2014. május 3., szombat

I do holacracy - how we changed

This post summarizes my experiences based on six months exploring holacracy in Doctusoft. If you are interested in details you may find more about our story here.

Holacracy changes us. It is a tool we use, but we adopt to it. The tool brings clarity, accountability, but after a while it is us who bring clarity and accountability to life and sustain it via holacracy. I experience a slow but major transformation of me and my colleagues in several aspects. Be prepared to read nice stuff :)

They wish to be part of it.

We have applied holacracy to only one part of the company yet. Since we are a software developer group practicing agile management methods, the project groups were managed quite well. We chose holacracy for the supporting functions like HR, finances, sales. Now these circles are a little bit envied by the developers. They hear about effective meetings, clarity and wish to be part of it.

Personal consciousness in the way we handle issues.

Colleagues started to come up with tensions and suggestions out of the governance meetings. In cases it is not clear in which role did they feel the tension. Lots of roles are not clarified yet. Since undefined roles have no clear purpose it is hard to tell whether the proposal moves the circle forward or backward, but sometimes there is a gut level knowledge about its rightness.

Clearer messages, more attention in communication.

Processing tensions have multiple learnings for each participating partner. I simplified these learnings to focus on the partners' feelings
- I can have my tensions resolved the way I think it is best for me. Perhaps if it does not hurt anybody else. 
- I am not allowed to oppose without reason. I have to face my irrational self if I intend to.
- I see others change after their tensions are resolved. It makes the subjective change of others an almost tangible experience for me.
- I see how "expensive" is fighting and how pointless it is. We have to reengage in governance tension resolution again anyway.
- It happens a lot that I have contextual suggestions or objections that are brought up by another partner before I have time to speak. Firstly my ego wants to be heard, later I start to enjoy that I can save my voice and can trust others to work out the objection we both feel necessary.
- I see that meetings can be effective and informative, less time consuming and less frequent if we start with the tensions and process them.

These learnings provide positive assuring feelings and "aha" experiences that lead to personal confidence, emotional balance, and predictability in the group dynamics.

Real proactivity and responsibility

Circles and roles are clear. So as the constitution. It means that everything I do have clear boundaries and connecting points. The way I work has more autonomy than any empowerment gave me previously, since I am almost self-managing. I fill a role with a clear purpose. If I have any problem or roadblock that is a tension to process that is to be triggered solely by me. If I have no roadblocks the work is to be done solely by me.

Letting things go - transcending the ego

After the most of the evil blocking tensions are resolved people start to get their things done. They have less and less time to focus on positions, pesonal gains, fear, games, and assumptions. Meanwhile they discover that self-managing or at least autonomous work is much more fulfilling than playing daily games for maintaining position, security, whatever. So they step back from the previous conflict zones since those are not beneficial or necessary after all.

All of us experience this which leads to less "threat" and more personal focus. The results are plenty. Just to mention some:
- Success - as etymology says: an advance, a happy outcome
- Reaffirming results
- Responsability taken, being accountable is building character
- Reflection on personal work methods
- Reflection on personal feelings, worldviews
- Assertivity

I experience that holacracy enhances personal growth.

Do you categorize these learning s differently? Have you got anything to add?