Holacracy is a specific social technology or system of organizational governance developed by HolacracyOne, LLC in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a holarchy of self-organizing teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy. Holacracy has been adopted in for-profit and non-profit organizations in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States - wikipedia
* Holacracy not safe enough to try - medium
The term holacracy is derived from the term holarchy, coined by Arthur Koestler in his 1967 book ''The Ghost in the Machine''. A holarchy is composed of holons (Holon (philosophy)) (Greek: ὅλον, holon neuter form of ὅλος, holos "whole") or units that are autonomous and self-reliant, but also dependent on the greater whole of which they are part. Thus a holarchy is a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that function both as autonomous wholes and as dependent parts.
The Holacracy system was incubated at Ternary Software, an Exton, Pennsylvania, company that was noted for experimenting with more democratic forms of organizational governance.[ Can a Company Be Run as a Democracy?] Ternary founder Brian Robertson distilled the best practices into an organizational system that became known as Holacracy in 2007.
In June of 2015, Robertson released a book, ''Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World,'' that details and explains the practices of Holacracy - wikipedia
Holacracy has been compared to sociocracy, a system of governance developed in the second half of the twentieth century.[ The Open-Source Everything Manifesto] Sociocracy had a significant early influence during the incubation of Holacracy, though Holacracy has increasingly differentiated away from it since then.Holacracy and Sociocracy Sociocracy particularly inspired the development of the circle structure and governance processes (described in more detail later) within Holacracy. Holacracy is designed for organizations and fundamentally differentiates the roles of the organization from the people working in it.Sociocracy & Holacracy - wikipedia
In its emphasis on iterative governance, adaptive processes, and self-organization, . Holacracy is highly compatible with stakeholder theory as its board structure allows for multiple stakeholders to be represented in the governance of an organization and for multiple organizations with shared interests to be linked at the governance level.
In a January 2014 post on Forbes online, management and leadership author Steve Denning warned against viewing Holacracy as a panacea, claiming that instead of removing hierarchy, decisions are funneled down from circle to circle in a clear hierarchy, with each subsequent circle knowing less about the big picture than the one above.
He also claimed that the rules and procedures laid out in the founding documents of Holacracy such as Robertson's originating article are very detailed and focused on "administrivia."
Lastly, Denning added that the voice of the customer was missing from the Holacracy model, concluding that for agile and customer-focused companies such as Zappos, Holacracy is a way to add administrative rigor, but that Holacracy would not necessarily work well in an organization that did not already have agility and passion for the customer.
These criticisms have been responded to point by point by HolacracyOne partner Olivier Compagne in an article on the company's blog.[ ] He maintains that Denning's criticisms misunderstand Holacracy, and proceeds to explain how the rules of Holacracy address or avoid those alleged pitfalls - wikipedia