Thanks for reading, Dennis.
Tom Nixon
21

Hey Tom, I like the process of self-selection via resonance. Those who can’t stomach a system like Holacracy may stick around for a while and go again — or not even join in the first place. In my view that is totally fine. There’s a million ways to kneel down and kiss the ground.

For a self-similar system like Holacracy it would be odd to have circles being run in a totally different way. I chuckle to myself here, because usually I get asked how to align a sub-team using Holacracy to organize itself within a larger top down company environment. It is fun to imagine that in some not so distant future it might be the other way round: lead-links of sub-circles asking for permission to organize in the conventional way. :-)))

As integralist I resonate with your flex-flow approach of mixing and blending the org-styles of different “value memes” or “levels” into a richer tapestry. While I don’t think that this makes sense on a small scale, it may be the only way forward for companies with many thousand employees. It is unlikely to “bring them all up to Teal”. Such agendas are questionable anyway. To paraphrase Clare Graves: “Dammit. A person has the right to be where he is.”

At the same time I have the sense that integral technologies like Holacracy do not require everybody to be Teal on their individual growth trajectory. The rule-set may stem from Teal, but simpler people can play the same game. One does not need to be able to invent a smartphone in order to use it (see Trump…).

I don’t favor prescribing people Holacracy. I rather work with those who want it naturally. But, if it is prescribed — as it is most often the case inadvertibly due to the pre-existence of top-down structures, chosen by leaders and passed down to the emplyoees — it is still so much better than the usual prescription of command-and-control. Nobody asked people if they wanted THAT to begin with. It was just there as legacy paradigm.

So my sense is that the most conducive context of using Holacracy is one of non-coercion. At encode.org we’re building such a context with the For-Purpose Enterprise and Purpose Agents who are not employees, but freely associated members / investors. Holacracy deployed within structures of employment becomes self-contradictory. ‘Freedom is being forced upon you against your will’. I see the problems that may come with that setup.

Good luck with merging and mapping different styles. My sense is that in the end everybody still wants to have it their way. Sounds like “organizational style poly-amory”. Like poly-amory it is great in theory, but fucking hard in practice. Keep me updated!