This article is an interview of an Holaspirit partner based in Berlin and Munich, Germany.
Could you tell us about TheDive’s activities and the community you federate/animate?
TheDive is a consultancy, a think tank and an expert network for organizational innovation and transformation. We are driven by the vision of a new economic sector in which companies help solve today’s problems instead of exacerbating them. TheDive assists organizations in becoming part of this world, one where economic success and social responsibility go hand in hand. We do this with various activities like consulting, training, work space design, community building, and by publishing own content related to the transformation of organizations and of the economy.
How did you come to self-management and build your team?
We founded TheDive with the purpose of contributing to an economy which is beneficial for humankind and all our surrounding ecosystems. In our perspective, organizations and the way they are run play a major role in this transformation.
For us, it was out of question that if we want to act with an impact in the field of organizational transformation, we have to start with ourselves.
Hence, we built a role-based operating system which is evolutionary and responsive in itself, but we also worked on our business model and have been certified as a B Corp in 2019.
Do you consider you practice Holacracy by the book or do you adapt the framework methodology?
We have developed an own framework, which is called “The Loop Approach”. This framework is heavily inspired by Holacracy, but it blends it with other methodological ingredients like purpose work, productivity tools, non-violent communication etc. The Loop Approach focuses on the process of transformation and supports companies of every size in finding their own operating model. For ourselves, we have been applying it for almost 3 years now.
How did you discover Holaspirit and what are your favourite features of Holaspirit?
Some of our consultants have been working with Holaspirit in the past, as they have been working in holacratic companies. There are many features of Holaspirit that help us to foster transparency in the organization on a daily basis.
We especially like:
- The global search for accountabilities, roles and circles,
- The Governance Meeting functionality that automatically updates our organizational structure,
- OKR functionality to track progress on our main goals with ease,
- Integration to e.g. Slack and Asana to stay connected and informed on the right platforms,
How did you design your organization on Holaspirit and how do you use it on a daily basis?
Self-organized setup with incorporated frameworks such as: Holacracy-light, productive project management (GTD) and NVC.
Holaspirit will be the centerpiece for all information revolving around the framework for our operational and structural space such as Meetings, KPIs but also roles, accountabilities and organizational-wide rules.
How do you position such a platform on the customer’s transformation journey?
A platform like Holaspirit is a core-feature in an organization’s transformation journey towards more autonomy while keeping alignment because this transformation requires clarity and transparency on the rules and boundaries of a role, team or organization to effectively reach its milestones.
What do you think will be the future of self-management in a nutshell? shall it scale?
Self-management sometimes comes across in a very dogmatic way, which from our perspective doesn’t help at all and which contradicts an evolutionary understanding of organizational development. This is also why there are a lot of misunderstandings connected to self-management (“everybody does what they want, there is no leadership anymore in self-management” and so on).
In our perspective, the future of self-management will be one, where it organically evolves — not by degrading previous governance models, but by integrating the helpful resources from the previous stages.
Also, we see that the likelihood of gaining stability in self-management is highly related not only to the governance model and the operational tools, but also to the way how people relate to each other. In other words: mature self-management needs a certain maturity in self-reflection, feedback, conflict resolution etc. These aspects have to play an equal role in the transformation, if we aim for building stable organizational habits in the area of self-management.
In our projects, we intensely work with large organizations, where the question of scaling new ways of collaboration pops up quite naturally. Therefore, we apply two approaches:
- (1) train-the-trainer,
- (2) instructor-led digital team development.
With the train-the-trainer programs, we ensure that the facilitation competencies are properly handed over to the organization, so that they can continue their learning journeys without external support.
With the digital programs, we are able to reach a high number of teams at the same time, which creates a significant impact by the fact, that many people learn the same methods and the same “language” in synchronized way.
What is your analysis of the German market on this dimension?
More and more companies realize that they fall short of dealing with increasing complexity by just holding on to the traditional org design, which mainly relies on hierarchy and on conceiving the organization as a pyramid. The need for new collaboration models, which are more related to the organization’s purpose and which allow more responsiveness, is heavily increasing. At the same time, these transformations have to been considered as evolutionary processes in themselves, and every organization is on its own path.
What we definitely can see, is that these questions increasingly are discussed on top management level, and that there is more and more openness to challenge the somewhat older paradigms of how work is organized.
If you had to characterize Holaspirit in 3 words?
Transparent governance forever!