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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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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? |

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.

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



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

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, January 6, 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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Better Thinking by Not Thinking: Accessing your Unconsciousness - Liz Guthridge

Better Thinking by Not Thinking:  Accessing your Unconsciousness - Liz Guthridge | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"Where do you do your best thinking? Anywhere but your desk, if you’re like most knowledge workers and leaders. And probably not at work either. Not thinking, but relaxing into your unconscious can produce better thinking."


Change colleague Liz Guthridge has a winner of a post on accessing quality thinking by simply not thinking for a spell.  Techniques of mindful meditation, rest (or siesta, as I'd prefer from my Argentine side), as well as just stepping away for a break can contribute to a fresh view and insights from the deep well of our unconscious. ~ DN






Individuals tend to get good ideas while driving, exercising, reading, meditating or talking to others.



That’s because we automatically tap into our unconsciousness to do most of our thinking. It doesn’t require effort on our part, as David Rock explains. Even better, our unconsciousness—which can seem as vast as the Milky Way—makes powerful connections for us.


...Offices are not brain-friendly settings.


Her steps to access include:


1. Quiet your brain. Start by putting aside all of the electronic gadgets that stimulate you and your brain. You also may want to close your eyes.


2. Let your mind wander. (DN:  Mindfulness practices teaches us to observe thoughts, but to NOT engage them.)


3. Put yourself in a positive state. 


4. Do something else other than work on the issue, problem or dilemma you’re facing. 




Read Liz's post in full here, which includes my commentary on accessing both the Jungian appreciation of the unconcious and using tools, like the MBTI used at the second level of functioning.

~  Deb

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Innovate or Die: The Future of Business, Brian Solis Facts, Slideshare

"In the circle of life, connected consumerism is the new reality.  Those businesses that don't disrupt their own markets will find their markets disrupted for them."  ~ Brian Solis

Visual POW infographics from Brian Solis' new book, What's the Future of Business.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Brian Solis features what is needed to influence responsive strategy in branding, including taking aim at your generation culture and ideas for adapting to what is next.  

Is your company adaptabile enough to stay healthy, growth or not?  

~  Deb

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Talent is irrelevant ? (and so 1971 ) What makes for a talented group and innovative result?

Talent is irrelevant ? (and so 1971 ) What makes for a talented group and innovative result? | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

At least, the author admits, talent is less relevant TODAY in this blog post:

  • Less work is being done by individuals and more work is being done by groups. 
  • Nobel prizes are increasingly awarded to multiple individuals, research papers increasingly cite numerous individuals
  • Inside our organizations more projects and objectives are anchored to groups of people. 

Individual ability / competence / talent are one variable among many in the equation. Putting a group of talented individuals at a table together does not make a talented group.

Relational skills, communication skills, empathy, flexibility…all of these are part of the equation as well.  And so is diversity.

Very likely our three most wasted assets inside the organization are knowledge, perspectives and heuristics…the stuff inside a persons brain, the mash up of their identity and experience.

When you bring a group together to do serious work, the bigger your aggregate collection of knowledge, perspectives and heuristics is, the more likely you are to have access to the tools necessary to generate an optimal result and the less likely you are to be limited and compromised by shared blind spots.

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