Holacracy an equiped metamodel to reinvent your organization
When can one say that “Holacracy” is in place? How does it differ from a Teal Organization? I will try to explain this in this article.
History of HolacracyTo understand what we are talking about, I would like to go over Holacracy’s history.
Some twenty years ago, three Americans were fed up with how organizations operated and wanted to find “a better way”. So they decided to set up a company, a real business in the computer industry whose goal was to serve as a laboratory for new operating methods. This company is Ternary Software.
Their method was highly pragmatic, like kids at play: they looked for new tools, experimented with them within the company and, if they worked, they kept them, and if they didn’t work, they dumped them. They did this iteratively, with no reflection or mental design to be projected on the organization.
Lastly, it could be said that if they had undertaken a liberation movement in their businesses and had left it at that, they would probably be included in Isaac Getz’s book or in Frédéric Laloux’s as “liberated companies” or “teal organizations”. But they didn’t stop there.
After seven years, they received market feedback through many awards (prizes, rewards) over a short period of time.
That is when they realized that what they had been doing for seven years was of value and the three founders did not want this value to depend on them, they did not want to be Ternary Software’s “heroic liberation leaders”.
They therefore undertook the process of distilling the essence of their practices to a level of abstraction that made it possible to create a meta-model that can be applied and replicated in all kinds of organizations.
The first version of the constitution was born, a thirty-odd page document bringing together all the rules of the Holacracy game. The constitution is the meta-model and can be used by any organization that wants to adopt Holacracy. It is the same for every organization that decides to adopt this new method of governance.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay
If the company runs into limits in implementing this constitution, these are tensions that are directly recycled in the evolution of the constitution, with open source availability.
We have thus gone from version 1.0 to 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, and now 4.1 and soon we will move on to 5.0.
It is very easy to determine whether an organization is using Holacracy. All you have to do is to verify that the constitution has been ratified by the people who have the power to do so and that it is thoroughly applied. For this, you will need the assistance of an experienced Holacracy Consultant with Master Coach certification.
Holacracy, a tool for achieving liberation
Actually, as a manager, you can choose between two options:
• Either you liberate your organization by following the example of people who have already done it themselves (Jean-François Zobrist for FAVI, Christophe Collignon for IMA Tech, etc.) and taking inspiration from their work, drawing on their ideas and adapting them to your company;
• Or you can use the Holacracy meta-model.
Both approaches have their value and each has its own features:
The first approach is long, some say about ten years, and requires a great deal of energy. The manager has to have enough time to spend on it and the talents necessary to implement everything.
The second method is based on a tool that, on average, takes about 6 months to implement and works as a catalyst for transformation. This tool respects the unique features of your company and at the same time is enriched by what can be learned from other organizations who have implemented it.
If you really want to compare the two, a teal organization and Holacracy, I would say that they are based on the same philosophy; it is the same energy, the same desire for liberation. Holacracy is a meta-model equipped to enable you to liberate your organization.
The real stakes of liberation
I think there is a twofold challenge:
• Liberating the company from domination by certain individuals;
• Liberating coworkers to express their full potential.
And, in my opinion, these two aspects cannot be fulfilled unless the organization moves beyond the pyramidal hierarchy model that enables certain individuals to dominate others. This is what we call the PowerShift.
And what about you – what are the real stakes of liberation for you?
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