I’ve just returned from a four-day Holacracy practitioner training session in Las Vegas. I am now a bit more informed than I was when I spewed forth in my original posts. Hopefully.
- People will manifest their tendencies under any organizational framework.
Holacracy does not *prevent* anyone from doing much of anything in that regard. If you’re a caretaker, micro-manager, criticizer, or other toxic presence, you will find ways to exhibit that tendency in Holacracy. It’s actually not that hard to game the system. Just blurt stuff out, answer the questions the way you know you need to answer them to get your way, or end-around the whole thing. If you didn’t like someone embarrassing you in front of everyone in the office under the traditional hierarchy, you’re not going to enjoy it any more under Holacracy.
Interestingly, the self-aware <fill in undesirable-trait-haver> could simply avoid demonstrating their trait in the context of the governance or tactical meetings (the cornerstones of the holacractic process). They could choose display them the other 90% of the week in person, in emails, and in IMs of various ilks and avoid shining the light of The Process on them. It is likely, though, that these types, like serial killers, simply can’t help themselves. They’ll want to get in there and do their “thing” in front of everyone at the meetings. It just feels sooo good to scratch that itch.
Hopefully, the structured contexts will give those traits greater visibility to the team, and they’ll be seen for what they are. If someone needs to shoot down every idea, they’ll need to stand in the spotlight and do it in front of everyone or get a ruthless shushing by a good facilitator. If he wants to persistently shift and adjust expectations on someone, he’ll be expected to propose those changes out loud and the target will have a voice to object. The problem child will still act out, but it’ll be harder to use the old tricks to rationalize and hide it.
Maybe that will make them easier to root out.
And then, maybe not. Ask me in a year or so.