The conventional management hierarchy has been one of the greatest advancements in modern history. It has allowed us to create organizations at scale and usher in a century of unprecedented growth and prosperity.
The amount of information and speed of change in today’s environment, however, are pushing our current organizational structures to their limits. Stifling bureaucracy and top-down management has contributed to a lack of engagement, toxic office politics, and slow execution.
It’s clear… we need new ways of working.
The good news is, we’re seeing innovative forms of organization take shape.
Companies like Morning Star Farms have stripped away management positions, authors like Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organizations) are documenting major corporate trends toward self-management, and Teal management is being embraced by progressive companies like Zappos.
Holacracy-powered organizations are front and center in this movement. They’re using Holacracy to embed self-management and Teal principles into their core to optimize engagement, ownership, and execution.
So what exactly is Holacracy?
Holacracy is an organizational system (an Organizational Practice, we call it) that replaces conventional management hierarchy. Instead of operating top-down, power is distributed throughout the organization giving individuals and teams more autonomy, while staying aligned to the organization’s purpose.
To better understand it, let’s look at a few core features: