Holacracy

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. It emphasises iterative governance, adaptive processes and self organisation.
. It endeavours to make individuals more responsible for their thoughts and actions
. It is linked with the agile concept of management and most prominent in social media-based industries

Its 4 key features are
i) fluid structure
- individuals move from project to project
- individuals can hold multiple roles at any given time
- groups/circles form and reform as projects change
-
it is a self-organising system, ie each circle has the authority to organise itself internally to best achieve its goals, such as conducting its own governance meetings, assigning members to fill roles and taking responsibility for carrying out work within its domain or authority
ii) evolving roles
-
people are defined by skill-sets/roles/accountabilities, etc, rather than titles/job descriptions
- aligning individuals/circles around operational needs require each member to fulfill certain duties to work efficiently and effectively together
- individuals are given autonomy and authority to make their own decisions on how to best achieve their goals
- individuals don't need permission to act or innovate unless they are restricted via policies and governance or wish to spend organisational resources
iii) hands-off executive
-
leaders delegate authority and decision-making to where the work is done
- an evolving collective governance process that adapts to the needs of each circle and the organisation
- regular
(like weekly) open discussion meetings, for reviewing performance, problem-solving, communicating updates of what is going on, sharing information, future directions, etc
- it is not a consensus-based system nor consent-based system but integrates relevant inputs from all parties that ensures any changes, etc are anchored in the circles/organisational priorities rather than people's preferences or ego
-
circles are connected by cross membership
iv) customer-centric
- most important performance indicator is the value delivered to clients/customers
NB Staff focus on getting the work done rather than seeking management approval for changes.
An example of an organisation using this structure is Zappos (on-line shoe retailer) acquired by Amazon in 2012 for US$ 859 m.)
"..It's about having a clear and exciting vision, and then creating the space and shape so that the people make it happen themselves..."
Melanie Perkins as quoted by Rose Powell, 2015

It challenges assumptions about how organisations work, eg traditional focus on internal competition that diverts resources away from important priorities such as customer needs.

It does away with the command and control concepts used in hierarchical organisations fortified by annual performance reviews, HR managers, etc.

For this structure to work, hiring the right staff is of utmost importance, ie do they have the right attitude to fit into the organisation's culture, ie collaborative approach as well as
- a strong values base and vision for the future
- networks of meetings
- understanding that an organisation is an eco-system (a set of dependencies)
- management are there to serve the staff (not the other way round)

organisational development change management

(source: Rose Powell, 2015: Wikipedia, 2015b)

 

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