Experts Blog

Much to learn and unlearn – from our holacracy practice at Unic – Part 1

  • Ivo Bättig

Unic introduced holacracy. And now? In several blog posts I give an insight into this big change and bring up questions / opinions, which have to be discussed and solved in the new organizational and working form.

Topic of this first blog post: What things are there to learn? And more importantly, what things are there to unlearn?

Things to learn and to unlearn

With the introduction of holacracy, there are several things to learn:

  • new processes

  • new roles

  • a constitution

  • best practices

  • self-organisation and much more

Not only, but also as a (former) manager, it is also about «unlearning» things. We must question habits that we have developed over the years and apply them in new and different ways. These may even be practices that have made me successful in a classical system (e.g. delegation, control, expansion of power, rope teams, oversteering).

To let go

As a (former) manager you have to learn to let things go. But that doesn't mean letting things just go. But one must ask oneself whether the proposal just discussed is safe enough and does not leave any permanent damage. After all, we want to use everyone's skills and try things out. Without this, there can be no rapid adaptability and hardly anything new. This means that the question always has to be asked: «Is it safe enough to try?»

A question of maturity

You don't do holacracy right or wrong. The ratification in the form of a transfer of power to the processes of the Constitution is very absolute, but everything else is a question of maturity, that is, how to live holacracy. Starting in a low maturity is quite ok – with the intention to constantly improve and develop a better practice.

Process and culture

When introducing holacracy one has respect for the complex and unfamiliar processes. But these can be handled very quickly. What is really difficult is the culture of self-organization. This needs to be developed, and this usually takes considerably longer than the process adaptation.

More about holacracy at Unic

Read more about the introduction of holacracy at Unic.