2016年7月9日 星期六


“It’s in our written employee agreement that part of everyone’s job is to live and inspire the culture in others. It’s not just one person’s job." --Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh
The e-commerce giant’s CEO explains why self-managing organizations like Zappos are the only ones that can survive into the future.

Amid all the controversy about holacracy, a comprehensive look at what companies actually need to know about it.

The overwrought claims—and actual promise—of self-managed teams.

【智趣生活】沒有老闆的公司 可能嗎?

Holacracy用一種另類的「圓環套圓環」的組織結構圖替代了傳統的自上而下的結構。員工不再有職稱;他們的職能擁有自主權。這並不是「無政府狀態」:有一系列高度結構化的「管理」和「戰術」會議來幫助大家確立各自的職責。在過去十年中,已經有超過300個組織嘗試了Holacracy,包括華盛頓州政府和David Allen Co.,後者是一家由同名專家開的生產力公司。6月初,Holacracy背後的大師布萊恩·羅伯遜(Brian Robertson)出版了一本精裝書,他在書中預言Holacracy將成為「這個快速變化的世界裡的新管理系統。」
「Holacracy像是一種運動,或是一種新語言,」在Zappos負責培訓新員工的麥克雷(Jake McCrea)說。Zappos是目前採用這種管理哲學的公司中規模最大的。「你可以讀到和Holacracy相關的內容,也會聽到人們跟你提起。但只有開始運用它時,你才能真正理解它的含義。」一家公司可能要花上幾年才能完成整個過渡。羅伯遜所經營的HolacracyOne集團提供私家課程,收費5萬美元起,一名顧問會來培訓你的全體員工,培訓包括一個「啟動周」、各種課程及工作坊。
由推特的聯合創始人威廉姆斯(Evan Williams)所領導的一家線上出版創業公司Medium在2012年就很依賴於HolacracyOne。即便如此,這家公司在讓新員工適應這一複雜的系統時仍感到困難重重。曾有一段時間,每個新人都要花一個小時和Medium內部的Holacracy指導員斯特曼(Jason Stirman)學習如何自主地工作。――Rebecca Greenfield;譯 趙萌萌

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Holacracy is a social technology or system of 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.[1] Holacracy has been adopted in for-profit and non-profit organizations in the U.S., France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.[2]


The Holacracy system was incubated at Ternary Software, an Exton, Pennsylvania, company that was noted for experimenting with more democratic forms of organizational governance.[3] Ternary founder Brian Robertson distilled the best practices into an organizational system that became known as Holacracy in 2007.[4] Robertson later developed the Holacracy Constitution in 2010, which lays out the core principles and practices of the system, and has supported companies in adopting it.
The term holacracy is derived from the term holarchy, coined by Arthur Koestler in his 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. A holarchy is composed of holons (Greek: ὅλον, holon neuter form of ὅλος, holos "whole") or units that are autonomous and self-reliant, but also dependent on the greater whole of which they are part.[5] Thus a holarchy is a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that function both as autonomous wholes and as dependent parts.[5]

Influences and comparable systems[edit]

Holacracy has been compared to sociocracy, a system of governance developed in the second half of the twentieth century.[6]Sociocracy had a significant early influence during the incubation of Holacracy,[7] though Holacracy has increasingly differentiated away from it since then.[8] Sociocracy particularly inspired the development of the circle structure and governance processes (described in more detail later) within Holacracy. Holacracy is designed for organizations and fundamentally differentiates the roles of the organization from the people working in it.[9]
In its emphasis on iterative governance, adaptive processes, and self-organization, Holacracy draws inspiration from agile software development principles and the lean manufacturing process. Holacracy is highly compatible with stakeholder theory as its board structure allows for multiple stakeholders to be represented in the governance of an organization and for multiple organizations with shared interests to be linked at the governance level.

Essential elements[edit]

Roles instead of job descriptions[edit]

The building blocks of Holacracy's organizational structure are roles. Holacracy distinguishes between roles and the people who fill them, as one individual can hold multiple roles at any given time. A role is not a job description; its definition follows a clear format including a name, a purpose, optional "domains" to control, and accountabilities, which are ongoing activities to perform.[10] Roles are defined by each circle —or team— via a collective governance process, and are updated regularly in order to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the organization.

Circle structure[edit]

Holacracy structures the various roles in an organization in a system of self-organizing (but not self-directed) circles. Circles are organized hierarchically, and each circle is assigned a clear purpose and accountabilities by its broader circle. However, each circle has the authority to self-organize internally to best achieve its goals. Circles conduct their own governance meetings, assign members to fill roles, and take responsibility for carrying out work within their domain of authority. Circles are connected by two roles known as "lead link" and "rep link", which sit in the meetings of both their circle and the broader circle to ensure alignment with the broader organization’s mission and strategy.

Governance process[edit]

Each circle uses a defined governance process to create and regularly update its own roles and policies. Holacracy specifies a structured process known as "integrative decision making" for proposing changes in governance and amending or objecting to proposals. This is not a consensus-based system, not even a consent-based system, but one that integrates relevant input from all parties and ensures that the proposed changes and objections to those changes are anchored in the roles' needs (and through them, the organization's needs), rather than people's preferences or ego.[11]

Operational process[edit]

Holacracy specifies processes for aligning teams around operational needs, and requires that each member of a circle fulfill certain duties in order to work efficiently and effectively together.[12][13] In contrast to the governance process, which is collective and integrative, each member filling a role has a lot of autonomy and authority to make decisions on how to best achieve his or her goals. Some have described the authority paradigm in Holacracy as completely opposite to the one of the traditional management hierarchy; instead of needing permission to act or innovate, Holacracy gives blanket authority to take any action needed to perform the work of the roles, unless it is restricted via policies in governance or it involves spending some assets of the organization (money, intellectual property, etc.)[14][15] Holacracy is thus highly biased toward action and innovation: it defaults to autonomy and freedom, then uses internal processes to limit that autonomy when its use in a specific way turns out to be detrimental.
Holacracy specifies a tactical meeting process that every circle goes through usually on a weekly basis. This process includes different phases to report on relevant data, share updates on projects, and open discussions where any circle member can add to the agenda.[16] A particular feature of this last phase, known as "triage", is to focus discussions on the concrete next steps needed by the individual who added the agenda item to address his or her issue.[17] The intention is to avoid large, unproductive discussions dominated by the louder voices.[18]

Holacracy in contemporary practice[edit]

Holacracy has been adopted and practiced by for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the U.S., including productivity specialists the David Allen Company, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams' MediumPrecision Nutrition, and Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey's nonprofit, Conscious Capitalism. Zappos, the online shoe retailer which is part of Amazon, announced its adoption of Holacracy.[21]


Holacracy is claimed to increase agility, efficiency, transparency, innovation and accountability within an organization.[22] The approach encourages individual team members to take initiative and gives them a process in which their concerns or ideas can be addressed.[3] The system of distributed authority reduces the burden on leaders to make every decision.
According to Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh, Holacracy makes individuals more responsible for their own thoughts and actions.[23]
According to Zappos employee Kristy Meade, Holacracy helps prevent typical gender-biased behaviors. It "provides protections that create an environment in which some actions based on unconscious bias are not possible."[24]