2014. július 1., kedd

I do holacracy - leadership decomposed, redefined

Leadership is a key element in any organization. While it is defined in several ways almost all leadership concepts work with the following core elements:

building trust, credibility
defining a purpose, a vision, setting values
building sustainable systems to process stuff
supporting people in finding motivation, and fulfilment


This is easy to read but harder to practice. While Holacracy often receives the true critique that it is complex, in reality any cooperation and leadership model has similarly complexity and practical hardships if all elements of it are practiced honestly and at once.

Within its closed system Holacracy incorporates a set of functions that build up to an evolutionary leadership function. I differentiated the following groups incorporating evolutionary leadership sub-functions:

1. Directing functions
- Evolutionary purpose
- Policies

Directing functions help in asking the right questions. Are we heading for the purpose? Are we aligned? Are we acting according to the policies? Purposes and policies have an evolution as tensions surface.

2. Structural and process functions
- Circle and role structure
- Governance and operation processes
The structure of circles incorporating each other and the roles result in an aligned tree of purposes. Changes in the structure are also evolutionary. The processes ensure the evolutionary operation.

3. Roles enhancing purposeful cooperation
- Lead link - holding the purpose of the circle
- Facilitator - running the meeting and putting out fire
- Secretary - steward of all records
- Rep link - representing the circle, holding the purpose one level up 

These roles must be filled to run the circle. It is key that the lead link may not overlap with the rep link and the facilitator. Otherwise the lead link may turn out to be a single point of failure or a role-holding Partner with too much power. 


4. Self-leadership, self-management
- Autonomous work,
- Tension driven proposal
- Right to vote
- Right to take individual action


Self-management is also a key concept in Holacracy. Work is to be done in a GTD manner. For that the roles are a hundred percent empowered by the Holacracy Constitution. Roles have authority to do their work and to impact the way the circle is run.


As you see holacracy is not dealing with people. It is channeling personal energies via roles and processes for the purpose. People lead themselves. Also it does not describe a system further then basic cooperative decision makings and election.


All these do not build up traditional leadership. These are a set of balanced functions that enhance the organization to make changes and steps in small increments, validating them all the time. People have space to grow up and act as adults and learn as children.