The big misconception in sociocracy

Georges Romme analyzes The Big Misconceptions Holding Holacracy Back in the 10 September 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  Sharon Villines provides a summary and commentary on Romme’s article in the Misconceptions about Sociocracy at on 18 September 2015. Here are my own comments. I agree with Georges Romme that Holacracy and sociocracy […]

Are Holacracy and sociocracy Teal?

First a disclaimer. I don’t really know how a Teal organization1 looks like! What Frederic Laloux does in his book Reinventing Organizations is to use Holacracy to define aspects of Teal.2, 3, 4 Well, is Holacracy Teal then by definition? No, not necessarily! In Holacracy, the power is in the process,5 roles and accountabilities are defined […]

What if control is inappropriate?

My conclusion after having read Brian Robertson’s new book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s first book on Sociocracy is that neither Holacracy nor Sociocracy replace Command & Control (C&C). Both use C&C within limits. This triggered feedback from Holacracy people that the Lead Link Role doesn’t manage day-to-day work and doesn’t manage others, but that […]

Traditional vs. Sociocratic vs. Holacratic Command & Control

Adam Pisoni writes in Here’s Why You Should Care About Holacracy: The “leaderless” workplace structure is sweeping companies like Zappos and Medium that “Holacracy is simply the first fully formed alternative to C&C that real companies are using successfully.” I think this is misleading. Sociocracy predates Holacracy® with 30 years. And neither Holacracy nor Sociocracy […]

Holacracy vs. Sociocracy

I have written book reviews of Brian Robertson’s new book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s first book on Sociocracy. Robertson’s book was published in 2015. Endenburg’s book was originally published in Dutch in 1981. The first English translation was published in 1988, and the Eburon edition, which I have reviewed, in 1998. Here’s my comparison […]

Metaphor: An organization as a tree

Daniel Mezick posted my Holacracy book review on Facebook . . . . . . and Michelle Holliday replied with the following metaphor of an organization as a tree. Here’s an excerpt of Michelle’s reply (my emphasis in bold) : … If we think of an organization as a tree, the roots can represent the […]

Book Review: Holacracy

Brian J. Robertson has written a book about Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy. Holacracy® is a governance system and a registered trademark owned by HolacracyOne. The word Holacracy is very easy to confuse with holocracy (with an o), which means universal democracy. Robertson’s aim with the system is to “harness the tremendous […]

Zappos and Holacracy

“It’s kind of deliciously ironic that self-management is being decreed from above.” — Jeffrey Pfeffer1 “Holacracy, itself, is too complex, dogmatic, and rigid.” — Bud Caddell2 I’ve previously written about it here. There is always a cost in trying to script people’s behavior. They might decide to withdraw their engagement. I think this is what’s […]

What if the organization is a living system?

Holacracy is described as a new operating system 1 for evolution-powered organizations. It’s a punchy analogy which people understand. What people seem to forget is this: The operating system as a metaphor requires people to execute the programming code, but people aren’t microprocessors. This might seem like playing with words, but metaphors both reflect and […]