I wasn't here during the initial conversation. What I have been told is that the traditional hierarchy of work wasn't really working. No one really wanted to be the "boss" per se. The people at SELC(where Ricardo works), turned the founders on to it. For about a 6 mo. to a year, only the worker-owners and 1 circle functioned within Holacracy. Once they felt more comfortable, it got spread to the rest of the company. It's not been an easy road at all, we're still working on it. It's gotten a lot better from where we started though. Initially there was a lot of resistance.
We're unique, I think, because we actually do production type work(food production) and are using Holacracy in a professional kitchen. I don't know of another place that does that.