Traditional organizational management requires a boss to efficiently and accurately run an organization. However, today’s digital age millennial wants to eliminate this concept as they are not willingly ready to work with the traditional route. As their skills acknowledge the work of an employee as opposed to the time they have spent in an organization or the seniority they hold. So, I am writing this article to discuss my principles of holacracy to adopt a new structure and run an organization that replaces the conventional hierarchy.
Here’s why you should care?
The growing requirement to design a work environment that is flexible as well as tailored to meet the needs of a changing workforce has caused many employers and organizations to reconsider how authority is distributed as today’s employee want them to be treated as a valuable organization asset as opposed to the subjects. This has controlled the dismantling of traditional hierarchies and the rise of the no-boss work environment.
Issues that require immediate attention
- An organization structure that does not pay a lot of emphasis on stature and power. Instead, there are goals set for each to meet. As long as you meet these goals, so many other things will be completely ignored.
- Ground-breaking meeting habits. Meetings are not as formal as they used to be. The agenda is set around target goals and how they can be easily achieved.
- Inclination towards freedom of expression especially on the execution of ideas and the actions taken.
This description is likely to make managers and entrepreneurs feel as though they are losing power and control over the workplace. However, people are paying more attention to skills and objectives as opposed to methods and procedures. There are a few realities that an organization adapting holacracy will have to live with.
Realities that organization will be required to accept along with holacracy
This is tied to responsibility. Everyone in the organization becomes a sensor. You will sense the challenges facing the organization and find a way of solving them. Employees are also scouts of opportunities that can change the fortunes of the organization. The growth of the organization is not tied to individual decision makers. The organization sets in motion structures where even the lowest ranked member of the firm can contribute to huge decisions.
There should be a motivation or reward for these contributions. This speeds up the process of finding solutions for an organization. Workers at the bottom do not have to wait for solutions to be handed down. They also feel part and parcel of the success of an organization. This approach creates an operation model that is fluid, progressive and responsive.
A lot of attention is paid to the purpose of the organization as opposed to structures. It means that the purpose is broken down from organization to team and finally individual. As a result, all parties in the organization will be focusing on a single purpose. There is a need for a constant reminder of this purpose.
Everyone is thus regarded as an integral part of the achievement of this purpose. It means that recruitment and incorporation into a team are based on recognition of what the person can bring into the team to enable it to achieve the said purpose. When the purpose is achieved at an individual level, the team achieves its purpose as well and the overall purpose of the organization is also achieved. Workers begin to feel that their work is contributing towards their purpose not just meeting the goals of the organization. This promotes performance to a great extent.
The rules of operation are rewritten. They become more explicit and devoid of the hierarchical drag or manipulation. Everyone knows what is expected and there is team accountability of decisions made. No one can blame the other for decisions or actions taken.
Transparency in decision making becomes the norm for your organization. This happens at all levels. There is also an authority in decisions made. People work with confidence because there is no fuzziness in decision making. There will be no guesswork in how work should be done. Power plays are also eliminated. You can trace the contribution of each employee towards the realization of your organizational goals.
Assigned Roles and Responsibilities
Static job descriptions drove traditional organizations. Under the new system, these descriptions become dynamic roles and responsibilities. You do not have to assign coding to your web development technician. You assign it to Dave because he has the skills.
When someone takes up a role, he also assumes responsibility. Departments will not be blamed or responsible for targets that were never met. This responsibility falls on a person because the goals were communicated and he accepted the role.
This has a direct impact on the structure of an organization. It will be fluid or dynamic based on the project at hand. The organization takes shape based on the project at hand and who has been assigned a particular role. Overreliance in particular persons is eliminated.
This is an opportunity to grow the skills of different people and the organization as a whole. It increases the capacity of an organization and even individuals to take on more projects beyond the static job description that characterizes recruitment. An organization with 30 employees can take on more than 300 roles and perform them excellently.
Why Are Agile experts wants you to adopt Holacracy?
It is scary to imagine an organization that does not have a boss. However, this is the reality that many people will have to deal with very shortly. But what is the point of having such an unstructured method of managing people at any workplace?
- Employees feel empowered because of the responsibilities they take up. They do not have to wait until they rise to a senior level to make a decision or feel effective in the organization. They are therefore empowered from the start.
- You can tap into the full potential of your employees in the shortest time possible. People are not forced to wait for the long journey to the top of organizations. You avoid such killers as seniority, service tenure, nepotism, and favors when choosing heads for your organization. The employees see multiple opportunities to rise to the top and make a mark.
- The organization reduces the time it takes to make a decision. Bureaucracy is eliminated, meaning that actions can be taken faster. It becomes more comfortable for your organization to take advantage of opportunities that arise without having to wait for decisions from above.
- Good ideas rise to the top very fast and can be acted upon. From the start, everyone feels a part of a project, not as a subject but as an equal. Each takes credit for good work and responsibility for any error. As a result, each becomes an active and equal contributor to the achievement of set goals and purpose. There are no lengthy bureaucracies that are sometimes used for the power play.
- Expanded capacity for organizations- before looking for skills outside an organization and spending on redundant skills, you will maximize what you have. There is no chance for people to be overwhelmed by particular roles and responsibilities. They are shared widely, boosting the capability of an organization several folds.
Though holacracy is receiving a lot of favors, some cautions have been listed. If you are to implement the holacracy approach to management, you need to be aware of certain pitfalls that are likely to affect your organizational strength.
- The structure of the organization must be defined. Everyone cannot be a boss. This means that decisions must have clearance levels. It would be very chaotic if everyone assumed the final decision. You only ensure that the rules of engagement are open or flexible.
- Responsibilities and expectations must be clear. The objectives should be explained from the start. It is from the point of knowledge that each part will be expected to deliver. This means putting in place a system for monitoring and evaluation. It also includes milestones that will tell you whether the goals set are on course.
- The management must first buy the idea. It is advisable to pilot it and see how well you can domesticate the approach. Managers still want to feel in charge. They are afraid of failing to deliver. They also need to trust in the skills of people whose roles are not strictly defined. If the management embraces the idea, it is easier to implement.
Holacracy is a relatively new mode of operation. It is almost inevitable when dealing with millennials. Though it advocates for freedom in workplaces, it does not take away responsibility for results from supervisors and managers. Every organization will have to find a personalized way of implementing holacracy effectively.