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Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World
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Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  835 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Holacracy is a revolutionary management system that redefines management and turns everyone into a leader.

Holacracy distributes authority and decision-making throughout an organization, and defines people not by hierarchy and titles, but by roles. Holacracy creates organizations that are fast, agile, and that succeed by pursuing their purpose, not following a dated and art
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
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3.68  · 
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 ·  835 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Emma Sea
Aug 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Holacracy is a system for structuring a business through "peer-to-peer self-organization and distributed control," in which "we all get to be adults together."

okay, so 1) Holacracy doesn't stand up under Marxian analysis. Power is not actually being distributed when workers are still selling their labor and the value of their efforts is taken as profit by the business owner.

2) Holacracy is designed for the perfect rational human, without personality, relationships, or ego. It is deliberately des
Jurgen Appelo
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
A process-heavy straightjacket for organizations that can't figure out how to delegate the rules of communication.
Jan Höglund
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 sensing power of the human consciousness available to our organizations" (p. 7). This harnessing is done by "a set of core rules" (p. 12). The Holacracy constitution acts as "the core rule book for the organization" (p. 21). Robertson hopes that his ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Before I start - I don't think I'm able to properly review this book with reviewing the concept of Holocracy itself. It's technically possible, but it doesn't make (IMHO) much sense.

The overall concept of Holocracy (to replace inefficient & troublesome mgmt hierarchies with system of nested circles governed by process itself) sounds very crazy, but actually the 'city metaphore' made me give it a deeper thought. Anyway even if I agree with many statements, even if I've made plenty of bookmark
Derk Geus
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is well written and persuasive. It is also a dangerous management system that can undermine a company, as it did with mine when we tried to implement it. It nearly brought us down.

My takeaway is that there is no system that can replace solid leadership. If you're the CEO, you need to own it and get to work. It's super tempting to abdicate responsibility but it is simply the wrong path to take.

Yes, people make mistakes, but applying a straightjacket for decision making process is not the ans
Olivier Compagne
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in business
This book does a great job at showcasing Holacracy, a new management system that distributes authority and accountability throughout an organization, instead of relying on managers to guide employees. What makes this book successful is that it includes both the "why" and the "how to" use Holacracy, all in a digestible read.

An aspect of Holacracy dear to me is that unlike current discourse on the matter, it doesn't put employees' and companies' interests back to back. Instead it proposes a system
Richard Newton
I started this book expecting to hate it, but I actually enjoyed it. (It's a good question why I would read a book I expected to hate, but that's another topic!). It's probably the cover which I found off putting which makes the book look like another over-confident, but basically vacuous business nonsense. In reality this is a well thought through and genuinely innovative set of thinking about organizations. It is also well written, being an easy read, which is a good trick to pull off for nove ...more
Guillaume Belanger
I read this book because it was discussed in Reinventing Organizations as a complete system for running things under self-organising principles. Unlike Reinventing Organizations, this book is not intended to be an inspirational guide, at least I don't think so. Instead, it is meant to present the management system that is Holocracy, walk us through its elements, its processes, its systems, and help us in deciding if we want to adopt it. The great advantage of adopting this management system is t ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept is interesting, the presentation of the concept of Holacracy is detailed, but unfortunately not exciting enough. I was dragging myself through the chapters. It is clearly an important experiment and step towards new ways of working together as opposed to working for and under/over, etc. I need to experience Holacracy for giving it a fair review. On paper it appears to be a replacement of old structures that were becoming inefficient and rather an obstacle with a new structure that pr ...more
Jason Dunn
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of roles, along with their responsibilities and accountabilities, versus job titles. My criticism of circles is that they are just another way to draw a tree hierarchy. (Try and see). The “lead link” is still a supervisor role despite what the Holocracy training states.

I’d like to see this in action somewhere.
Michal Wesolowski
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great example of how self-managing organizations can work successfully. As a person interested in particular in practical implementations, over theoretical possibilities, I found the book a great combination of both. Even if Holacracy does not fit your organization, I recommend the book to everyone who believe in the idea of self-managing organizations.
Jyri-Matti Lähteenmäki
First part had great thoughts and a nice vibe. But the second part was mainly about organizing meetings, which I consider a separate subject. The third part felt like a desperate attempt to make anyone atleast try holocracy.

Read the first part and pick the good stuff.
Alejandro Perez
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has some pretty advanced and innovative concepts for running a business. Lots of great ideas to get and implement in the business before making a final call as to moving into this new operating philosophy!
Serge Boucher
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
More or less Getting Things Done for organisations. Worth reading.
Bjoern Rochel
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, eng-mgmt
Many good ideas, but for my taste too extreme and too process heavy. I like the idea of circles and roles and how autonomy and accountability is shifted. I also appreciate the separation of meta level from the operations.

What I have a hard time with is imagining adults liking being put into a strict process straightjacket. I just don't think that process alone will magically cure all problems of modern organizations.

Holacracy feels to me like its to teal organization what Scrum is for Agile.

Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's an amazing set of concepts in which I firmly believe. They will take a LOT of work yet the results should be fantastic. Some will be tempted to think that these ideas are all new. Well, some are, but many are not. These basic concepts have been proven many times through efforts that are often tagged with labels such as Lean, Agile, Self-organizing, and Management 3.0. The software world has embraced many of these concepts, but the rest of the organization has been slow to move, with a few n ...more
Erik Logstrup
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A terrific and very inspiring book, if you want a deep-dive (also detail-wise) into how exactly you can (and can not) implement the modern version of an organic, self-governing organization.

A word of caution: The latter parts of the book are not for the reader just wanting a quick overview of things - it is, as mentioned, a rather detailed (= actually useful :-) ) recipe for introducing - and managing - a Holacracy based organization.
Nicolas Leroy
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an entrepreneur, allergic to pyramid hierarchy, it was good to finally read about alternative systems to run a company. Reinventing organisations by F. Laloux showed that new forms of organisation exist. This book described one possible system. Next I will explore sociocracy. I am glad I read this book, but only experience with this system will teach you if it works for you or not.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Robertson prescribes a very compelling approach to building an organization that can evolve naturally as it adapts to sensed opportunities for improvement, but it's one that requires a very thorough rethinking of how most organizations are currently structured.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Great ideas.
I just got disinterested in "meeting planning 101". Sorry!
Joey Tanny
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good primer into good governance and developing innovative operations management.
Frederico de Araújo Alecrim
Great book with great Ideas.
Ugh. No due dates? Maybe that's why your real company shut down and you're left telling other people how to business.
Tathagat Varma
When I first heard of Holacracy a few years back, I immediately liked the big idea to radically transform organizations. Its approach of distributing the power inside an organization by aligning the three different org structures made lot of sense. It concept of "abolishing" titles and hierarchy by replacing with circles is a great metaphor, and the supporting constructs of link leads and rep links, etc. is a simple and elegant solution to endless meetings and arguments that never seem to get to ...more
Lars K Jensen
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
With books like this it's sometimes hard to separate whether you are reviewing the book or the ideas it presents.

I believe there are some very good things in the Holacracy systems, but it will be very hard for established organizations to make the shift. "Slow down to speed up", as Robertson writes - but a large organization with some legacy would have to slow deep down for a long time.

But younger organizations (or maybe even parts of bigger organization) may have a lot to profit from switching
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scanned
Book recommended to me as an example of setting up a company structure that can innovate.

It is actually a really detailed plan for a constitution-based organizational structure that is more adaptable than a traditional top-down model, but with more clarity than an informally run startup or non-profit. Lots of charts and specific diagrams and different names for everything to make special point (see #1 below).

The author suggests implementing this structure in 4 steps:
1. Change your lang
Mårten Andersson
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tips från Rickard Svarre.

Holakrati utvecklades på företaget Ternary Software, grundat 2001 av Brian Robertson. Företaget experimenterade med en mängd olika organisationsformer, till exempel agil systemutveckling, lean och sociokrati. De använde olika delar från olika organisationsformer och skapade vad de kallade "The Ternary Way", som senare kom att kallas holakrati.[1] Namnet holakrati är härlett från termen "holarchy" (holarki) i Arthur Koestlers bok The Ghost in the Machine från 1967. En ho
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some very good ideas on how to run an organisation here. It looks like modern businesses are moving towards this kind of framework increasingly, too, so it is worth reading just so that you get yourselves ahead on some of these discussions happening at the workplace.

Putting the full framework to practice is another story, though, with very unpredictable results. However, the author is honest in accepting that and acknowledges that not every organisation can become one that applied Holacracy suc
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Es un libro que, sin estar mal, le sobran unas cien páginas y le falta desarrollo y ejemplos. Si la Holacracia es una cosa muy cerrada y que se basa en unos pilares, pues explicalos en el libro, no? No, los sugiere para que si te guste indagues más y acabes pasando por alguna consultora que amablemente te lo explique (preferentemente la suya).

No está mal, es una buena idea (me encanta ver a Hayek por ahí citado), pero no es para nada imprescindible. Seguro que en dos o tres artículos se explica
Stephan Swart
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are implementing Holacracy, the book is an extremely useful tool. If you are interested in "alternative" or "teal" management frameworks, the book will satisfy as a glimpse into how things could be, but you will be left with an empty wish for things to be that way. My advice would be that if you aren't ready to change everything in your organisation or don't want to be nudged towards letting go of a lot of your decision making power, leave this book alone.
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Brian J. Robertson created Holacracy and founded HolacracyOne, the organization that is training people and companies all over the world in this new system. Robertson had previously launched a successful software company, where he first introduced the principles that would become Holacracy, making him not just a management theorist, but someone who has successfully implemented a holacracy-powered ...more
“Holacracy includes the following elements: • a constitution, which sets out the “rules of the game” and redistributes authority • a new way to structure an organization and define people’s roles and spheres of authority within it • a unique decision-making process for updating those roles and authorities • a meeting process for keeping teams in sync and getting work done together” 3 likes
“There is no freedom without discipline, no vision without a form” 2 likes
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