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Holacracy  – part 2

Holacracy – part 2

I’m rather taken with this new notion of Holacracy first coined by Brian J Robertson, so in my earlier post I just provided an overview. After a bit more research I am able to provide you with a more in depth view of how it works which is described below.

Further information can be got from www.holacracy.org

Circle organisation
To say there’s no hierarchy in a holacracy is inaccurate. There is, but it’s much less rigid than a traditional structure. Its constitution is made up of semi-autonomous circles, with each circle having its own goals and responsibilities. Every circle has a ‘lead link’ that designates people certain roles. Each circle exists within the context of a higher-level circle, but no circle is fully autonomous.

With holacracy, governance meetings structure how the work gets done, making it clear who is responsible for what and with how much authority. Each employee has complete control over the roles they’ve been assigned or elected to. However, they are still accountable, so if there’s a problem or they have an issue with a colleague, it’s their responsibility to sort it out.

Hiring and firing
In a typical top-down management structure, the power to hire and fire is usually in the hands of managers. With holacracy, it’s less personal, making it more about who is the best fit for each role. But because there are no managers, who actually does the hiring and firing you might ask?

As with any business, employees can be removed, but the process needs to be decided upon by governance, a committee sometimes referred to as an anchor circle. A circle’s lead link can remove someone from a role and find a better fit from the talent pool available if necessary. An employee may also be removed if they can’t find enough roles to do within the company.

Is holacracy right for you?
A company without managers might sound like a recipe for chaos, but supporters of holacracy say it actually has the opposite effect because a workplace free from office politics results in fewer tensions and empowers employees. Ultimately, it gives everyone a voice, which fuels more ideas and opportunities, and is extremely flexible, which is paramount for success in a modern workforce.

However, it isn’t for everyone, and shouldn’t be undertaken without due consideration. Without any one person truly in charge, it’s not always clear where the buck stops when it comes to issues such as company under performance and finance. Also, because staff aren’t promoted or given a clear career path, they may be tempted by more lucrative offers elsewhere. It might also be difficult for current managers to relinquish power.

Lets all run for President – Holacracy in action

This video by Mike Derheim CEO of The Nerdery explains the concept of holacracy , “What if everyone at your company was a co-president”



I went on holidays recently and for lack of something better to do, I started reading the BA business magazine. I came across an article by Brian J Robertson on a new concept he has invented for leadership and management called Holacracy. In short holacracy is designed to ensure that good ideas that may come to benefit the organisation overall don’t get stymied by the boss at the top or worse someone else en route.

The old traditional hierarchical management and leadership structures that we are all used to are deisgned to control and that sometimes is no bad thing after all it has worked for centuries at least since the Romans, but the worry with this recently is that it really is controlled at the top and that could well stifle innovation and creativity, whilst it works brilliantly in traditional organisations, it will not work in newer, innovative start ups and creative, which is when the new economy or thought economy is headed.

So how does Holacracy work then, well according to Mr Robertson like this….

Holacracy is a management structure based on the tasks that a company needs to accomplish, not the people within it. This means you have no traditional hierarchy, managers or job titles. Everyone is their own boss within self-organised teams, responsible for influencing the company’s success and vision. Holacracy is a new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles, which can then be executed autonomously, without a micromanaging boss. The work is actually more structured than in a conventional company, just differently so. With Holacracy, there is a clear set of rules and processes for how a team breaks up its work, and defines its roles with clear responsibilities and expectations.

Holacracy also allows employees to do other things so they don’t get stuck in a rut. For example, if you’re an IT specialist you can spend some of your time pursuing another interest that will benefit the company, such as helping to run events or social media campaigns.

There is even a website dedicated to it www.holacracy.org