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How to Future-Proof Your Business in a Fast-Changing World. a Chat With Brian Robertson


Running holacracy is not like running a machine, but rather like helping grow a living organism. Following the idea of emerging property from complex system, a holacratic system is a complex organism that is able by itself to adapt to changes.

Holacratic is not about solving problems, but rather learning from problems.

Like gtd, where you capture every single thing what has your attention so that you can see what really has your attention, holacracy needs you to focus on what has your attention, so that you can adapt.

Holacracy is more about managing the system rather than managing the people in it. Often, issues are systemic and need to manage the system (see blame the game, not the players). In traditional companies, there is no framework to manage the system, instead, we find performance issues on people and try to manage people.

Shift from thinking in term of people to thinking in term of roles.

It gives a framework to manage the system and the roles instead of the people.

An example is given of a new collaborator that in a holacracy governance meetings took 2 minutes to express the need of a responsibility from a role that Brian Robertson took. I about 2 minutes, a new person was able to legitimately ask something from the CEO, without the burden of power hierarchy.

Often, companies want to empower their people. But just saying « you have been empowered » just leads to confusion. It won’t solve anything.

People intuitively realize that there are limits. In order to feel empowered, they need to have a clear understanding of the limits and the boundaries, so that they know they can do whatever they want inside those limits. Hence, to empower people, you need to focus on limits as well as on freedom.

The CEO perself is also subject to limits. If someone inside per own boundaries asks the CEO what to do, it is a natural answer in holacracy to answer: “It is in your role. You have to decide what to do. I can tell you my advice, but you are free to ignore it.”

With the empowerment comes the burden of leadership.

It is not a bossless organisation. The boss is just not a human, it is the system.

The structure is something living. The roles are not written by some HR guy and but into a drawer and forgotten. The roles are central in the live of the company. This is why there is a web application that makes transparent and ease curating all the roles of the company.

Don’t speak about problem, but rather about tensions. The system allow to acknowledge tensions and then adapts to deal with them.

There is no boss, the purpose is the boss. The company is purpose driven. When there is a boss, it fills the gaps between workers and the purpose of the company. It palliate the fact that the purpose does not drive workers.

Sometime, the company needs to have someone getting out of the system and act as super hero to fix issues. With a purpose driven company, this parent/child relationship is not needed. The super hero is likely to end up in a burnout and leaving the company.

Traditional structure were made when a hierarchical power was useful (need of control, benevolent dictator). Now that most work need creativity, people have started to see that culture was important. Now, people are slowly making another mind shift to see that hierarchical structure are not the obvious choice. You might have a company where hierarchy is important, but it might also not be the case. The message of Brian Robertson is that the power distribution is a choice and your should make a conscious choice, not use hierarchy by default. It is close to intellectual honesty.

The same way that at some point culture was not a subject, and now it is, top down hierarchy is not a subject yet but it is starting to be.

Moving to holacracy is difficult. It needs people to change their mindset and radically puts into question the whole structure. But it is generally simpler that people think (they often have a big cognitive resistance) but takes longer that most people think (several years, like 5 or 10). That reminds me of the metaphor learning gtd is like learning a martial art. It may look daunting at first but the outcome most likely is valuable enough to try it.

The holacracy constitution is open source, constantly evolving, following the same inspect and adapt mindset that it teaches. To make dealing with starting holacracy easier, they made an incremental constitution.

Holacracy is based on the same principle than a free market state. There is a constitution that people must embrace and follow for it to work. The constitution sets the bases of the purpose driven evolving structure that the worker will help grow and produce great outcomes.

Reading the holacracy constitution and deciding whether it’s good for you is like reading about football and deciding whether you like it or not. At some point, you have to play football (hard problem of consciousness) to decide wheter you like it or not.

The bigger the company, the harder putting the structure into question will be, and the harder holacracy can be tryed.

