Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site


Excellent series of questions.  Here are some thoughts from my perspective.

First, let me paint my context.  I came from a lineage of traditional companies.  My final stint was with General Electric.  During this part of my career I had the opportunity to experience the transition from a small private company, to a large private company to going public to acquiring companies and then being acquired by a company.  From there I transitioned back to a small private company that just started their transition from a traditional company to Holacracy in 2011.

The transition of this company from a traditional company to a Holacracy company felt familiar to me.  It felt like the company had been acquired by a new company - which I had the opportunity to experience many times.  When you choose to leave a company and go to work for another company you somewhat expect a shift of rules and expectations.  It is a clean brake between the old and the new.  When you get acquired by a new company, it feels a bit different - at least it did for me.  You are in the same chair and you are surrounded by the same people yet the overall rules and power structure shifted.  As a manager in the traditional company I encouraged my direct reports and colleagues to treat the change like a move to a new company.  Is this new situation a game you *choose* to sign up for?  If yes, wonderful.  Embrace the new.  If no, then it will serve you best to find a situation that is a better match for you.  Many people select out, even in “traditional” companies.

You asked the brillant question, "In the short term how would you help them from both a human and a professional point of view?

I feel the most human thing to do is put the locus of the choice right back into the lap of the individual.  Is this new situation a game you *choose* to sign up for?

This will help the individual (individual space) choose into the organization (organization space) and choose into roles (role space) and the Practice of Holacracy (capital P is intentional, practicing Holacracy is like practicing a sport or a martial art).  Once you choose into this new context the focus is different.  It becomes how do I support the evolutionary purpose of the company.  Evolution does not necessarily support the strongest and most powerful.  It does support and favor the individuals and organisms that are most adaptable to the current conditions for their context.

For some, this will feel like a breath of fresh air or a welcome wake up call.  For others, it may not.

I hope this adds to the conversation,