I am afraid that I must agree with Steve Tobak on his bewilderment over Zappos’ bizarre experiment in business management known as Holacracy:
Here’s what I don’t get. How can a system be billed as a self-governing and non-hierarchical democratized version of the corporation when, in practice, it’s actually the most rigid, tedious, bureaucratic, and ironically, hierarchical, management structure imaginable.
It’s as if a software engineer with delusions of grandeur decided to write a hundred thousand lines of code to describe his own personal vision of how a company should operate – complete with its own extraordinarily complex language, constitution, rules for everything you can think of, and library of developer kits, apps and APIs.
It even has a cloud-based tool called GlassFrog that governs how everything should be done – from projects and meetings to authority and decision-making – right down to the minutiae of checklists, metrics, boundaries, and roles and responsibilities. I don’t care what you call it or how you spin it, that sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare.