The Effect Holacracy Can Have on Organizations


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about holacracy. The philosophy has taken the business world by storm and is touted as being the future of management. But what exactly is it? And how does it work in practice? Let’s explore both questions here:

What is Holacracy?


CoachHub describes holacracy as an organizational structure that encourages decentralized management and allows employees to take on leadership roles.

In Holacracy, there are no managers or bosses and no job titles. Instead, there are roles and responsibilities that each employee can fill at any time depending on where they’re needed most. The idea behind this is that everyone will be able to contribute their knowledge and experience in ways that best suit their skillset—not just when it seems relevant to management. This means more creative freedom for people who want ideas heard outside of an established structure but may not feel comfortable voicing them under traditional management structures because they’re afraid of being punished for speaking out against authority figures or “going rogue” from company expectations due to how those expectations are set up (such as having someone else decide whether or not something should get done).

How Does Holacracy Work?

Holacracy is a way to manage an organization. It’s not a job title, it’s not a hierarchy, and it isn’t one person in charge. Instead, holacracy is built on the idea that everyone can contribute to the organization’s success. In HolacracyOne’s words:

Holacratic systems don’t have leaders; they have clear roles and responsibilities that are just as important as any other role. They also use self-management to give people the right amount of autonomy, authority and accountability—to make sure every contribution matters toward achieving collective goals and objectives.

What Happens to Leaders in a Holocratic Organization?


As with most things, the answer to this question is that it depends.

The first thing that happens within a holacracy is the way leadership roles are distributed. In a traditional organization, leaders are responsible for their employees; however, in a holacracy each role is responsible for itself and its own outcomes. This means that leadership roles can be created or eliminated depending on what’s needed at any given time. Some organizations will only have one “lead” person while others may have multiple leads working together behind the scenes to support each other (and their teams).

Leadership roles aren’t permanent nor fixed—they’re always evolving based on need and value added to those who they serve (their teams).

What’s an Example of a Holacracy Organization?

You’ve probably heard of Zappos, Patagonia and Netflix. These are some companies that have adopted Holacracy.

But what about the ones you don’t know? Here’s a list of companies that use it:

HolacracyOne – The organization behind the practice of Holacracy. You can find them at

Autodesk – Software company in San Francisco Bay Area developing computer-aided design (CAD) software & related products for engineering, construction and manufacturing fields.

The Huffington Post – Media Company based out of New York City with 10+ sites under its belt including Politics, Fashion & Style to name a few.

Medium – Publishing platform created by Evan Williams which allows writers to share their stories through blog posts or articles among other things like podcasts too!

One Medical – A network of primary care practices focused on providing high quality patient care while having fun doing so by working collaboratively with others who enjoy learning new things too 🙂

Why Might an Organization Adopt Holacracy?


Holacracy is a way to manage a company without a hierarchy.

This means that employees are not assigned to roles by their manager; instead, they choose those roles themselves (there’s more on this in the “How Does Holacracy Work?” section below). The benefit of this approach is that it eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy and makes work more flexible. For example, if you want your team members to attend an important meeting or spend extra time developing their skills, you can easily reassign roles so they can take on some different responsibilities for one day—or even longer if necessary.

The Future of Holacracy

Although Holacracy is not a panacea, it is still an interesting concept that can be applied to your organization in a way that makes sense. The key is to understand when it will be useful and when it won’t. If you’re looking for a new organizational structure, or if you want a more democratic work environment, then Holacracy may be right for you. But if you’re happy with the way things are going now and don’t have any big plans on the horizon—don’t worry about learning how to use Holacracy at this point in time!

To succeed with holacracy, you must have a clear vision, the right culture, and the right coaches.

To succeed with holacracy, you must have a clear vision, the right culture and the right coaches.

Holacracy is both a management system and a governance model. It’s not just about having meetings or even getting rid of managers — it’s about creating an environment where employees are empowered to take ownership of their work and make decisions on their own. The idea is that everyone in an organization has access to information about each other’s performance, so there are no surprises when it comes time for reviews or promotions. The system also works because no one gets to rest on their laurels: if someone isn’t performing well enough, they’ll be held accountable by their peers working alongside them in various roles within the company (or across different departments). Or if someone needs help with something challenging that isn’t part of her job description — say she needs some extra training on how to use new software in order to complete her tasks—she can get it from another team member who does know how those things work; there aren’t any barriers for getting these resources when needed!


We believe that holacracy is the future of work, but it will only work for those who are willing to embrace it. Ultimately, you need to be willing to let go of old ways of thinking and embrace a new way forward if you want to see results from holacracy. Although it may seem daunting at first, holacracy is actually quite simple once you understand how it works and why organizations adopt it in the first place.