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Zappos says Goodbye to Bosses & Bureaucracy - Hello to Holacracy

Zappos says Goodbye to Bosses & Bureaucracy - Hello to Holacracy | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The famed, unique Las Vegas-based shoe retailer...will eliminate traditional managers, do away with the typical corporate hierarchy and get rid of job titles, at least internally.

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....bureaucracy ...was getting in the way of adaptability.”

    

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The unusual approach is called a “holacracy,” replacing the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of overlapping, self-governing “circles.” In theory, this gives employees more of a voice in the way the company is run.


According to Zappos executives, the move is an effort to keep the 1,500-person company from becoming too rigid, too unwieldy and too bureaucratic as it grows.


“As we scaled, we noticed that the bureaucracy we were all used to was getting in the way of adaptability,” says Zappos’s John Bunch, who is helping lead the transition to the new structure.


Holacracy ...has a couple of high-profile devotees — Twitter cofounder Evan Williams uses it at his new company, Medium, and time management guru David Allen uses it run his firm — but Zappos is by far the largest company to adopt the idea.]


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm intrigued to see this second emergence of holacracy.  Do we have an agile organizational structure developing here?

I'm sensing the far edge of a trend here, especially after facilitating Open Space events (self-led interest topics on a theme) in the last couple of years,.  I've mostly used them in a professional learning context, although three client organizations have used this organic, adaptible format for planning & strategy.  


In my view. it seems that these leaders are shifting perspective, letting go of some of the trappings of the 90's, to embrance more adaptive structures that can help fuel innovation.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, January 6, 2014 8:44 PM

Adaptive communication.  It's time for something far beyond Fredrick Taylor's scientific management 1920's style bureacraciy.  I'm sensing this is the calm before the storm of change to move beyond traditional management structures.  There will be more holacracies and their kin to come.  ~  D

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HR is ripe for social disruption. Innovating HR structure to support peer learning, innovative organizations

HR is ripe for social disruption.  Innovating HR structure to support peer learning, innovative organizations | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Is it finally time for Social HR? What's out there that uses social systems to revitalize how people are recruited and learn, grow and develop within organizations?


If organizations tend to be hidebound against change, Human Resources (HR) is even more so, in spite of the trendy strategic HR spin of the early 2000's . Consider HR's roots, which persist today: labor relations, compensation, employment/personnel and the number of lawyers on staff.


Here's some fresh thinking about embracing social as a new definer of HR systems from Gautam Ghosh.


Excerpted, adapted:


Recruitment:  HR has been quick to leverage social media to “Broadcast” vacancies. The next level would be actively creating and nurturing communities of practice shaped around skills where hiring managers can gauge level of skills of people and also develop them (Disclaimer: The author works with BraveNewTalent, a platform that helps organizations do that)


Knowledge Sharing: Forget the idea of databases acting as “repositories” of knowledge, internal social networks can capture employees work activity as social intranets  – and team members can follow what others are doing on their activity streams. Newer tools like Opzi and MindQuilt can also emerge as a enterprise version of Quora, the popular Q&A site.


HR policies: Using a social tool which leverages crowdsourcing ideas from employees can help HR in co-creating processes and policies – and raise acceptability when they are finally rolled out. Dell’s EmployeeStorm is a great example by which employees give ideas on everything in the company.


From the autho, Gautam Ghosh, a Product Evangelist and India Marketing Lead at BraveNewTalent specializing in the areas of HR, organization development and learning and employee engagement. He has worked as a HR Generalist and a Learning and Development Executive in firms like Deloitte, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Satyam Computer Services."

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Leading Change: Three Major Misconceptions That Hinder Innovation

Leading Change: Three Major Misconceptions That Hinder Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Innovation has become vital for value creation. More than ever will it distinguish successful institutions from the less successful..."


Three fundamental misconceptions stick out.


1. Innovation is synonym for change:

Too often innovation and change initiatives are mixed up. Many change initiatives are actually improvement oriented and based on knowledge and examples that are already available in the marketplace (best practices, benchmarks, pilots), and are therefore not innovative.


Real innovation requires a company to go first, to go where no one has been before; to be a leader rather than a follower.


2. Innovation is a business goal as any other:

Research shows that successful innovation depends on the level of strategic alignment in the organization: alignment between the corporate strategy, the innovation strategy and the corporate culture (see a recent study in S+B on this). Innovation is therefore more fundamental.


It requires a specific innovation strategy and culture, based on:

  • a profound understanding of the external developments, 
  • how we adjust our strategy to it, 
  • in what part of the business (products, services, processes, systems) we need to innovate, 
  • how we use our qualities and competencies to create innovation, 
  • what competencies we are missing and need to develop, 
  • how we deal with trial & error and failure, 
  • how we will change the way we work in teams, 
  • how we will refocus resources.
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3. An innovation culture is something you can copy from successful innovative companies:   Wrong, doing what others do is not innovating! You can learn lessons from others, but you will have to translate those to your own reality.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, December 19, 2011 11:54 AM
Also from Deb: This is one of the better blog posts I've seen out there, especially highlighting specific differences between innovation strategy and change management. The list alone mirrors recent innovation consulting strategy in consulting organizations.
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Moving Beyond Surreptitious Manager Improv, Risk & Reward, Emerging Best Practice in your Org, Steve Leybourne

Moving Beyond Surreptitious Manager Improv, Risk & Reward, Emerging Best Practice in your Org, Steve Leybourne | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously, outside of processes & strategies, in order to deal with compression of time & resources."  


How to make it work, Boston Univ.,  Asst. Professor views, referencing the financial industry.


My notes from the video:


Steve Leybourne covers the softer, challenging elements of work, confirming that more than ever, work is not predictable. It is doing too much, with too little, and so, managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously.  


Managers then work outside of processes, strategies, goals and plans, so there is risk.   Managers will this on your own, and expose themselves to failure.  If things go right, they will have an emerging best practice. But if they fail, then they are really exposed.    See the full Improvisation in Organizations video here.



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Successful improvisation produces better ways of achieving tasks = emerging best practice.  -  Steve Leybourne, Asst. Professor, Boston University


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The model pictured from the video features:


Three constructs: Creativity, Intuition & Bricolage (making the best of whatever resources you have at hand) from Moorman & Miner (1998.) They define improvisation as:
"the degree to which composition and execution converge in time."



Add in three more from their later research, Adaptation, Compression, Innovation (deviation from existing practices & knowledge) leading to Learning. Miner et. al. Minnesota (2001)


Leybourne lists these added three as outputs, which, in the model depicted lead to learning that is fed back into the process.   Adaptive routines are actually outputs to the next round of improvisations.


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It is doing too much, with too little, and so, managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously.

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He also covers what can go wrong in improvisation, how to build trust within a team to improvise, and dealing with ambiguity, poor specifications.


See the full Improvisation in Organizations video here.


Thanks to Sources:  Rutger Slump and Steve Leybourne,  guest speaker at de Baak about Improvisation in Organizations. He is a assistant professor at Boston University in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. letsplayinnovation.wordpress.com



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Gary Hamel & Hacking in the MIX: the Management Innovation eXchange

Gary Hamel & Hacking in the MIX:  the Management Innovation eXchange | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The recession, debt crisis and general social chaos that we are living with at the moment is generating BIG questions.


One of the best management mavericks is Gary Hamel who is also the figurehead behind the Management Innovation eXchange or MIX.


MIX is a management social network that allows business people to share ideas, identify barriers and propose (management) hacks.


It’s aim is simple, if we collectively add ideas – crowdsourcing – we will understand the systemic problems better and find solutions quicker.

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