How to measure the success of Holacracy in your organisation

Matt Hallmann
5 min readNov 20, 2020

Measuring processes of change is difficult and many companies don’t do it, exactly because of the complexity of it. But with increasing data drivenness and decreasing tolerance for gut feelings, organisations do feel the need to validate the effort they are putting into organisational changes. At every event where I speak, there is at least one person who asks the following: did adopting Holacracy make your company a better company? The honest answer is: I don’t know. But reflecting on this question has given me insights that are valuable when you want to measure Change Management.

In the end, it comes down to having clarity on multiple levels:

  • The Organisational level — what do we want to solve?
  • The Individual level — are employees happier, more productive, healthier
  • The Implementation level — did we reach a critical mass within our defined time frame?

Organisational: measuring the right thing

Implementing Holacracy is often expected to be the fix for an underlying problem that organisations, teams or individuals are trying to solve. Examples range from slowness of execution, to avoiding bottlenecks on key positions, to spending less time on meetings. Often the opposite of what is expected happens though: Holacracy doesn’t solve any problems magically. If anything, it shows with more clarity where your problems lie and magnifies tensions. It puts a spotlight on weak spots. What Holacracy indeed does, is give you the right tools and empower employees to solve their own problems. And that moves us onto the next level: that of the Individual.

Individual: impact and progress
Many organisations claim that (working within a) Holacracy makes employees happier, more productive and healthier. The assumption is that being able to work autonomous and to decide on priorities, will lead to a self that can better choose what is most important now. By doing so, employees are more productive, which in return gives them a feeling of fulfillment. That, in combination with not being micromanaged, would lead to less stress and thus healthier employees. The truth is that even if these effects occur, they will need time. Individuals will at first feel the stress and burden of learning

Matt Hallmann

I help individuals, teams and companies grow.

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