Joyce Kettering
September 11, 2023
min read
Management & Governance

How to Implement Self Organization and Build a Great Company Culture

Anne Chabert of GRAMM helps businesses who want to implement self organization and build great cultures where employees can reveal their full potential.

The reason she’s so passionate about the subject is that, when her former company started using Holacracy, a self organization framework, she discovered she was full of unsuspected potential and talent. She came into her own and loved going to work.

Anne has experienced the benefits of working in self managed teams first-hand and now helps other business do the same.

Here’s a few things she’s learned along the way.

Key Factors for a Successful Implementation of Self Organization

Clear and healthy intentions – The leadership team should be able to explain clearly why they want to build self-organized teams. It can’t be a decision that’s made with a hidden agenda.

Employee buy-in – Explaining the intention and getting employees to ask questions, challenge assumptions and buy-in to the project early in the process will reduce friction and resistance to change.

Outside support and expertise Receiving feedback from people who’ve gone through the process before and/or guidance from consultants who are used to transformation projects makes it easier to anticipate problems and find solutions.

Testing stages –  There’s no obligation to change everything at once. In fact, starting with a testing period with one or two teams before extending the practice to the rest of the organization is often recommended.

Key Benefits of Self Organization

People can focus on what they do best – Self organization frameworks like Holacracy or Sociocracy give more freedom to employees while keeping them accountable for their actions. That means that employees can explore new things and leaders can stop micromanaging their teams without having to worry about things getting out of control.

People know who does what and what’s expected of them – Self organization can only work when roles and responsibilities are clearly stated. Once that practice is made a habit inside the company, everyone knows who does what and can identify opportunities for personal growth within the company. This facilitates onboarding and improves employee retention rate because people actually want to work and grow in the organization.

Meetings are quick and efficient – Self organization frameworks include meeting templates and routines that are very structured and ensure that everyone can voice their opinion and ask for help without fear of being reprimanded. Holacracy’s tactical meeting template is very popular for example.

Key Steps to Create a Great Company Culture

Define your company purpose – With great purpose comes great engagement. Defining your company purpose and building teams of people who are aligned with that purpose, who feel like they can make a difference in the world, should be your #1 priority.

Define your company values – Once you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it helps to define company values that are aligned with that purpose. These are values that are aligned with your mission and that people working at the company can relate to strongly. Both the company purpose and values act as a North Star that make every strategic decision easier from that point forward.

Bring in the right people – Building a great company culture takes time. If you want to change your company culture, it might take even more time. In any case, hiring people who embody your company purpose and values is key. People who are open to new things, have an entrepreneurial spirit and can set their ego aside.


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