Sorry to jump in really late…
In any kind of shift you have to start somewhere. Some people prefer to start with a blank canvas, some people prefer to do it with something to jumpstart with.
Even when you say you are starting from a blank canvas, you are actually relying on numerous unwritten agreements, one of which is you do what you say you’re going to do, thus I would argue that there is no such thing as starting from a blank canvas.
You have tomstart somewhere, and different groups of people choose to start from different points.
Now I think your argument is to let the people decide how they are going to self organize, which means one option is to self organize into a command and control pyramidal organization.
I personally do not include this as an option, which is why I like Holacracy. Adopting Holacracy means you are agreeing not to organize yourself into a command and control (It’s not foolproof, but it makes it harder to choose that option).
You may start without any written rules, but I think you are risking people gravitating back towards what seem familiar to the majority of people, which is what they are using now. This means risking that the shift to self management may not actually ever happen.
At that point you may need to consider a much more explicit written agreements about what should happen, which is to start the shift, and not delay it, and this where the Holacracy constitution comes in.
Having said that, however, we did not adopt everything in the Holacracy constitution from the very beginning. We did pick and choose the majority of agreements that we think are crucial, mainly the ones that protect equivalence and transparencies. Even to this date, we still haven’t fully adopted several things in the constitution, such as the GTD-ish lingo, and the requirement that everyone has a certain written organizational system.
Now with Holacracy installed, we can let the people evolve it further without risking too much that it is going to revert back to command and control. If the people really want the written organizational system to be enforced, then they can propose the chages in governance and let the governance process takes care of it.