Holacracy, Challenges for Leaders

What kind of challenges might your organisation face when implementing Holacracy; an increase in power? Three issues to think about:

1. create a distributed authority system

The peoples day-to-day work does not change, it is only the decision-making which changes. They no longer can ask their manager to make the decisions, they have to make them themselves.

It’s often easier to rely on someone else to make the decisions. That means that people can run from their responsibility for results. With Holacracy they become entrepreneurs in their role(s). A situation which is sometimes difficult for them to come to terms with and which can take some time. In addition to having authority in their role, they now have real power to change an organisation and have an impact. They cannot play the victim anymore. A role which some people are perfectly happy to play. Sceptics would argue that nothing has changed by implementing Holacracy. Departments just become Circles and managers have become Lead Links.


2. create time and time to learn

People have to acquire the sizeable amount of information to use this new Holacracy approach. It takes time to learn. The challenge of governance is not necessarily obvious from their point of view and sometimes they see only the negative side. These new habits and ways of working can put a certain amount of pressure on people who feel left behind and unable to cope in this new environment.

3. create a positive team culture

People sometimes loose the feeling of team spirit, collaboration, spontaneity or relationships. Due to clarifying the roles associated with tasks this can be seen as a barrier to collaboration, closeness, interactivity. This assumption stems from the fact that the two types of meetings involved in Holacracy provide a degree of precision and clarity about the roles involved. In general, people are not used to this and they believe that all their meetings are replaced by these.

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