Friday, August 16, 2013


In the IPS anti-capitalism thread I suggested we take a look at HolacracyOne and its underlying operating system, holacracy. I’ve had my complaints with this system in the past (like here) but it is a least a valiant attempt at incorporating into business some of the characteristics we've discussed. For example: distributed leadership, purposeful work, full-person development, supporting human potential, worker input/feedback, more equitable distribution of salaries. This link is a video about the relation of holacracy with integral theory.

There is also a good web series called "Waking up the workplace" that has several interviews, Robertson being one. The following are my comments from that interview. I'll post more in follow-up posts about holacracy as time permits.The title of the Robertson interview is "Business doesn't need more 'conscious leadership.'" This is going to be good.

At around 11:00+ if anyone in the org feels a tension there is a process whereby it can be transformed into meaningful change. Anyone, not just the boss or management. That's different. At around 15:00+ it is a paradigm shift from predict and control to dynamic steering. The former is creating a model and then everything fits into the model. In the latter one senses and responds to the environment versus trying to shape it to fit a mold, a "distributed rapid response system."

At around 18:00 he gets into a conscious organization. Not just the individuals have autonomy but so does the org. Here he sounds a bit like Bryant. Its structural organization is itself an autonomous suobject and if comprised of this emerging paradigm can promote individuals to shift into that paradigm as well.

At around 21:00 he makes the point that even if 'leaders' are awake and conscious that is not enough if the organizational structure itself is not of an equally developed consciousness. He doesn't say this but I interpret it to apply in part of the notion that we can keep the capitalism if the leaders are at an 'integral' level. Whereas the capitalism itself has to move on to the cocomitant level to benefit everyone. The belief that the structure itself doesn't need change, or that it will automatically improve if the leaders are 2nd-tier, is fallacious. Again, he talks about the org much like Bryant might, with its own autonomous purpose, and how the individuals have to relate to it from their own autonomy and find common ground for interaction.

30:00+ is a discussion about how autonomous peers can fully show up together within an organization to accomplish something larger. But the organizational structure has to have its own autonomy for that, and such a structure must shift from the typical hierarchical org. What is interesting is that he is applying the type of holarchy Bryant talks about rather than the kennilingus variety. The latter has the top levels subsuming the lower, including the individuals, into its regnant nexus, with the enlightened leader(s) command and controlling it from the top down. Whereas Robertson's org structure 1) has its own autonomy and purpose that 2) is expressed through each autonomous individual in relation to the org without the leader as intermediary. It takes a new kind of org structure to facilitate and enact that, and the capitalist org isn't it.

I find it very much akin to the spiritual movement whereby each person comes into relation with God (or whatever) instead of the priest class being the intermediary and deciding what it legitimate. We are discussing this via the guru phenomenon in another thread, also an obsolete way of 'doing business' in the spiritual line with P2P spirituality on the vanguard, like IPS with its own ipseity.

At 37:00 they go into paradox. At 39:00 one of them is this: "Healthy behaviors in a pathological system become pathological in a healthy system." I relate this to those healthy, evolved souls in a capitalistic system. But when they take that healthy behavior (e.g., enlightened leader) into an emerging healthy system like P2P that behavior is pathological because it doesn't functionally fit the new operating system. Hence the aversion for some (many?) kennlinguists to go P2P because their special importance as guru is removed, with all the MGM (or even healthy GM) smokescreen about P2P. And the rationalization that we can have conscious capitalism, keep the socio-economic paradigm and upgrade it just with enlightened leaders.

The capitalist system, with its own regime, is actually using these deluded leaders into maintaining its dysfunctional autonomy. And said leaders don't even recognize that the system can have its own autonomy like this, a insidious loop that itself maintains the system. It overrides and actually uses said leaders to maintain itself. Hence Bryant suggests infrastructural changes are needed to the system for it to evolve, and that is exactly what is going on with holacracy. And very likely why is has not been implemented at I-I.

 At 1:00:00+ he talks about how when companies wake up like this and then organize with other like companies then it begins to create a broader societal shift into the new paradigm. While he refers one to his website and a webinar on the topic he doesn't get more specific in the interview. And it is here I think that the broader societal shift is away from capitalism to a P2P society, a shift that is displaying in a variety of companies and practices, and well documented by the P2P Foundation.

In a question about conscious leadership he said at 1:25:00+ something to the effect that those conscious leaders will recognize that they need to implement a system that makes obsolete conscious leadership.

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