Take Charge Consultants see Powerful Outcomes from Holacracy

Take Charge Consultants see Powerful Outcomes from Holacracy

‘It’s made a huge difference here,’ says president

One year since implementing Holacracy at Take Charge Consultants, president Rosaria Hawkins says the consulting firm is operating at a more engaged and dynamic level that includes a renewed focus on the organization’s mission.

“It’s made a huge difference here,” says Hawkins, who adds that as a training and consulting firm, Take Charge is very up to date and efficient in understanding and utilizing operational practices.

“I have to say even now using the practice; it is so profoundly simple and powerful.”

Holacracy is a comprehensive practice for governing and running an organization developed by American entrepreneur and business leader Brian Robertson. It involves developing a fundamentally new operating system that transitions a company from serving shareholders or even stakeholders to what Robertson deems a transpersonal approach — where serving the organization is the top driver.

This transition has taken place at Take Charge, where Hawkins says the process has moved the firm to focus on the collective and what is most important to the Coatesville, Pennsylvania-based company.

As an example of this, she points to the company’s once “mundane” meetings where one person would deliver a routine schedule update to a silent audience.  Now, meetings are an active and highly facilitated process.

“It has made our meetings more focused, our people more connected, our meeting focus more strategic and a whole lot of clarity and alignment to everything from the macro to the micro,” says Hawkins.

“People look for meeting minutes now.”

In terms of organizational structure, Holacracy replaces “artificial hierarchy” with a “holarchy” of self-organizing teams or circles.

Each circle governs itself and connects to its sub-circles via a double-link where a member of each circle is appointed to sit on the other, creating a constant flow of information and rapid feedback loops.

This practice, according to Holacracy literature, is to enhance organizational agility by improving the methods used to control activity.

At Take Charge, Hawkins says this helped the organization develop better communication and ensure information is more widely and commonly shared. The firm has also developed an external advisory board to advise them of current trends in the industries they serve, recommended by Holacracy, that includes two of their own representatives.

As the Holacracy process creates an unprecedented level of accountability and responsibility that cannot be ignored, staff members have “a love-hate relationship” with the process, according to Hawkins, who adds team members concede it's beneficial to the organization.

She says other benefits the company is seeing include a better understanding of subtlety and nuance and a greater ability to be flexible and adaptable.

Hawkins adds she expects the practice to continue to support Take Charge as they grow.

“I am a real strong advocate for the process,” she says.

— More to come

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Camille Jensen

Camille Jensen is an employee share ownership consultant with ESOP Builders, Canada’s largest provider of employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Prior to joining ESOP Builders, Camille was a generative journalist and team member at Axiom News. She credits her time at Axiom as fundamental to her understanding that business is one of the best opportunities to make a difference in the world.

Camille is a B.C. Partner for Social Impact and volunteer with Okanagan Changemakers.

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