Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

First, you need to know that I was really trying to listen and learn. I don’t go looking for advice simply to point out what’s wrong with it — I’m a positive person! Even my Gallup Strengths Finder says so. I go looking for advice from the leaders that I find inspiring because I want my life to look like theirs. Someday, I want to be on the couch with someone asking me “how did you get here?” …


In today’s complex institutions almost every decision today has to be “socialized,” “agreed upon,” or some way part of a “consensus.” It’s what seems fair, and it suggests that a particular goal and plan has widespread support.

What is wrong with this? Consensus as a strategy is often overused and misused and can lead to unintended consequences, such as:

  1. Shifting accountability. When there isn’t clear decision-making authority, and decisions are made by a group of people, it’s easy for folks to point fingers at others if the result isn’t positive. People will go around and around on who said what and why they did or didn’t really support it, and who’s fault it is, instead of focusing on taking ownership for their role and learning from the decision.
  2. Mediocre Solutions. When we focus on the knowledge that…


Preface: Teal organizations are grounded in the principle of wholeness — the idea that we should bring all of ourselves, vulnerabilities and strengths, to our work. It is in that spirit that I want to open up a piece of my past and share the following story from 2015.

Photo Credit: Kyle Nathaniel, my Partner and Ride or Die, from our “babymoon” at Glacier National Park.

This is a story, both personal and professional, because the line between those two things is murky at best, and teasing them apart might make it seem like I was better at sorting and compartmentalizing than I am.

First, I loved my job. My job was to break down the traditional…


http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/09/27/hillary-clinton-endorsement/91198668/

Over my career, people have come to describe me as many things. Energetic, positive, feisty, loud and yes, sometimes bossy. I’ve always accepted these nuggets of praise with pride. I was just happy that anyone was paying attention. Recently I’ve started asking people to sponsor me with different words, like competent, smart, capable, leader.

Why? Because I’ve grown increasingly sensitive to the impact that words have on my career trajectory, because I’ve matured, or maybe because I’ve become a better self-advocate, but above all I’m tired of being described by words, that I suspect, in some way or another reflect…


It was my first big-time job, working as a Recruitment Director for a national non-profit, where I encountered Laura. She was a sweet southern belle and I was a blunt military brat. I anticipated a communication gap between us, but I believed in time, it would work itself out. Unfortunately, that never happened.

Over time the work got harder, the stakes got higher, and the communication rift continued to widen. I was so deathly afraid of failure that I refused to engage in authentic conversation about what I didn’t know and couldn’t do. I was inundated with pressure and focus…


When Usha Gubbala reached out to interview me for her blog “A Facilitators Guide to Transforming the World” I thought we would have a quick 20 minute phone chat. It turned into an hour long coffee talk and she gathered some pretty important insights about this work and it’s impact on people, if I do say so myself. Below is the (shortened) transcript. Oh, and Usha, an Org Change Consultant in the Bay Area, is the bomb. Love to see super sharp lady org nerds. My people. But without further ado…

U: How would you describe Holacracy?

A: It’s a…


I’ve read a few articles asserting that the better solution to implementing Holacracy is developing better managers. Developing good managers through teaching values based leadership and self-reflection, by teaching managers how to have difficult conversations and lead by example. All of this sounds great, but why does it make sense to limit this skill development to managers?

A great manager is someone that pushes you to fulfill your own potential. What you if you could do that for yourself? What if you understood your potential and were willing to step into opportunities to allow you to embrace and develop that…


Oh heyyyyy world. I finally got around to reading the Holacracy book. And you know what? For someone who HATES most business books (a topic I’m happy to go into in a future post) I liked it. kinda. Here are the basics and what I thought. All of this is my own opinion, based on my own limited perspective, and my own personal views. So there.

Stuff that made me go EHHHHH….

  1. In the section titled “Letting Go of Authority” Brian describes the central shift of Holacracy from management relationships that look more like parent-child relationships to functional relationships between…

Alexis GonzalesBlack

Educator, Org Design, and People Ops nerd. Interested in making the world a more awesome, equitable place to live and work.

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