Holacracy explained in 5 easy parts, part 3

Holacracy governance in action

Holacracy governance in action.

As promised, I continue to explain Holacracy in 5 easy parts. Part 1 covered roles, part 2 summarized circles, and now part 3 concisely explains governance.

Holacracy Governance

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Questival

Phew! I think I’m finally recovered from Thursday’s Questival, which I thought was supposed to be a day to celebrate the happiest company on the planet’s 16th birthday. Unfortunately for me, I had Fred on my team and, as does happen from time-to-time, Fred transformed into a Nic Cage character. This time I should’ve seen it coming – Benjamin Franklin Gates from National Treasure.

Instead of performing any number of fun, zany quests, I found myself racing all across the silver state looking for “the national treasure”. Fred couldn’t stop rambling on and on about Freemasons, ancient Egyptian artifacts, cryptic messages imprinted on zollars, Chef Boyarbistro possibly being a double-agent, etc. It was pure madness. At one point, Fred and I were in a downtown Las Vegas sewer.National Treasure torch I pointed out that this seemed more like a scene from Indiana Jones than National Treasure. He shrugged his shoulders and proceeded to light a torch. If you think #DTLV is scary above ground, try going underneath it. Once we hit a dead end, Fred looked lost and defeated for a moment, but snapped out of it with a, “Eureka!” He zoomed back to the manhole with me in tow. I asked him what the latest revelation was and he said, “The constitution! We need to get the constitution!” I was along for the ride up to this point, but I’m not jetting cross country to the nation’s capitol in order to try to steal the constitution. We climb out of the sewer and are surrounded by the Fremont Experience, which is every bit as scary during daylight hours as it is at night. I’m greeted by one of the old dudes in a mankini. I have my phone out, desperately trying to send out a bat signal, and the old guy demands I pay him for a pic. I throw a 20 zollar bill in his general direction and bolt with Fred back to Zappos HQ. Once there, I stopped Fred and told him I can’t go to Washington D.C. with him. He had the puzzled look on his face.

Fred and me running through DTLV

Fred running through #DTLV with me in hot pursuit. It’s #DTLV – pigeons.

“D.C.? We’re not going to D.C. little buddy. We’re going up to Monkey Row.” Fred announced, as we entered the Zappos plaza. He took a rope out of his pack and lassoed a rail on the second floor. He insisted we go up the rope since no one is supposed to enter the building during the Questival. I shrugged my shoulders, climbed on his back and went up the rope like a spider monkey. Fred followed, looking more like a giraffe than a primate. We got to Monkey Row and Fred scavenged the area until he found a copy of the sacred text – the Holacracy Constitution. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course, it was all making sense. Holacracy unlocks the potential of decihumans, why wouldn’t it also hold the keys to lost treasures? I went from skeptic to true believer in about two seconds.

Fred, feeling the importance of the moment, looked like he was getting teary eyed and then proclaimed, “Of all the ideas that became Zappos, there’s a line here that’s at the heart of all the others. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such management, and provide new guards for their future security.”

Fred holding the Holacracy Constitution in his kung fu like grip

Fred holding tightly to the Holacracy Constitution

I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded super important, so I nodded my head in agreement. Fred had this look like he’d just done about a dozen lines of blow. He was hyped out of his mind. He started writing down letters, numbers and lines on a sheet of paper, while thumbing through the constitution. When he was done, the paper looked like an artifact from the set of A Beautiful Mind. Fred then insisted I grab two shovels and meet him in the backyard, which is on the way over to Chef Boyarbistro’s hangout.

I spent the next ten hours or so digging a hole to China with Fred. We didn’t find a national treasure, unless you count pigeon carcasses and old city of Las Vegas and mafia documents national treasures. At the end I tried to comfort Fred, who looked defeated. Fred climbed out of the hole we dug ourselves into, looked out into the sky, and defiantly announced, “If there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.”

And, just when I thought the day was a complete waste, I saw that our quest was really all about teal. I have the ability to take action AND┬áthe responsibility to take action. Thank you Fred for the reminder. It took a long time to get there, but I’m a better decihuman for it. #teal4life

Holacracy explained in 5 easy parts, part 2

Holacracy circle

As promised, I continue to explain Holacracy in 5 easy parts. Part 1 covered roles and with part 2 below, I cover circles. Without further ado…

Holacracy Circles

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01101111 01101100 01110110 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 01101111 01110111 01101110 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110100 01100001 01101001 01101110 01100101 01100100 00100000 01010010 01101111 01101100 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01110010 01101111 01110101 01100111 01101000 00100000 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 01101111 01110111 01101110 00100000 01100111 01101111 01110110 01100101 01110010 01101110 01100001 01101110 01100011 01100101 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01100011 01100101 01110011 01110011 00100000 00101000 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100001 01101100 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 01111001 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101110 01110011 01110100 01101001 01110100 01110101 01110100 01101001 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01101110 01100111 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01101000 00100000 01010010 01101111 01101100 01100101 01110011 00100000 01101111 01110010 00100000 01101111 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01110111 01101001 01110011 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01101111 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01101000 00100000 01000011 01101001 01110010 01100011 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01110110 01101001 01100100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 01101001 01101110 00100000 00101000 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 11100010 10000000 10011100 01000011 01101001 01110010 01100011 01101100 01100101 00100000 01001101 01100101 01101101 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110011 11100010 10000000 10011101 00101001 00101110

