Don’t Try This At Home

Father and son shouting at each other through megaphoneHave you heard of Holacracy? It’s a business structure that’s pretty much the opposite of corporate America. Instead of having a top-down, hierarchical management structure, with managers who oversee teams of people, Holacracy distributes decision-making across self-organizing teams who do the right thing for the business.

I’ve been thinking about Holacracy for a few years now, ever since I visited Medium in San Francisco and heard their leaders talk about it. As someone who has spent decades working in the traditional business setting, I must admit that I don’t understand the details of how strategy is determined in a holacracy, predictable business results are achieved, or how people are hired, fired, etc. Yet, I appreciate its innovative approach. The top-down structure is far from perfect.

Since I’m always thinking about leadership through the lens of parenting (and vice versa), I’ve wondered what would Holacracy look like when applied to parenting. Could a family survive, or even thrive, by holding everyone accountable to form teams to get chores done? To take care of upholding family values? To create a healthy, nurturing environment for all?

Well, my question has been answered. Check out Everyone’s the Boss, a TIME article by Kristin van Ogtrop who writes about trying Holacracy with her family. The result? Chaos—and hilarity.

My advice? Don’t try this leadership technique at home.

© 2015 by Karen Catlin. All rights reserved.
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