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How I Tried holacracy and Lived to Tell the Tale


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This is the story of introducing holacracy at a New Zealand tech company, whose CTO gave Sandy a one-line instruction: “I’d like you to make it happen.”
Come along and learn from Sandy Mamoli’s successes and failures in her team’s quest to create a truly self-organising organisation. Learn what worked and what didn’t, and find out how the team resolved the question of whether they had joined a cult or actually improved their business.

Published in: Leadership & Management

How I Tried holacracy and Lived to Tell the Tale

  1. 1. Keep moving ahead How I tried Holacracy and lived to tell the tale
  2. 2. Keep moving ahead We want to collaborate better!
  3. 3. — Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos “Every time the size of a city doubles, innovation and productivity increase by 15%. When companies get bigger, innovation and productivity go down.”
  4. 4. Keep moving ahead Responsible adults move authority to where the information is
  5. 5. Keep moving ahead What is Holacracy?
  6. 6. A method of decentralised management and organisational governance in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout autonomous, self- organising teams
  7. 7. Keep moving ahead Holacracy is a method for creating a truly self- organising organisation
  8. 8. Keep moving ahead Sociocracy 1970 Holacracy 2009
  9. 9. Keep moving ahead Title Text
  10. 10. —Miki Szikszai, CEO, Snapper “Scientology meets agile meets paleo meets crossfit.”
  11. 11. Keep moving ahead Let’s try this!
  12. 12. Keep moving ahead 1. Autonomous circles 2. Roles 3. Tensions & consent Key concepts
  13. 13. Keep moving ahead 1. Autonomous Circles
  14. 14. This is Pippa …
  15. 15. International circle Create new customers & develop services for existing customers Purpose Accountabilities • Create demand for Snapper’s services • Deliver a pipeline of customers • Customer satisfaction • Operational management/service life cycle
  16. 16. On the go International circle
  17. 17. Snapper General Circle International On the go iOS Android On the go Wellington “Make transport ticketing more attractive”
  18. 18. Keep moving ahead Title Text A hierarchy of purpose - not people
  19. 19. Keep moving ahead 2. Roles
  20. 20. Keep moving ahead What I really do Board Report Writer Refund issuer Customer insights Audit co- ordinator My job description
  21. 21. Job crafting • split work into smaller roles • develop new skills • dynamic allocation
  22. 22. Employment law
  23. 23. Defining roles • tedious but paid off • helped us focus on the important parts
  24. 24. Keep moving ahead Roles today • roles are part of people’s daily lives • check-up every 3 months
  25. 25. Keep moving ahead 3. Tensions & consent
  26. 26. The gap between what is and what could be Tensions
  27. 27. decision making by consent
  28. 28. Keep moving ahead Look outs • meeting formats didn’t work for us • don’t wait for a meeting to act
  29. 29. Keep moving ahead 3 years in…
  30. 30. • Holacracy across the entire business • Things no longer fall through the cracks • Snapper can grow and remain agile
  31. 31. Keep moving ahead “Things were definitely difficult in the beginning. The rigid rules felt at odds with the organisational culture. However, we didn’t give up, tried everything for ourselves and things have worked out well.” — Anthony, Business Analyst
  32. 32. Keep moving ahead “This is everything I ever wished for. But it’s really hard because I sometimes feel overwhelmed. And I miss my friends in finance.” — Kathryn, Finance
  33. 33. Keen to try it for yourself?
  34. 34. live with the strange language
  35. 35. … to start with
  36. 36. follow the principles
 - not the rules
  37. 37. Keep moving ahead What I think about Holacracy now
  38. 38. Keep moving ahead Holacracy, Agile and common sense will make a big difference
  39. 39. Keep moving ahead Holacracy will amplify the culture that's already in place. It won’t change or improve it!
  40. 40. Keep moving ahead It’s not about doing Holacracy but about being holacratic!
  41. 41. Keep moving ahead Download slides: articles/holacracy-slides @smamol