Some team might try holacracy in a traditionnal structure. The idea might sread like a retro virus, but the more sensible way is to start with convincing the CEO.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1619.609s I think people
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1622.489s intuitively know there are limits, there are boundaries,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1625.819s there are things that they shouldn’t do, right without
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1628.489s checking with someone. And often in organizations, those aren’t
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1631.639s clear. And so often, then they hold back, they don’t want to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1635.539s get in trouble. They don’t want to, you know, rock the boat,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1637.639s they don’t want to get someone mad at them or get their team
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1639.589s upset or whatever.


time text
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1639.589s When people don’t know their limits, they
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1643.249s don’t know their freedom.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1653.179s to give people an empowering environment, one that allows
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1655.789s them to find their own power. It’s just as important to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1659.329s clarify the limits and the boundaries as it is to clarify
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1661.879s their freedoms, right, you need people to know, here are the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1665.149s real limits, and boundaries, right? And, and when they know
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1670.219s that you can take a stance that says within these limits and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1672.829s boundaries, you have the power and freedom to use your judgment
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1676.039s and take any action and make any decision at all, because we’ve
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1679.219s clarified the boundaries, right? And when you know, those, you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1683.569s can take that strong stand. And that, to me is a really
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1686.359s empowering environment. One where people have the freedom,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1690.199s they know the limits, they know the boundaries, and they know
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1692.119s within those, they’re free to act, they’re free to do anything
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1695.329s within those limits and boundaries. Right? So when
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1697.639s that’s true, they can then actually go take real empowered
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1701.719s action. You know, and, And to me, that’s just so different
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1705.739s than pushing people to be more empowered.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1705.739s The other thing you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1708.769s can do is remove the crutch. So I find that find this all the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1711.739s time when we hire new people, they’ll often try to defer their
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1714.859s power to me. Right? They’ll look to me and say, Well, what should
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1717.919s I do about something? Right? And I have a habit when somebody
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1721.999s does that, and it’s something in their role. I’m not going to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1724.639s feed them an answer. I think a lot of bosses are in that habit
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1727.489s of just, oh, I’ll suck it up. And I’ll answer, I’ll give you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1730.069s my wisdom. But that’s reinforcing somebody’s deferring
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1733.759s their power. And I think the alternative that we can do is,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1738.829s as, as former managers, when you’re stepping into this kind
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1741.439s of environment, you can push it right back, I’ll tell people,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1744.229s literally, I don’t have the authority to decide that for
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1747.019s you. Because we’re in a distributed authority system, a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1750.259s distributed power structure, which is put that authority in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1752.899s your role, not mine, the burden of leadership is on you, not me,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1757.699s I don’t have the authority to answer that. So if you want my
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1760.309s input, if you want advice, you can come to me, but I need you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1763.579s to do it owning your authority, I need you to say this is my
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1765.949s decision, and I’m going to lead it and I just want some input
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1768.589s before I do. And then I’m happy to give you my wisdom, and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1771.349s you’re totally free to ignore it.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1775.039s it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1777.799s just as relevant to at a team level. I also see people defer
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1780.889s their power to a team, right, though they’ll use WE for
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1784.069s this, they’ll show up and say WE need to make a decision. What
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1786.919s should we do as a way of deferring their power to the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1789.799s group and this is why we have so many endless painful meetings


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1796.369s What do you need?
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1799.999s To make your decision and leave your role, we don’t make this
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1803.419s decision you do? What would you like to request from us so that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1807.649s you can lead your role. And when you have these kinds of cultures
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1812.389s and the structure and processes to support it, Damn, it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1815.899s powerful, it reinforces right back to that person, you have
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1819.709s the power to act here, the burden of leadership is yours,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1822.739s you get to choose to step up and take it,


