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

A New Management Library

Friends and Fellow Practicioners,

We have an opportunity to promote Holacracy through education here at Likewise and I want to steward this opportunity well...excellently, actually. Likewise is a nonprofit education provider with a certified college that is first of its kind in several ways.

The most striking way is that our mission makes us history's first liberal arts college focused on helping prison inmates and their families through a liberal arts education.

As such a college in our home state of Arkansas, Likewise is uniquely positioned to start a K12 charter school. We need your help with defending the Holacracy model for our management structure - which is another striking feature and equally important for promoting learning, liberty, and leadership for today and tomorrow's world.

As our K12 division succeeds, the reputation of Holacracy will spread through our students, parents, and educational leadership influence.

Simply out, Holacracy is already baked into our program and is part of the change in thinking that's benefiting the most challenging and challenged college students on the planet: prison inmates. They're a great proof of concept for our education model. Still, the accrediting specialists that we'll encounter during the next few years need an education in new management so that they can better understand and embrace our commitment to Holacracy 

We need a list of books dealing with new management that you fellow practicioners have read. My journey into Holacracy started with the Bible and ancient classics (Plato, Sallust, Cicero, etc.). More contemporary works from The Enlightenment also pushed me toward Holacracy (Locke, Rousseau, the US Founders, etc.). Living scholarship sealed the deal for me (Laloux, Robinson, Sinek, Hsieh, etc.). We'll use this list to make the case for higher education to embrace Holacracy, which could have a powerfully disruptive trickle down affect on society.

HERE'S THE ASK: what 3-5 books on new management have most influenced your interest in Holacracy? Or, what book in this category have you given most as a gift, and why?

8 Replies
Brian Robertson

Hi Jeff - You can see a list of some of my own book influences referenced throughout this post on the history of Holacracy's development:  https://blog.holacracy.org/his...lacracy-c7a8489f8eca

There are some more referenced in the Acknowledgements section of my book as well.

You might also look at the newer book Exponential Organizations - it talks about Holacracy directly and helps make the case for it.  And of course Fred's book, Reinventing Organizations.

Good luck!

- Brian


I have read a lot before coming to holacracy and I don't know that it relates directly to holacracy practice but just figured I'd share.

"The Visionary Director" by Margie Carter and Deb Curtis

Vital Smarts - "Crucial Conversations" and "Crucial Accountability" 

"What Motivates Me" by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

"Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg

Sounds like a awesome project.



Inspiring post.  I read it to my 17 year old son!  Also an interesting exercise to think back through the influences that caused Holacracy to resonate so strongly with me.

Haven't seen Doug Kirkpatrick's Beyond Empowerment mentioned yet.  It's pretty good.

Probably writings from most of the Austrian School economists (Hayek, et al) would support your mission.

More personally, I only recently realized that reading A.S. Neill's Summerhill (way back in college) was kind of my first discovery of the idea of autonomy (specifically within education).  It was very inspiring at the time.

More recently (and perhaps tangentially), Bill Hendricks's The Person Called You was an influence.  He emphasizes an iterative approach to finding your ideal career--something that Holacracy definitely makes easier.

Ricardo Semler is also kind of an interesting guy.  He comes to mind because one of his "projects" is similar to what you're doing:  he is building schools in Brazil to raise students that can thrive in purpose-driven, autonomous environments like Holacracy.

Tyler Danke

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni and Liberating structures

Karilen Mays
Jeffrey, In the past few years, I reference this one. It supplements Holacracy nicely without ever referencing it. Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules, Book by L. David Marquet

I would add Dee Hock's The Birth of the Chaordic Age

Jeff Kreh
Geoff posted:


Probably writings from most of the Austrian School economists (Hayek, et al) would support your mission.

[@mention:549059653907130620], good call on Austrian economists . . . our Board of Trustees Chairman is a fellow with the Von Mises Institute!