One important reason why there are so many very badly managed firms in the world today is the widespread belief that management should be the responsibility of a few people at the top. The future of corporations may therefore depend on the rise of distributed forms of management, such as holacracy. Following video briefly explains what is this model in 2 minutes:
- The Holacracy Hype. Holacracy and other forms of self-organization have been getting a lot of press. Proponents hail them as “flat” environments that foster flexibility, engagement, productivity, and efficiency. Critics say they’re naive, unrealistic experiments.
- The Reality. Neither view is quite right. Although the new forms can help organizations become more adaptable and nimble, most companies shouldn’t adopt their principles wholesale.
- The Potential. A piecemeal approach usually makes sense. Organizations can use elements of self-management in areas where the need for adaptability is high, and traditional models where reliability is paramount.
theLeader.io can help to overcome some of these issues, however the real problem with holacracy isn’t the ideas behind it but the persistence of a few false beliefs that have grown up around it. Three misconceptions, in particular, have been particularly damaging:
- Misconception 1: Holacracy means abandonment of corporate hierarchy. Although holacratic and other distributed-management approaches are fundamentally different from the command-and-control structures that prevail in many organizations, they aren’t nonhierarchical, as many believe.
- Misconception 2: The goal justifies any means. Another common belief is that once the blueprint of holacracy has been adopted, any implementation strategy will do to get the company there. At Zappos, Hsieh’s ultimatum to employees — embrace holacracy or accept a buyout — illustrates this misconception.
- Misconception 3: Distributed management does not affect the C-suite or boardroom. Many attempts to introduce distributed management fail because executives and directors take themselves out of the equation. They assume that the change affects only operational and middle managers and that their own discretionary powers will remain intact. They don’t grasp that holacracy represents a fundamental redistribution of power and authority throughout the organization.
Why such change?
Two years ago I read a book called “ReInventing Organizations”, this book changed my model of thinking. Right before reading this book I had published another booklet on same concept however Reinventing Organization was an epiphany moment for my professional career as a person holding leadership position. It was my first time I read something called “teal organization” and I also wrote an article called “Modern Organization”. Since then it has been my ultimate dream to build a teal organization, following picture explains in detail what is the teal organization and how it has been built.
It is important to have one last understanding of how to read such structure. Most of structures have been always as top down also known as Hierarchy model. However the new model is very different. We should read it as circles not levels nor layers of hierarchy; following figure illustrates the difference:
Based on above explanation on context of change, please have a look at the following image that depicts how an eCommerce engineering structure will be look like. Once again, these are just my thoughts, everyone please feel free to challenge, ask questions or raise any concerns.
There are couple of matters that needs to be considered which are listed in below:
- The teams on left will have a head which mainly will be product people with engineering background
- The teams on right are not full time or fixed teams. They are Cross Functional Teams. All the members from left will be able to raise any matters to team on right and build a circle then need to persuade the head of teams on left to convert the changes into user story and add them into backlog.
- Circles on right will be lead by experts on specific topics.
- In this structure we will care and focus a lot on User Experience and journeys, which every individual engineering members are empowered to raise any topic that they’ll think it will improve our journeys hence better experience for users.
- HBR, Competing on Customer Journeys
- HBR, Beyond the Holacracy Hype
- HBR, The Big Misconceptions Holding Holacracy Back
- HBR, Embracing Agile