Tag Archives: holacracy

Links of the Week (Week 43/2015)

LinksoftheWeek

Here are our Links of the Week, curated from our link collection:

Consulting

Learning from the big fish in the pond: How storytelling improves consulting and makes it more fun. Consultants Mind analyses the Boston Consulting Group’s new website in Atlas of Strategy Traps. 

Software

As a multi-local team, Structure & Process is working successfully with Slack. In this article Cary Newfeldt explains why this is such a powerful tool, and gives an overview of Slack’s functions: Hello Slack, Goodbye Email.

Start-Ups

Senjeev Agrawal advises only to start a new company if you are truly obsessed with your idea. In the end, even the worst case scenario looks like a total win. Don’t Start a Company – Be Obsessed With Something.

Holacracy

Uschi shares her reflections on a recently given workshop at EvolvingOrganisation:
“Thanks to Holacracy I can now explain my approach: I work for purpose, not people.”

Auf deutsch:

Stefan Roock gibt eine illustrierte Einführung in Scrum und erklärt, wie diese IT-Methode als Denkmuster für ein agiles Innovationsmanagement angewendet werden kann.

The Birth of an Holacracy organisation: the setup of Structure & Process

What happens or needs to happen when an organisation switches to Holacracy?

With this article, I intend to give some clarity for founders or owners of companies that consider using Holacracy. I will outline the steps that need to be taken to move from the existing structure to Holacracy.

I will use our own case – that of Structure & Process – to explain the steps as we go along.

Establishing the legal base for Holacracy: The Foundational Document

A company moves to Holacracy when the current power-holders adopt the Holacracy Constitution.

In Structure & Process’s case, this was done by myself, Martina Röll, the sole owner, establishing and signing a foundational document.

It reads pretty straightforwardly:

Continue reading The Birth of an Holacracy organisation: the setup of Structure & Process

Why personal productivity matters in Holacracy

Imagine that you are the owner and CEO of a company and you are considering to use Holacracy as an operating system. That basically means, you give up the power to tell your employees what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. However much you may be excited about moving to such a self-organising structure, deep down you also feel fearful (or maybe not so deep down!):

What if my employees take different actions and directions than I would like them to take? What if they forget things? How can I make sure they’ll be taking the right decisions?

Trust and transparency

It takes a certain amount of basic trust in your employees, and people in general, to decide to use Holacracy. Besides that, it actually provides the proper framework for former decision-makers to be able to relax about controlling the work that needs to be done in the company.

Continue reading Why personal productivity matters in Holacracy

Energizing Project Roles (Holacracy Basics, Part 1)

In project work, we often speak of “Roles”. But rarely it is made explicit, what it means exactly to take on a “Role”. What are the expectations one can have towards you? What expectations can you have towards others?

Holacracy is a framework for collaborative work. It provides explicit and clear rules for how to work together.

In Holacracy, taking on a role means taking the responsibility:

  • to sense tensions for that role and process them.
    A tension is a gap between what is, and what could be better.
  • to break down the role’s accountabilities into projects and next-actions, and to document these projects and next-actions.
    (The role’s accountabilities are decided on in a governance process. You can see examples of role descriptions on our company’s public governance records. (click any small circle.))
  • to continuously decide which projects and actions to work on

(More detail in the Holacracy Constitution, Section 1: http://holacracy.org/constitution#art1)

Filling a role grants the authority to take any action to express the Role’s Purpose or Accountabilities, as long as it doesn’t impact the Domain of another Role without permission. (Constitution 1.4) (More on “Domains” at another time.)

Continue reading Energizing Project Roles (Holacracy Basics, Part 1)

5 Steps to Building an Organisation

What are the essential steps to seting up and maintaining coherent, purposeful collaborative work? How do you build an organisation?

Giving a talk to participants of Berlin’s Climate-KIC accelerator program last week helped me clarify my thinking on this. I will attempt to sketch out a systematic way to to get from “a bunch of people wanting to do things together” to a working and evolving organisation. There are many ways to do this – this is one, that, in our experience, has often worked well. It is informed by the work we did with Nenásilná komunikace group and our practise of Holacracy.

This will most likely be incomplete or unclear in places – please do leave questions and comments below so that it can improve!

1) Clarify Purpose

Goal: Arrive at a shared expression of purpose.

Method: Story Circle Conversation with Convergence.

'The Circle Way' Book Cover

Get all founders together and host a circle conversation on purpose.

Continue reading 5 Steps to Building an Organisation

People thriving

An interesting quote jumped out at me from Brian Robertson’s article on the History of Holacracy®:

“build the healthiest possible system where people thrive.”

Reimo Sandau, who I met in the afternoon, emphasized the word choice to me: “thrive”.

We have been struggling to clearly capture our company purpose in words for quite some time. “Structure & Process” is WHAT we build, WHAT we deliver. But WHY do we do it? What is the _purpose_ of building structures & processes? What are we really working for or towards? WHY is this work important?

Yesterday, we captured this formally in our company purpose for the first time: “Effective collaboration through clear structure and process” became: People thriving in collaboration, through clear structure & process”. 

It is longer and maybe not as smooth, but it is a start to put at the centre of our purpose the core of what this really is about: People. “Thriving.” Living, learning and growing as they work together. Being fully alive.

thrive
intransitive verb \ˈthrīv\

: to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed

This may evolve into “people and organisations thriving” if we consider organisations to have a life of their own, but this will be up to a future governance meeting to decide. :)

Joyful work. Meaningful conversations. Clarity of purpose.

If you’d like to join us, there is plenty of work to be done! We are grateful for new collaborators and for opportunities to apply our skills – helping people thrive in collaboration. Let us know if you see any potential in your environment!

Have a great summer.