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Holacracy vs. Traditional hierarchy frameworks

More and more organizations are experimenting with a new way of doing business as the traditional hierarchy is reaching its limits. Traditional hierarchic, also known as top-down authority structures, make job descriptions and decision-making unclear and can disengage employees to work hard. An upcoming alternative can be found in Holacracy. Holacracy is a new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles. As holacracy takes the best parts of both top-down hierarchy and flat management structures, we have outlined the clear differences between holacracy and traditional hierarchy frameworks.

Traditional hierarchy frameworks
At most companies, people work with traditional job descriptions. Each person has exactly one job and often one job title. However, the problem often seems to be that those job descriptions are imprecise, rarely updated, and often irrelevant! Also, typical for a traditional hierarchy based organization is the delegation of authority throughout the organization. Managers loosely delegate authority but in the end, their decision is always final. Moreover, the organization’s structure is rarely revisited and mandated from the top, making the organization slow in reacting to external influences. As these types of organizations are often characterized by implicit rules, change is not easy to implement and decision-making is slow.

Holacracy
Holacracy works with roles. Roles are defined around the work, instead of people and are, contrary to the more traditional job descriptions, updated regularly. Also in a holacracy based organization, instead of just one job description, people can fulfill several roles. An important difference lies in the distribution of authority to teams and roles. This results in more support for decisions as they are made locally. Also, the organization’s structure is regularly updated via small iterations, making the organization’s reaction to external influences fast and effortless. Furthermore, as holacracy is all about transparency and moves more towards a flat management structure, the rules apply to everyone. With this, no exceptions are made for management or the CEO. This creates a strong organizational culture since everyone follows the same guidelines.

Zummit and Holacracy
Zummit is cloud- based social performance management software that will provide your staff with a clear definition and understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the workplace. Also, by distributing authority to your teams and individual employees, you actively engage them into your long term plan and goal setting. With Zummit, you will create a supportive environment that promotes open collaboration and results in a motivated workforce.

Interested in trying out Zummit? Sign up for your 30-day free trial today, and experience the benefits of Zummit for your business.

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