2016. május 25., szerda

I do holacracy - after the third year..

Three years ago with two owners of Doctusoft, István and Tamás, we were heading to Vienna lo learn about holacracy from Brian Robertson at a teaser workshop. After three years I just booked my ticket to the holacracy practitioner Forum to be held in Vienna by dwarfs and Giants. I am about to share our story and learn from others.

So many things happened. A major thing was that Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics gained more recognition via Frederic Laloux's famous book Reinventing Organizations. With likeminded friends we founded a learning circle in Budapest to help each other towards both Teal practices and holacracy.  

Fun fact: we named our learning circle Circle43 which is the holon incorporating 42 - a relevant info on Towel Day. Today we provide help and knowledge for other entities and individuals, not just each other. Come to one of our meetups if you are in Budapest!

Meanwhile in Doctusoft Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics helped us to understand why holacracy works and why it is hard to practice. We incrementally learned more and more about the nature of purpose, responsibility accountability, domains, proactivity, empowerment and how these can be integrated in a closed system.

But the most interesting episodes of the story are always those that are not told. The ones in the personal and in the organizational shadow. Classic consulting has no tools where Teal starts and holacracy starts to work seamlessly. The tool and the tool using consultant need to act as one and be continuous. So for the sake of the change – I quote Ghandi here - be the change you want to see in the world. I share these stories personally, like at the Integral European Conference.  

During these three years I failed and we failed several times to practice holacracy properly, and we kind of dropped it. Every time we let it go after these failures, some elements of it crept back under the door and became part of our practice which made us to try it again. Also in every iteration the power shifted a bit more towards those who had less in the beginning.

My key learning of these years is that organizational change has a natural pace. This pace mostly depends on the adaptive capacity of the power holders and the change agent and of course the environment. Holacracy is not just a good system for mature companies already having a culture of self-management. It is also a good measuring tool. It measures the maturity of the culture we have. Are we mature to self-manage and shift power? Are we mature to define our purpose and go for it? Are we mature to be sincere, mindful people and build a culture for wholeness? 

I will be kind of proud in Vienna when I share the Doctusoft story with other practitioners. First of all three years is a long time. Secondly, standing up after each failure proves that we had commitment and character. But most of all, we grew while we walked on paths that very few might walked on before us in Hungary. And that really kicks ass.

2016. április 26., kedd

The story of Doctusoft towards Teal

Teaser to the upcoming presentation at IEC 2016
I rarely have the chance to present our three years long organizational case study towards Teal to integral people. So in this post I use the integral lingo freely without explanation.
I have been living this story as change agent at Doctusoft – a company of 40 in Budapest - and also living the very same change within my life. This entanglement can only be understood through the AQAL framework. And our sometimes progressing, sometimes regressing storyline only gets meaning via the Reinventing Organizations framework.

Our journey at Doctusoft was mostly characterized by our commitment and efforts to adopt holacracy. But soon it turned out that we missed basic cultural integrity. That was when the big picture of Integral and RO helped as a map to see ourselves realistically, not wishfully.
What is Teal in practice in today’s Hungarian, or Central European society? What is Teal practice when talented people who you onboard into your team are socialized in mostly Amber and sometimes Orange systems and practices? What is Teal when you sell, when you lead, when you write code or manage a project to and with these people? What is teal when a partner tries to pull you in their office politics or practices double talk with you and your teammates? What is teal in a culture where the word ‘purpose’ is not understood by many.
Is it realistic to go for Teal when mature Green isn’t in the corner yet? Well, on bad days it seems unrealistic, but on the other hand we believe it is essential to hold that ambition. We keep Teal as a moonshot goal. We have been working for this sustainable integral system and culture for 3 years.
During these 3 years we committed several mistakes. Or in other words we met several learning opportunities. If there are a 100 proper ways to be Teal we may already know a few of these, but we definitely know much more ways to fail. And that has almost the same importance.
All our failures, all our patterns that we have went through heel us and grow us on both a personal and a team level. I work as an organizational developer to turn our organization more and more into a feeling and living organism. My main reason and passion to do this is to experience this healthy growth and transformation with my fellows and within myself.
A change agent’s story is deeply entangled with the story of the organization it works with. In my presentation I will provide three practical insights:
  • How holacracy turned out to be an integral system for us,
  • How have we been identifying its missing but prerequisite intersubjective practices,
  • How have I as change agent gone through the eye of the needle when it was inevitable.
If the story of Doctusoft is relevant to you, I humbly invite you to learn together!

Gergely ORBAN 
manages IT projects, supports organizational change and individuals at Doctusoft.