Tired of the hierarchy structure in your organization? then try Holacracy

As shown in the picture above you can see that holacracy is an organizing system that is contrary to the hierarchy structure. You can feel and witness the hierarchy structure in your organization easily then what does holacracy look like?

Holacracy is a method of decentralized management and organizational governance, in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a holarchy of self-organizing teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy. Holacracy has been adopted by for-profit and non-profit organizations in several countries.  

From Wikipedia

The Holacracy system was developed at Ternary Software, an Exton, Pennsylvania company that was noted for experimenting with more democratic forms of organizational governance. Ternary founder Brian Robertson distilled the company’s best practices into an organizational system that became known as Holacracy in 2007. Extracted from Wikipedia

Credit to Tedx Youtube channel

I was lucky enough to experience holacracy when I was in SINA and absorbed fresh learning from a holacracy expert Christiane. So basically, holacracy is a self-organizing structure, it admires the natural monitoring process and equips a sense of entrepreneurship within people.

Christiane enlightened us that in nature and our body, each part clears on their responsibility and knows what actions should be taken if something wrong happened in the whole system. Nobody will tell the cells or trees to grow or vanish if blocks are there, so it is totally self-organization and self-independent. Holacracy mirrors this process to self organize the whole company and organizations.

In traditional organizations, the relationship is hierarchy and there is a clear layer of structure between people. So people have the absolute power if he or she is at the top of the hierarchy. But in holacracy, the relationship is quite equal and power exists in the roles, not person. People have clear roles definition and he or she knows what is the job all about so if anything happened in the line of his or her job definition then the person will take appropriate actions instead of waiting for permission from the higher hierarchy. This approach improved efficiency and also productivity, most importantly, it gives people the authority and confidence to make decisions which is a good practice for entrepreneurship.

Holacracy is a distributed authority system with dynamic and adaptive characteristics. It challenges the traditional hierarchy organizations with self-proven statistics where people have adopted holacracy successfully in Zappos and Dubai government as well.

It is fascinated to me, not only because it is totally new, but also the ideology behind it. It does not blindly worship power which is the thing, everybody, longing for and it attains ordinary people with leadership growth and ownership of the organizations as well. Christiane believes that holacracy is the answer to grow a responsible organization, which is different than corporate social responsibility that has been promoted in recent years to invoke the social responsibilities in different organizations, especially business organizations.

Holacracy is responsible internally and also externally. Even though nowadays holacracy is not that popular but I do believe there will be more and more companies come up with holacracy systems in the near future and I hope I could also create one in Asia to bring more changes. You can find more information on holacracy website, and this holacracy case study.

This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

15 replies on “Tired of the hierarchy structure in your organization? then try Holacracy”

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[…] The system decides the structure. We should change the workplace structure from a hierarchy to a flat one. One guide clearly lists eight disadvantages of hierarchy structures, and two of them are the disconnect of employees from top-level management and the lack of autonomy that can cause strain on employee management relationships. The relationship is more desirable in social organizations, hierarchy structures impede it internally. However, a flat structure is constructed in a way that employers have a right to say and be involved in the decision-making process to make changes. It removes excess layers of management and unnecessary procedures to improve the coordination and speed of communication between employees. Except a flat structure, Holacray is a more innovative structure, find out more here. […]


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