Emails from Zapponians, #7

The Buncher!

tony,
first, i realize you want me to change the name to “decihuman points” but it’s not catchy. you need alliteration for even the best ideas to stick, trust me on this one.
second, can you get these decihumans to fill in their people points? my crystal clear email isn’t getting the traction we both thought it would. i’m beginning to think we have a company full of slackers who can’t divide themselves up into 1% pieces. as lead link, i’d like you to put in place a policy that people points submission is mandatory – or else. i leave it to you to decide what “or else” means in this case.
jb

People points slice and dice em

Implementing people points.

Alright, people points it is, only because I’m still struggling with whether to remove the “.com” from the Zappos logo. I can only handle so many branding exercises at once.

As for your second point – slow down there Buncher. These things take time. I’m not sure why you think we can rush a massive change and revolutionary idea like people points. We have to ease our decihumans into this. I don’t want to set any bad precedences by putting in place rushed policies that encourage other lead links to do the same for their circles. Maybe try sending out an email in a similar manner as I’m doing to explain Holacracy to the world? I’ve gotten rave reviews from so many people on my approach there. Follow in my footsteps, grasshopper.

The 2nd greatest book ever published is now available for purchase!

2nd best book - ever?Forget about Harry Potter. 50 Shades. Da Vinci Code. The Bible. Today is the day you can pick up a life changing tome by the high priest creator of Holacracy, Brian Robertson. Some say it’s ridiculous to think that a 30-something software engineer has created the next revolution in organization management systems. They’ll argue that someone with so little experience and knowledge on the complex topic could not possibly invent something so powerful that it caused the inventor of Getting Things Done to say, “I’d give my left arm and Palm Pilot to have had Holacracy 25 years earlier.” But it’s true, Brian has achieved what few can lay claim to in a lifetime’s worth of work, thus the jealousy.

I’m, of course, not jealous. I’m happy and I deliver happiness everyday. I like to think that, in a way, I helped put Brian on the map. Just as Einstein, Edison, Elvis and The Everly Brothers each had their agents, I act as a sort of agent for Mr. Robertson. I make sure his business expands. Do I get a cut of the action? I’m not at liberty of revealing that, but I think we can all agree that it’s more than fair if I were to receive a 10% cut of all revenue Brian generates. Without me, boy genius is still toiling with helping 100 person companies run on his game changing management system. With me, Brian can point to the wildly successful Holacracy implementation at the happiest company on the planet. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I’m expecting copies of this revolutionary business book to sell out fast. In fact, word is spreading that this may be the first ever e-book edition to sell out! Purchase your copy today and I guarantee your life and the lives in your organization will change forever. If they don’t, wait a while longer. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Ivanka Trump

Last week Ivanka Trump visited Zappos HQ. I was informed that we sell her line of shoes. Forget shoes. I wanted one thing and one thing only from the Trump heiress – a spot as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.

Donald and Ivanka TrumpI made sure I would have some one-on-one time with Ivanka when she arrived. I had my people tell her people that I had some exciting new ideas about expanding her shoe business with Zappos. I wanted her to meet me at the trailer park, keep things low key and comfy, but I was talked out of it. I was told I’d have a better chance of meeting the tooth fairy than catching Ivanka stepping foot in a trailer park. I changed the location to the Ogden, my home away from the Airstream.

Ivanka and her posse showed up at my humble abode fashionably late. I invited them in. As she walked in, I realized I was at least half a foot shorter. This made me feel uncomfortable, so I rushed to my (former) bedroom closet and found a pair of special boots I keep for such emergencies. My specially made Timberlands have seven inch risers built in. They’re amazing and amazingly hard to walk in. No matter, I wasn’t going to be trumped by this Trump. I made my way back into the open area where everyone was seated. I tried to feign interest in all the fashion talk for a while, but finally blurted out, “I REALLY WANT TO BE ON CELEBRITY APPRENTICE!” Ivanka gave me a look so cold, I could feel my soul freezing.

Ivanka Trump with icy stareAfter holding me in her icy stare, Ivanka said, “Ummm…I don’t think that’s going to work.”

“Why not?” I fire back before she gets a chance to spew out anymore hurtful words.

“No offense, but the show is called CELEBRITY Apprentice. You’re missing a key part.”

I thought this might come up, so I proceeded to list some of the “celebrities” on previous seasons of the show:

  • Tito Ortiz
  • Natalie Gulbis
  • Carol Leifer
  • NeNe Leakes
  • Paul Teutul
  • Brande Roderick
  • Sig Hansen

“OK. OK. I get it. We don’t always have the A-list celebrities on the show. Point taken.” Ivanka says, going from an ice queen look to that of an agitated New Yorker. “Still, you’re not exactly a magnetic personality. This is a TV show, not a shoe site.”

