The Crazy Idea Of People Defining Their Work

The Holocracy innovation, now famously practiced at Zappos, has it that people define their own work. It's done in a context of strong communication and collaboration. It's supposed to be a radical departure. I've been promoting it for decades in my work with organizations of all kinds, and that was before we had the digital transparencies and democratization of real time and analyzed data. It's exactly what we do as good practice in Agile project and planning methodologies. It's not so crazy an idea as assumed by old command and control cultures.

When people are tasked with defining their own work, a whole cascade of virtues unfold. They have to pay attention differently, better, on macro and micro levels. They have to listen and communicate better. They have to sync their actions with others and the intentions of the whole. They have to show up.

The transiton isn't complicated. We make sure people undertand the overarching intentions of the organization and their team. We make sure they base their work on their strengths and the strengths of their team. We make sure they work from the passion of their dreams relevant to their work and the value and potential of the organization in its markets.  It's a powerful way of doing and growing any business.