First glimpse at Holacracy: shaking up work practices

So here is the news: we are exploring the Holacracy system with our administrative team here at Business School Lausanne. Yes, Holacracy. And yes, don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. It’s new to us too and it’s an experiment we’d like to share with you as we go about it.

The word “holacracy” comes from “holon” (a whole that is a part of a larger whole) and it thus means the connection between holons – and – the governance (-cracy) of and by the organizational holarchy.

In the context of organizational development, Holacracy is a different system for working together – one that encourages self-organization, power distribution and decision making in the best interest of the organizational purpose. The concept was invented by Brian Robertson, a 35-year-old former programmer who created Holacracy in 2007 because he had a “burning sense that there has to be a better way to work together.” (Read more in his book “Holacracy”).
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A Leaders journey, from Dodo birds to explosive condoms – The challenge of participation and decision making, in teams

Learning has changed! As a university student I remember spending the majority of my time listening, reading and writing. All very passive, sedentary activities. Today as a teacher, if I use these same methods I have a group of students who sit glassy eyed in class snapping the occasional picture of the notes and diagrams I put on the whiteboard.  The Millennials are a different breed, they’ve grown up with technology, are hyper connected and their engagement and motivation is contingent upon continuous real-time in situ (on-the-job, in class) interaction. Knowing how these characteristics are challenging the way organizations operate, I was keen to see whether the same would be true in class. Continue reading

PowerPoint, an impediment to learning?

Ag intro image

In the winter term 2012-13, I taught a part of the research methods course at Business School Lausanne. To fulfill the requirements of the course, the students had to do individual assignments as well as group projects. For their group projects they had to synthesize a number of classic articles on research design in management science and explore the inter-relations between the concepts across the articles. I had decided not let the students use Microsoft PowerPoint for presenting their group projects. Instead they had to develop mind maps using markers and paper. Below are some pictures from the students’ presentations and the mind maps they created. Continue reading