Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site
Bernard Marie Chiquet posted:

And we have bosses — people who have the experience of scaling companies, leading through hard challenges, and developing teams.

I would like to understand further the purpose of this. Does it mean that pre-req re Fit for Holacracy were not included in the hiring process - or that they have hired too many seasoned ex-bosses in short period of time to be able to accompany them making their internal transformational shift?

I find the reaction of many highly productive people is that they are often intuitively interested in Holacracy but that they already feel too busy trying to achieve challenging stretch goals for the business, and anything that distracts from that is "in the way of the work". Holacracy is probably not something that can be learned purely intuitively but requires specific dedication of time and effort to acquire the new knowledge and skills to be able to do the subtle and important work the these highly productive people are engaged in. Therefore I find that some people simply put it in the freezer thinking they'll get around to it later, so they can focus on getting things done, something they are very experienced and good at already. Clearly they will be almost completely blind to the downsides caused by the level of organisational stress their less explicit way of working, or of the potential benefits that can be achieved by mature adopters. In short, their cup is too full.

In the beginning an owner or CEO's passion, charisma and effort may be enough to convince most of the organisation to give it a go. But after the initial push to convince, then boot-up the new processes, it must be sustained and deepened.

If Medium's hire processes or onboarding/coaching processes are/were not adequate, or of the culture new hires were coming into was not sufficiently mature in its adoption of Holacracy, over time skeptical experienced managers will resort to type to get things done.

In my opinion it is exactly these kinds of leaders who take responsibility for ambitious organisational development goals that Holacracy can help the most. But it seems clear that there is a disconnect in the way these people are currently being engaged.

Let's consider Holacracy adoption from the point of view of those who have been exposed to a miriad of other "change programs" such as those in any complex traditional organisation implements every few years. Top managers are often consulted and help shape the change, bottom level workers just have to do what they're told and often don't have to worry much about how the new and the old are integrated, and it is invariably left to middle managers to integrate the requirements of the day to day running of the business while interpreting and implementing the new changes.

It is easy for people used to this way of working, and used to poorly thought through grand strategies and management fads, who have learned coping mechanisms that allow them to get things done regardless of this, to develop a thick skin when it comes to new great ideas coming from above.

Could H1 and the community of Holacracy adopters and practitioners be doing more to support the onboarding of such people?

For instance, much of the material available currently is aimed at the top managers deciding whether or not to implement Holacracy. But assuming the decision has been made, the conversation may be framed differently. It is about getting up to speed quickly, about minimum distraction from getting things done while simultaneously ramping up Holacracy practice. And it's about communicating practical paths to quick wins.

I'd be interested to know what others think support for busy "middle managers" could look like.