A tour and interview with a Zappos leader this week reveals a company in healthy transformation toward the self-organization model, holocracy. As it turns out, holocracy is not so holocrazy.
The tensions are what we would expect them to be when you replace hierarchy of power with hierarchies of purpose. Company growth and culture is strong and people are visibly engaged in work they choose, which makes it meaningful. The average employee has about a half dozen roles on at least a few different teams. Mobility across roles and teams keeps teams rich and people growing.
As they continue their search for the right culture metrics, which they don't yet have, they of course would benefit from the Thrive Mapping culture assessment tool we have developed that maps 82 individual and team habits of a thriving culture.
Team leads are learning the transition from manger to facilitator. Teams are learning the transition from dependency to aligned focus and ownership. I believe the process is allowing people to become smarter together in a thriving culture of wow service outside and in. May many more companies have the courage and wisdom to take home these lessons and inspirations from Zappos.