As the fervour and anticipation of 2015 approaches, the optimistic traditionalists among us are dutifully setting goals and strategies for the year ahead. An activity the realists abhor for a fear of failure and a desire for rebellion.
Regardless of whether the pressing nature of the impending New Year has significant meaning for you or not, planning is an essential ingredient for the success of any organisation. But before you go crazy making lists, let’s take a moment to celebrate your victories and acknowledge your shortcomings from this past year. This is extremely important in understanding the strengths and constraints of your business and let’s face it, you as its leader. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk alone and as you approach those forks in the road, the decision of which way to turn will soon become clear.
Holacracy is a social technology used for organisations providing a distributed authority system built around an organic structure and grounded within the organisation’s purpose. Consider Holacracy as the anti-thesis of traditional management hierarchies to create a management-free environment focused on getting things done. Holacracy provides a different take on your annual strategy and planning sessions by providing a guiding light through the overwhelming decision making process. I challenge you to make a difference to your strategy process by adopt a dynamic approach to manoeuvring your way through the minefield of running a business. Once you’ve strategized using this different method all will be revealed about where to invest your time, money and resources.
Here are some examples of the strategic outcomes born from this process, they provide a clear direction when making decisions throughout the year:
Internal meetings held within an organisation are not about winning friends and influencing people, they are about getting things done. I’ve attended meetings and found myself in the middle of a power struggle or relationship maelstrom and left questioning the outcome and purpose.
Internal meetings can be frustrating, confusing and a waste of everyone’s time. Or they can be satisfying, clear and productive if a structured process is applied where the main focus is on getting work done.
Operations (tactical) and Governance meetings are two types of meeting processes. Tactical Meetings deal with the operational aspects and focus on specific actions and projects. As outlined in the insert, this type of meeting can have the most immediate effect on an organisation when run correctly. A strictly process-driven tactical meeting creates clarity on what work needs to be done while allowing the team to synchronise quickly and effectively. Governance Meetings are directed at power, authority and structure.
Holacracy is a real-world-tested social technology for organisations where Tactical and Governance meetings are just part of the process. It drives agile and purposeful organisations by radically changing the structure, altering how decisions are made and redistributing power.
Goal: Notice what’s got your attention, call it out, let it go.
Sacred space: no cross-talk. Get present, here and now; grounds the meeting.
Goal: Bring transparency to recurring actions.
Facilitator reads checklist of recurring actions by role; participants respond “check” or “no check” to each for the preceding period (e.g. the prior week).
Goal: Build a picture of current reality.
Each role assigned a metric reports on it briefly, highlighting the latest data.
Goal: Track updates to key projects of the circle.
The Facilitator reads each project on the circle’s project board and asks: “Any updates?”
The project’s owner either responds “no updates” or shares what has changed since the last meeting. Questions allowed, but no discussion.
Goal: Build an agenda with placeholder headlines.
Build agenda of tensions to process; one or two words per item, no discussion.
Goal: Get through all agenda items in the allotted time.
To Resolve Each Agenda Item:
Goal: Harvest learning from the meeting.
Each person can share a closing reflection about the meeting; no discussion.
Do any of these symptoms show up in your organization?