The principles and methods of sociocracy are often presented as “empty” meaning they can be used by any kind of organization to accomplish any aim. Values and purpose have no place in scientific method the argument goes. Sociocracy is based on studies of how things work in nature (cybernetics) and how people function in groups (sociology). It is free of ideology—any religious, economic, or political world view. No hidden agendas. No value system.
Equivalence and self-determination are… Read More . . . “Values and Purpose” My disclaimer… (1) I am NOT an expert in holacracy, (2) I love new stuff, and (3) I absolutely love people and concepts that challenge the status quo. That’s that.
Why am I discussing a commentary on Zappos adoption of holacracy that begins with that particular picture of the author and that particular quote from the author? Because the picture is fun and the comments are good. When he says he knows nothing he means… Read More . . . “The Six Problems With Holacracy, and Others” An article by George Anders on Zappos in Forbes appeared this week. Anders writes about “innovation, careers and unforgettable personalities” for Forbes Magazine and formerly for the Wall Street Journal, two of the most respected and long-lived business sources. I honestly never thought I would see Holacracy, Zappos, Forbes in the same sentence. Kudos to Brian.
This is one of the more sensible articles on the Zappos adoption of Holacracy, less sensationalistic though Anders characterizes… Read More . . . “Holacracy, Zappos, Forbes” An article by Jena McGregor In her column, “On Leadership,” appeared in the Washington Post today on Brian Robertson’s contract with Zappo’s, “Zappos Says Goodbye to Bosses.” Zappos is owned by Amazon but runs independently and has long been known for its unusual employee-responsive culture.
The unusual approach is called a “holacracy.” Developed by a former software entrepreneur, the idea is to replace the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of overlapping, self-governing… Read More . . . “Zappos Goes Democratic” Residential communities customarily do not have board of directors members from outside the organization. Corporations normally do, but they may not be chosen by their ability to balance expertise. Non-profit organizationsThe Delibrative Democracy Consortium (DDC)u is an alliance o... More and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers.
Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives.… Read More . . . “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors” We need to remind ourselves that meetings are not the work. Much work is done in meetings and they can be exhausting, but the focus of a meeting is action. Determining effective actions. Defining desired actions. Evaluating failed actions. Or bemoaning lack of action.
Possible Sources of Confusion
In several contexts lately it has become clear that many of us have drifted into confusing meetings with the work, and even as the substance of organizational… Read More . . . “Meetings Are Not the Work”