Rethinking Goverment

3 10 2010

I’ve been exploring the concept of holacracy—a new form of company and leadership dynamics. If I understand it correctly, it’s based on the principles of holism, where the whole is greater than the parts. It also involves being in harmony with something beyond yourself. It may be a social unit (family, nation) or an ideology, or even creation (or perhaps beyond that to the creator).

I’m excited by the possibilities of applying these ideas to business. Management expert Gary Hamel, ranked as the #1 most influential business thinker in the world by the Wall Street Journal, believes that to build a company for the future it must excite passion in its people. People who care about the company and are invested in it will be its greatest resources. I believe a company can harness that passion by freeing those who work there to find their unique purpose and to follow their higher calling.

Holocracy frees a company to evolve beyond the limits of set values. Rather than polarizing toward one value, say innovation, which then automatically excludes its opposite, stagnation, this construct embraces both values. Redefining stagnation can mean maintaining the status quo and retaining ideas and systems that have worked well in the past. It may encompass stillness, reflection, and stability. Innovation without balance can result in exhaustion and instability, and change for change’s sake. By allowing room for both values, the company can make the wisest decisions.

That also means a diversity of personalities and backgrounds are vital within the company. Each person brings a unique take on the world, with varying ideals, values, and thoughts. A company that appreciates these differing viewpoints and integrates them into a meaningful whole greatly benefits from the expertise of each person. It also means doing away with the top-down structure and empowering people to work autonomously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could apply these principles to government? Perhaps a blend of the best of the traditional political parties would work wonders for balance, unity, and harmony.

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