I stand up to show a little power and to display my awe inspiring TImberlands. I then quickly sit down once I realize I can barely balance in the lifts. After an awkward pause, I try to prove that I’m energetic and exactly the type of personality that makes for great Celebrity Apprentice television.

“Have you heard of teal?” I ask with all the authority vested in me by Freddy and the Holacracy powers that be. I get nothing but a blank stare. “Well, let me tell you about teal. It’s the future of organizations! One day, when your dad is talking about lead links, circles, Holacracy, domains, cross links, rep links, facilitators, and a whole bunch of other things that will blow your mind, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I came, I saw, I tealed it up and I’ll do the same thing for Celebrity Apprentice. Give me 7 so-called celebrities and we’ll run circles around the other team. And then, when my teammates are least expecting it, I’ll finish them off one-by-one until I’m the last decihuman standing. I’ll look them in the eyes and make them an offer they can’t refuse. I’m THE GUY who helps people pursue their passions and I’m gonna help those wannabe celebs pursue their passions right out of the boardroom.”

I rarely say so many words at once. I’m completely spent and feeling like I might hyperventilate. After what seems like hours, Ivanka breaks the silence.

“Tony, you’re fired!” Ivanka points her finger at me and then to the door. I hang my head in shame. I know the drill. I gingerly stand up in my very tall Timberlands and head for the exit.

Before I close the door I make one last attempt to change her mind, “But in a teal organization…”

She cuts me off promptly, “Tony, you’re STILL fired.”

Do you really want to hurt me?

I’m exhausted. So many teal thoughts, so little time. I give to you, dear readers, The Culture Club’s Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. This classic song gets to the heart of everything for me the past few weeks. I dedicate this one to the media (old and new), the anti-tealites still lingering within the Zappos family, and Jeffrey.

 
Give me time
To realize my crime
Let me love and steal
I have danced inside your eyes
How can I be real

Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

Precious kisses, words that burn me
Lovers never ask you why
In my heart the fire’s burnin’
Choose my color find a star
Precious people always tell me
That’s a step, a step too far

Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

Words are few I have spoken
I could waste a thousand years
Wrapped in sorrow words are token
Come inside and catch my tears

You’ve been talkin’ but believe me
If its true you do not know
This boy loves without a reason
I’m prepared to let you go

If it’s love you want from me
Then take it away
Everything is not what you see
It’s over again

Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

Cry, cry, cry
Cry, cry, cry
Cry, cry, cry

Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

 

Holacracy explained in 5 easy parts, part 1

Pope Brian RobertsonI’ve heard some complaints inside and outside the Zappos family that Holacracy is a wee bit complex. Sure, the Constitution of the United States of America is 4,543 words long, while the Holacracy Constitution (v.4.0) is over 15,000 words long. That simply means that running a company is a lot more complex than running a country. Sure, President Obama has to decide how to handle tricky situations with Russia and the global implications of any action or non-action, but I have to decide whether we remove the “.com” from our logo and deal with the implications of removing it or not. I just broke out in a cold sweat typing that last sentence.

With that said, I’m starting a five part series that will simplify Holacracy for Zapponians and the rest of the world. My expectation is that once I’m done with this series, the world will become Holacracized and we’ll all be processing tensions in order to achieve our higher purpose. Nothing more, nothing less.

Special thanks to Brian Robertson, the high priest creator of Holacracy, for inspiring me to put this series of posts together.

Holacracy Roles

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Emails from Zapponians, #6

Tony,
The next time you invite me to speak at All Hands, can we make sure it’s not:
A) Last minute with my talk causing people to want to slit their wrists or…
B) A time when a good number of the people in my circle want me fired?
I’m not complaining. It’s just a hard time right now. The inmates are definitely running the asylum at this point. As a “thinking of you” gift, a friend sent me a can of mace. Another friend gave me a switchblade. A switchblade! I’m not sure what is going on here but it’s not good.
I hope things are going better for you. I thought you were going to cry up on that stage. The last time I remember anything like that happening is when I was up there giving that last minute pep talk about how difficult things can get here at the Zappos family.
Trying my best to keep it teal,
Rob S.

Hang in there Rob. Don’t leap off that ledge. It’s going to be alright. Trust me. We’ll keep bringing you up on the stage as long as the cowardly lion insists on being a last resort, a hail Mary of All Hands talks. You’re doing great. Look, people said they wanted me to take the offer. Did I listen? No way. I got out there, stuck my pen in my heart, and spilled it all over the stage. I let it bleed, as did you. We’re blood brothers now. We bleed teal. Don’t think I don’t notice that. You’re stronger than the rest. Keep smiling. Keep keeping it teal. And, maybe learn to use that mace and switchblade. We do work in downtown Las Vegas, you know?