In the mid-2000’s the businessman Brian Robertson wanted his business to increase by making the decision making process more efficient. It was then that the concept of holacracy emerged for the first time in the United States.
According to Robertson, the only solution to work more efficiently would be promoting autonomy and reducing the number of parties involved in decision making. In a holacracy system, every business task / process would establish a team free to make decisions relating to their goals. On condition, of course, to remain consistent with the general vision and mission of the company.
What does it really mean working in a holacratic environment?
First, giving back the sense of ownership and responsibility to the employees. To do this, you can organize groups of a few people, let’s say a maximum of ten people that work in a completely autonomous way. Each group would make concrete decisions for their own group, without any control or hierarchical validation.
For topics of strategic importance, the debates will take place at the management level and all employees will participate. The votes count the same. Young graduates in their first work experience count in the same way as senior employees. All groups may receive a budget to finance their various proposals and initiatives. This allows decisions to be taken quickly and by collective intelligence.
This type of horizontal organization tries to adapt to the needs and expectations of the new generations.
In recent years, young jobseekers require companies to offer flexibility, autonomy, responsibility and above all meaning and purpose. The concepts of nonsense job or pseudowork and brown-out are more and more common and Gen Z would avoid them as hell.
Holacracy, by putting the person at the first place, seems to respond to these problems because it makes people aware of their importance within a team. Empowering people gives motivation, engagement, and therefore more effectiveness.
Obviously, you will not always agree within a team. However, this also represents a benefit, because the purpose of holacracy is not to eliminate the differences, but it is rather to encourage everyone to take the floor and to express their ideas and doubts. The group can analyse all the options and possible contradictions immediately. The group itself, after having overcome all possible misunderstandings, will find the solution. Of course, you need to be able to put aside your ego, as the common project and goal would have priority.
What do you think of holocracy?
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9 thoughts on “Empower Your Colleagues”
the thoery of management is only about 100 yrs old and it is still finding its way as a result of this. There are pro’s and cons with each new thoery, and I tend to have a ‘wait and see’ view about this one
I like more the approach “try and see” 😉
After being very micro-managed in my last job- this theory sounds like something to try 😎
I was micromanage too and when I read about holacracy I was amazed!
Brownouts are a fact of life and as you get older you have more of them. They are known as “senior moments.”
Holacracy sounds much like the Lockheed Skunkworks, back when Kelly Johnson ran the show. The problem is that it does not meet the psychological needs of the typical high-level business executive. People get into those positions to fill a desire for control and power much more than even a need for profitability or project success.
Holacracy is inherently unstable. It only lasts until professional management moves in to displace the original vision with control and regimentation. But it is nice while it lasts.
This is the point, shifting from the culture of control and power to the culture of knowledge sharing and creativity. Thanks for commenting!
How interesting! You’ve introduced me to a new word – holacracy. Brene Brown talks about the different types of power as in power to/with/within as alternatives of power over. It sounds like a way to institute those different types of power models within a company. Great post, Cristiana!
New Concept learned – Holacracy. I always believe in empowering people and have been doing so in my personal and professional life. Believe me, it has delivered and delivered excellent results.
I do believe it, thank you for commenting!