After reading Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux, and studying the experiences at fellow Las Vegas-based outfit Zappos, we knew that Holacracy was the management system we'd been searching for.
Holacracy is a complete, packaged system for self-management in organizations. It replaces the traditional management hierarchy with a new peer-to-peer "operating system" that increases transparency, accountability, and organizational agility.
Combining the freedom of self-management with detailed rules and a tested meeting process, Holacracy allows us to distribute real decision making authority to every employee in the company. This means that every employee holds one or more leadership roles and is empowered to make impactful decisions.
“In Holacracy, one of the principles is to make the implicit explicit – tons of it is about creating clarity: who is in charge of what, who is taking what kind of decision – and there is also a system for defining that, and changing that, so it’s very flexible at the same time.”– Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder
How Does Holacracy Actually Work?
Unless you've practiced it yourself, your preconceived notions about Holacracy are likely pretty wrong. Holacracy is not a "flat hierarchy" or "no hierarchy", and it's certainly not anarchy. Most basically, it's a system to allow the organizational structure of the company to be determined directly by the team and permit it to change over time, via incremental changes.
At a regular governance meeting, everyone has the opportunity to shape the roles in the company, including the purpose and accountabilities of each role. If a role grows too big to be filled by a single team member, it can be further differentiated into sub-roles, much like how a human organ is made up of different types of smaller cells.
When hired at Action Verb, you'll start in a single role, but you are free to express interest in other roles at any time. If you take on an additional role, you will now be responsible for that role's purpose and accountabilities. Roles can get pretty specific; more established team members hold 10-20 roles each.
The Holacracy Constitution
While the Constitution is a fascinating read, we recommend that you don't make it your introduction to Holacracy. This would be like reading the NFL rules manual when trying to learn about football. Just like a better way to learn football is to go watch a game, the best way to learn Holacracy is to simply do it. The Holacracy sponsoring organization offers training events and workshops and all team members are encouraged to attend these training sessions on our dime.
Another great resource for making sense of the Holacracy Constitution is the book by the original author of the constitution. And don't worry, you don't need to understand any of this to apply for a job at Action Verb, but if you accept one, we'll expect you to at least read the book as soon as possible.
Our Commitment to Holacracy
Our founder and shareholders have formally ceded their authority to govern and run Action Verb except through the rules of the Constitution. This means they promise not to do anything to side-step the Holacracy process and to protect the guarantees provided by the Constitution.
Many companies treat their founder as some sort of mythical hero figure, whose opinion is infallible and final. Our founder specifically seeks to avoid this sort of treatment. At Action Verb, everyone has leadership authority through the Holacracy process, and you can be assured that nobody will go outside of process and mess with your work.
Work with Us
Does Holacracy sound like an improvement over your current work environment?