Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Holacracy's unrecognized 'tension' (elephant) in the room

Update: For further discussion see this post and following.

Continuing from this post, in Klein's and Robertson's conversation there was a point on discerning an organization's purpose as different from what the individuals want it to be as their property (around 24:00). And yet that is exactly what capitalism is about, private property (including capital) governing the means of production, and that governed by top-down leaders (governors). Robertson realizes that the organizational structure of this type of governance is the problem, but he doesn't contextualize it to the broader socio-economic structure of capitalism, which is based on private property. Per the first statement above he understands that the organization is not the property of the founders or board members, yet still believes in an idealistic notion of 'free market' capitalism as a societal organizational structure.

At around 26:00 Robertson discusses how our ego assumptions and projections are made transparent by holacracy and thus allows for us to overcome them. I'm suggesting that capitalism is one of those assumptions and projections that is not at all transparent. Or overcome.

If he see into this more deeply he'd see, like Chomsky, that Adam Smith's vision was far more like libertarian socialism, as is what Robertson describes as holacracy. He's acknowledge the 'tension' I'm describing and process it via prescribed holacratic principles and come to see that holding on to some remnant of capitalism is unconsciously reinforcing some of the very principles he claims to overcome with holacracy.

At around 46:00 Klein asks about how holacracy relates to conscious capitalism. Robertson notes that the conscious aspect is the best one can do to create better leaders in the corporate structure. But the organizational structure itself makes it difficult to impossible to implement the holacratic kinds of change necessary. The structure itself must change which is what holacracy is.

But at 53:00 he reiterates something from the previous post, that the free market structure liberates us per Mackey's statements. He reiterates this again at the end (around 1:11:00). Again not realizing that it is the evolution of capitalism (or perhaps devolution per Chomsky's Smith) that creates the exact type of corporate structure holacracy seeks to overcome. I find it rather amazing that this tension has not even been consciously recognized in holacracy, let alone processed.

Of course this would create another very real 'tension' in that one of his biggest sponsors, Mackey's Conscious Capitalism, won't like this and will fight it tooth and nail. And perhaps even because holacracy unconsciously assumes capitalism is the best economic system it will remain unseen, as it serves as the 'market' to sell its products.

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