This post was written by Erik van Mechelen and takes the lens of Octalysis, a human-focused design framework built by Yu-kai Chou.
From first principles
Management is meant to facilitate the best use of people and their skills/talents toward productivity in pursuit of an organization’s objectives. This is what management is (in my words).
Management fits into a larger structural system, which could be flat or hierarchical or hybrid. (Big misconception: Holacracy = Flat…it doesn’t.)
I previously wrote about the Holacracy experiment at Zappos led by Tony Hsieh, which took about 2.5 years to get up and running for a 1,000-employee company. As I learn more about Holacracy itself and do more thinking about leadership and management and productivity, I can’t help thinking about why some systems work for some companies and not for others.
What distinguishes a framework that works in one instance but not another?
In this article, I’ll take a think through some possibilities in the context of Zappos’s continued experiment with Holacracy and Medium’s decision to abort it.