time text
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1822.739s you can never really
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1825.859s empower somebody else. But you can create an environment that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1828.259s doesn’t let them defer their power to others. And that that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1831.259s has real power for them to find, take and use when they’re ready.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1881.299s unlike what is often seen in culture that, you know,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1884.809s they don’t necessarily enjoy that privilege of making all the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1888.079s decisions. So for those bosses and managers who don’t like
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1895.609s their to be the hero, I think Holacracy really works in those
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1899.149s teams. Yeah.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1911s Holacracy is not a bossless organization, it makes the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1915.2s organization’s purpose the boss. Yeah. You know, often, when
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1923.99s people learn about Holacracy, one of the things that really
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1927.11s stuck out to them is like, Oh, this there is no management
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1929.66s hierarchy, therefore, it’s a structure less organization, or
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1934.13s there are no bosses, there are no managers, therefore, anyone
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1937.43s can make any decision that suits them. […]
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1943.82s oh, there is a boss.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1975.68s It’s just not a person. Right? It’s the purpose. And this then
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1980.84s really makes Holacracy such a powerful framework for purpose
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1986.06s driven organizations. Because typically, in management
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1989.72s hierarchy, you have, you know, these layers of bureaucracy and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1992.93s layers of people, where you can’t have a direct purpose to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1997.4s purpose relationship.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2036.069s I think one of the misconceptions that that people often have when
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2039.099s they hear about this idea of it’s a bossless organization,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2041.919s right. And people often think that means that anyone can just
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2045.879s go do anything or whatever. And that’s not true at all. There’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2048.609s very clear boundaries, in fact, more clear limits and boundaries
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2051.849s and a company running with Holacracy, than in a traditional
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2054.429s management hierarchy, and more clear freedom within those
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2057.249s limits and boundaries, both. There’s more structure, not less
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2060.909s people often hear no bosses, and they think no structure. And
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2063.639s that’s not true. There is more structure, not less, right, the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2067.719s structures actually really clearly defined in companies
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2071.229s running with Holacracy. And it’s agile, it’s changing constantly.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2074.169s Every team is part of this process of updating the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2077.109s structure on their team.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2083.349s those roles are documented, they’re clear,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2087.099s and they’re not just something written up, you know, from HR
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2090.669s years ago. They’re they’re living, breathing structure.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2093.819s They’re changing constantly, as we adapt the process and the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2097.509s structure of our team. So you actually end up with more clear
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2100.299s structure not less.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2145.659s So there’s lots of purposes, every role has a purpose, every
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2149.859s team has a purpose. And ultimately, the overall
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2153.039s organization has one general purpose, which is often fairly
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2156.099s high level for a whole organization. And then it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2159.369s broken down. And then you’ve got again, just just like, you know,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2162.699s in the body, every one of my cells has a different reason for
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2165.729s being a different purpose, a different thing. Same with every
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2168.129s organ, it’s trying to achieve something different for my
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2170.259s system. Sometimes they’re even in conflict with each other,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2173.049s which is actually fine and can be healthy. But overall, my
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2176.949s whole system, I get to, as best I can discover my purpose in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2181.149s life and pursue it. And it’s not to say everything is always
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2184.149s perfectly aligned with that it’s often not, we often have parts
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2186.819s of ourselves that are conflicting. And that’s just
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2189.009s part of the the living system process. But there’s still an
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2191.559s intention. There’s an attempt for my whole system to align
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2195.249s with, as best I understand it, my purpose in life, right? And I
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2199.929s think we can look at the organization the same way we can
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2202.359s get our best understanding, what is this organization’s deepest
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2206.649s creative calling in the world?


