Holacracy has been widely celebrated in recent times, with corporations like Zappos and Medium attempting to embed this system into their company’s infrastructure. The core essence of holacracy lies in its promise of a boss-free environment, emphasizing flexible roles over rigid job descriptions, and fostering self-organization.
But it also has pitfalls that accompany its implementation.
In business structures, the transition from traditional hierarchical to holacracy is a complex one. At the forefront of this shift for P2H were the company’s co-founders, CBDO, Dmitriy Kucher, and CPO, Dmitriy Breslavets. The idea was to craft the best workplace for innovation and collaboration. Here’s an exploration of that experience at P2H.
From Hierarchical to Hybrid
Historically, businesses have leaned heavily on hierarchical models. Recognizing the potential limitations and inefficiencies of this approach, P2H began exploring holacracy – a model with no job titles, just roles, where responsibilities are more evenly spread out.
The Quest for a Bossless Workplace
The idea of a workplace without traditional hierarchies might seem far-fetched to many.
For Dmitriy Kucher and Dmitriy Breslavets, it was a mission.
Challenges Along the Way
Questions arose. Who would be accountable? How would decisions be made? How would conflicts be managed without clear leaders? Employees, used to familiar structures, found it hard to embrace a radically new model. The learning curve was steep, requiring a deep understanding of holacratic principles and their application in daily operations.
Decision-Making and Accountability
The lack of a clear leadership hierarchy makes decision-making difficult. Who, for instance, decides on layoffs or expense cuts? Similarly, without structured oversight, accountability becomes an issue. Every organization has its share of under-performers. Without a system of checks and balances, these individuals might remain undetected, compromising productivity.
Adapting and Converging
Holacracy was a starting point, not an endpoint for P2H. Under the process-driven approach of Breslavets and the analytical leadership of Kucher, the company adopted elements from various structures. This led to clear role definitions, transparent communication, and efficient decision-making while still maintaining some hierarchical aspects for stability.
Learning from Others
Companies like Zappos faced challenges with obstacles with holacracy, particularly in balancing human emotions with process-driven structures. The rigid meeting formats and the attempt to compartmentalize human emotions often led to dissatisfaction. In fact, Zappos saw a significant portion of its workforce leave due to issues related to holacracy.
A New Era of Collaborative Leadership
P2H’s exploratory journey has ushered in a new organizational model, blending elements of hierarchy, holacracy, and division structures. This hybrid approach allowed them to retain the innovative spirit of holacracy while ensuring stability, accountability, and adaptability.
Everyone collaborates, with structures that promote active participation and decision-making contributions from all. The resulting system has supercharged innovation and collaboration, emphasizing the strength of combined organizational philosophies.
Transitioning from hierarchy towards holacracy, and eventually to this unique business structure model, under the leadership of Dmitriy Kucher and Dmitriy Breslavets, showcases the adaptive nature of P2H. It proves that sometimes, the best results come from combining different approaches, ensuring an environment where collaboration and efficiency coexist.