To review the circle's overall progress and develop long-term goals • Process: • There is no mandated structure, but Robertson says the meetings should last around four or more hours, and can fit into the following skeleton. 1. Check-in Round 2. Orientation 3. Retrospective 4. Strategy Generation 5. Unpack the Strategy 6. Closing Round
  16. 16. • A“Role” is an organizational construct with a descriptive name and one or more of the following: • (a) a “Purpose”, which is a capacity, potential, or unrealizable goal that the Role will pursue or express on behalf of the Organization. • (b) one or more “Domains”, which are things the Role may exclusively control and regulate as its property, on behalf of the Organization. • (c) one or more “Accountabilities”, which are ongoing activities of the Organization that the Role will enact. What’s a role? two examples
  17. 17. Special role #1: lead link • PURPOSE: The Lead Link holds the Purpose of the overall Circle. • DOMAINS: Role assignments within the Circle • ACCOUNTABILITIES: • Structuring the Governance of the Circle to enact its Purpose and Accountabilities • Assigning Partners to the Circle’s Roles; monitoring the fit; offering feedback to enhance fit; and re-assigning Roles to other Partners when useful for enhancing fit • Allocating the Circle’s resources across its various Projects and/or Roles • Establishing priorities and Strategies for the Circle • Defining metrics for the circle • Removing constraints within the Circle to the Super-Circle enacting its Purpose and Accountabilities The Lead Link also holds all un- delegated Circle-level Domains and Accountabilities.
  18. 18. Special role #2: rep link PURPOSE: Within the Super-Circle, the Rep Link holds the Purpose of the SubCircle; within the Sub-Circle, the Rep Link’s Purpose is: Tensions relevant to process in the Super-Circle channeled out and resolved. ACCOUNTABILITIES: • Removing constraints within the broader Organization that limit the Sub-Circle • Seeking to understand Tensions conveyed by Sub-Circle Circle Members, and discerning those appropriate to process in the Super- Circle • Providing visibility to the Super-Circle into the health of the Sub- Circle, including reporting on any metrics or checklist items assigned to the whole Sub-Circle
  19. 19. Companies using / implementing holacracy… just a few of many
  20. 20. Read more about it … • https://startupjuncture.com/2014/05/07/holacracy-springest-openco/ • https://hbr.org/2015/09/the-big-misconceptions-holding-holacracy-back • http://www.sprout.nl/artikel/zo-breng-je-de-platte-organisatiestructuur-holacracy-de- praktijk All input comes from internet sources & holacracy taster workshop in Amsterdam. Many thanks!

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