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2220.149s And in that sense, the purpose becomes
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2223.239s the boss. And the process we use, the governance process
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2226.449s becomes the management that everyone is taking part in. And
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2230.289s there’s lots of structure that comes out of that. There’s just
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2232.929s not a top down command hierarchy of bosses and subordinates. But
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2237.129s we still get clear structure, we get clear expectations, and we
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2239.679s get adaptability.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1075.499s But I think it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1078.589s very common that we mistake system problems for performance
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=1083.359s problems
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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2480.52s In the same
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2484.3s way that a generation ago in business, most people were
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2487.33s unconscious to culture. We didn’t talk about culture. A
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2490.87s generation ago in business, we talked about strategy. But we
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2493.72s had no conscious awareness or attention on culture. And now we
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2498.4s do now that’s that’s norm in the business world. But most people
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2501.97s accept top down command hierarchy. […]
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2521.98s it was unconscious. And I think what’s happening now,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2525.49s thanks to the self management movement more broadly, the,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2528.43s there’s a lot of other movements that play in, there’s more and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2530.95s more consciousness on this lower level of power structure. In the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2535.96s same way that culture was radically new. And it was weird
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2539.17s a generation ago when people started at first talking about
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2542.02s it. But now it’s normal. And I think we’re seeing the same
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2546.79s journey to power structure, we can now consciously talk about
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2549.67s it. And if management hierarchy command top down command
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2552.46s hierarchy is the best power structure for our environment in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2555.1s our organization. I say great use it. There’s nothing
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2558.73s fundamentally wrong with it.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2562.9s I think it was meant for an era where we
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2565.75s needed more controls, and standardization, and less
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2570.4s creativity and adaptability. I don’t think it was built for the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2573.61s latter, right. But there are some environments that still
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2576.28s might find it the best solution for them, then use it. What I
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2579.52s really want to encourage people to do is just make a conscious
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2582.76s decision. And I think when you consciously choose a more robust
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2586.78s power structure for complexity, things happen at the cultural
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2590.68s level.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2742.03s one of the things I love about
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2744.43s Holacracy itself, it’s just as evolutionary as it helps an
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2747.52s organization be right on the method itself, which is why it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2750.58s version controlled. It’s it’s an open source process, that open
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2754.03s source document, we capture the rules of Holacracy in a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2756.73s constitution, to constitutional approach to running a company
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2759.82s constitutional power structure, and that constitutions that open
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2762.73s source document that you can download and use for your
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2765.1s organization. And it evolves the same way open source software
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2769.09s does by the community of users submitting feedback when they
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2772.3s find something that seems like it’s, you know, kind of a, an
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2775.78s edge case that the rules don’t handle well. And then the rules
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2779.65s have all to integrate them. Or they find bugs, if you will, and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2783.19s they submit those and, and we’ve collected those for years. Now,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2786.22s it’s been, oh, I don’t know, six years or something in the works.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2790.42s And we finally have about to be released a new version. And
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2795.01s there’s something like 100 different tensions integrated
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2797.83s into it. So it’s no one thing. And it’s all of the feedback
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2802s over the years, all of the edge cases where the rules didn’t
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2804.61s quite work as well as they could all the tensions people had
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2807.34s about the rule system itself, about the framework. And there
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2811.39s are some major changes


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2820.54s it’s this is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2824.26s not something that you just adopt in a quarter or I mean,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2827.71s you might get some positive ROI in a quarter or two. Right, you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2831.22s might have find that suddenly you’re addressing issues more
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2834.07s efficiently or you might have some positive results. But the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2838.48s actual journey is many years. And how long does it take you to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2842.56s master being a manager in a management hierarchy? It’s at
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2844.87s least that long, right? It’s a many many year journey. But that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2849.67s said, The hard part at first was starting, right. In prior cases,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2853.33s the biggest complaint we had an affair one is this is changing
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2855.79s the entire power structure of your company. And in the past,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2858.34s it was kind of an all or nothing change it was you adopt this
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2860.98s entire new constitution and all of your power structure is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2863.44s different. And then you got to catch up and figure out how to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2865.51s use it and what it means and how to work with it. And it’s just a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2868.42s daunting change. And what we’ve done with the new version is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2872.29s we’ve kind of broken it out into different segments that allow
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2875.59s you to adopt incrementally. So you can start one piece at a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2878.71s time, you can basically start with a constitutional management
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2881.89s hierarchy, which defines a little bit more clearly how
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2885.97s managers need to operate and use their their managerial authority
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2889.3s with clear roles. And it gives you some framework that,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2892.6s frankly, you want anyway, in a management hierarchy, it’s just
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2894.91s really hard to get, and it puts some guide rails on it and gives
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2897.79s you a starting point. And then you can adopt another segment
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2900.16s and another and another until you’re all the way there fully
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2903.07s doing this distributed authority Holacracy thing.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2927.97s they think it’s going to be
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2930.22s massive, and so they never start. It’s almost like too hard
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2932.98s to start in their mind. And he said what he he’s experienced.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2936.13s So compared to that the change is actually easier than most
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2939.28s people think it just takes longer than most people think.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2943s And I think we’ve version five of Holacracy. I can now honestly
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2945.43s genuinely say that that is true for this as well. Now, it is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2949.48s easier than most people think because you don’t have to change
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2951.58s everything all at once at the beginning. But it will take
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2953.98s longer than most people think. Right? And you can roll it out
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=2956.68s at your pace as you go.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3444.21s Doesn’t matter how smart
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3449.19s you are, you don’t get Holacracy by reading about it, as much as
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3452.61s I’d love for you to all go read my book. Great. But that’s not
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3455.16s how you learn it. And that’s not how you assess is this right for
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3457.47s us? I think it’d be kind of like trying to assess do i do i like
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3461.13s soccer? By reading about it. Right? Or do I like playing
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3464.61s music by reading a book on musical theory, right, that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3467.07s doesn’t doesn’t really do it. You’ve got to listen, you’ve got
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3470.76s to play.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3552.66s be aware that Holacracy, it is a big change, the smaller the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3555.6s company, the easier it is, right? It’s much easier to adopt
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3558.6s Holacracy in a 30 person company than a 30,000 person company.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3736.05s And I think we can use my team as a laboratory and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3738.69s experiment some. And they bring something like this in. And
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3741.9s we’ve done that in a lot of big companies and even governments,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3744.6s country governments, sovereign nation governments, where we go
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3747.48s into one department or one agency, and we we bring this in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3750.96s and support them in doing something really different. And
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3754.23s sometimes when that works, well, it becomes a, like a retrovirus
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3757.77s and it starts spreading internally, right. We’ve seen
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3760.08s neighboring departments get into what they’re doing, see that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3762.66s it’s working, and then start adopting themselves, which is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3765.48s pretty cool. And I think if the big companies are going to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3767.22s change, it’s it’s likely to be some combination of that.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3770.46s retrovirus internal stuff spread. And the right leaders
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3774.24s eventually catching on and saying, Oh, wait, this is this
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=3776.76s is something worth pursuing and then sponsoring it.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=724.83s even the language problem, right is is
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=727.8s it’s kind of loaded, right? It implies something is, is wrong,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=731.19s that needs to be fixed. I think even that language almost comes
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=734.43s out of this machine age, industrial age paradigm of how
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=737.73s we look at organizations, you know, when you look at living
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=741.36s systems, I think it’s a much more nuanced and powerful view
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=744.66s not to look at problems that way. But rather, there’s,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=750.72s there’s kind of a natural, just urge to change, sometimes
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=754.74s there’s something off in the system. But whenever we reduce
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=758.01s it to a simple problem, it actually makes it harder to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=760.23s solve, we end up trying to treat a symptom instead of looking at
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=762.96s the holistic system and what it does. And I think that’s true in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=766.05s organizations as well. You know, so I talk in terms of tensions
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=770.22s instead of problems. And I define attention, just as an
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=773.94s experience, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the feeling you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=777.33s get, right, you often feel it in your body or in your emotions,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=780.81s before you even get to your head. You know, and it’s that
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=784.02s feeling you get when you’re sensing a gap between where you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=786.54s are, and some potential, that would be in some way forward.
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=790.77s Now, we can judge that and say, we shouldn’t have this gap, it’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=793.2s a problem. Or we can judge that and say, oh, what an exciting
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=796.23s opportunity, we can move over here. But all of that is us
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=799.65s adding our intellectual meaning making on top of the raw
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=803.88s physical sensation of the sense of tension of Oh, I feel a gap,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=808.53s I feel a stretching at the root of the word tension from the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=812.1s Latin means to stretch. You know, so I, I use that word and
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=816.15s whatever language we use, I love having a word that doesn’t have
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=819.42s an inherent value judgment in it. Right? And that’s the way in
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=823.41s which I use tension, the definition I use. And when when
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=827.13s you have that To start with, it’s that’s that’s the stuff of
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=829.98s life, right? tension is, is what drives everything. For us. It’s,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=833.37s you know, it’s what drove us to schedule a webinar, you had a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=835.38s sense of something could be better. So you did it. That’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=837.33s what drove you to get out of bed this morning. Right? Here’s
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=839.4s something could be better than lying here. So you did, right.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=864.3s GTD for those who know that it’s, it’s all about noticing
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=868.5s what’s got your attention.


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https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=889.38s You no
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=893.43s longer need to prevent the problem or the sensing of
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=897.06s tension. If you can trust your ability to adapt to it really
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=899.82s well. But I think in most organizations, we don’t have a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=902.85s capacity to adapt. So the feeling is we better prevent
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=906.6s anything from going wrong. Because we kind of know we can’t
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=909.99s quickly rapidly learn from it. But as soon as we have this kind
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=914.07s of dynamic evolutionary capacity to, to digest tension, to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=918.9s constantly be changing and moving forward, when we have
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=922.35s that, we no longer need to prevent it anymore, that most of
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=926.22s it there are some you want to prevent, right? prevent the ones
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=928.35s that will kill you instantly. Absolutely. Right. There are
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=930.96s some tensions in life I want to prevent. But the vast majority,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=935.22s I don’t need to prevent if I trust my capacity to adapt,
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=939s right. And it’s not enough to just say, Well, I’m going to
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=941.55s trust that you need to have the systems and processes in place
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=944.22s at an organizational level, right, you need to have a
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=946.5s framework that allows you to adapt. If you do if you have the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=950.1s right processes, and you know that whatever comes up anywhere
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=953.16s in your organization, even on the front line, there is the
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=956.07s capacity to adapt to it rapidly, then the number of things you
https://youtu.be/2CNri-90bmw&t=959.82s need to prevent shrinks dramatically. Right?


empowering people often leads to confused people

if you’re a manager, and you go tell your team tomorrow, good news, everyone, you’re fully empowered, good luck, that doesn’t actually solve anything, right? You don’t get an empowered team, that way you got it, you get a lot of confused people.


often the system is perfectly designed to generate the result it did

often the system is perfectly designed to generate the result it did. And it looks at a surface level like somebody screwed up. But if we if we really look at the overall system, the information flows, the processes, what information they had, what expectations were clear to the person that looks like they screwed up, when you see all of that often, not always. But often. I think what reveals itself is this is not a performance problem. It’s a system problem. And yet, when we don’t have the language and the tools and the framework for looking at it, and figuring out the system and evolving the system, right, all of the flows of information and expectations and processes and roles. And when we can’t see all that what we tend to do is jump to somebody screwed up because it looks like that when we have a simpler view on it. So I’m not saying there aren’t genuine performance problems, there certainly are. But in my experience, I’d say over 90% of what I see most managers and executives thinking of as performance problems are not in my view their system problems. And it’s a really easy way out to think of it as a performance problem. But the challenge is it’s likely to repeat even if you get rid of that person, right? You’re not actually solving the root issue. If you treat a system problem as a performance problem.


Notes linking here