Imagine this: The company you’re working for just eliminated the manager role.
You can now work more independently; this includes where you want and how you want. Not to mention the ability to own your projects and have full control over your accountabilities. Sounds impossible, right?
Nope. Welcome to Holacracy!
Many misconceptions occupy discussions surrounding Holacracy and Zappos. We don’t lack rules or restrictions, nor do we operate in total utter chaos. There’s a melodic science to the way Zapponians operate.
Instead of a traditional hierarchy with levels of seniority, we function in circles. Each circle has a lead link; these lead links are responsible for keeping his or her respective circles focused. Circles can have any number of employees working within it; those employees are then able to own accountabilities based on the circle’s objectives.
This process allows each person to become his or her own manager. That means they control projects, have a say on implementation, and can work in the environment that best suits them.
If you think that Holacracy drives people to work alone, think again.
The Zappos culture thrives on teamwork and collaboration. There’s a reason why we talk about our core values so frequently; they’re more than just banners on a wall. Zappos remains truly transparent in its hiring process. Culture fit remains of the utmost importance for both hiring and firing. Going through the process, we were told very directly, if you are a technical fit but not a culture fit, you will not be hired.
If this scares you, you might not be the right fit.
Zappos proudly hires people they feel will contribute to our culture because it means that much to Zappos. Creating fun and a little weirdness (core value #3!) means we embrace people for their differences.
As an intern in a Holacratic environment, I’m given more responsibility than ever before. With only eight people working for Zappos Insights, each member (myself included!) takes on tasks to ensure everything gets finished, even if it’s outside his or her accountabilities.
In our circle and others across the company, there’s no such thing as a “that’s not my job” attitude. Due to Holacracy, Insights can continue to operate independently from the rest of Zappos. This means we budget, expense and pull revenue separate from the budget of Zappos.com.
The unique environment of Zappos allows Insights to function at a high level, and more so, it breeds productivity, innovation and a whole lot of fun.
So, what is Zappos Insights, you might ask? It’s a department within the Zappos Family of Companies created solely to help share company culture with businesses and people around the world.
Insights’ mission is “to see a day when all organizations realize they can have a successful and profitable business where their employees love coming to work, are happy and engaged, and whose customers are raving fans.”
This process is never ending, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to continue working towards our goal.
We run training events, provide keynotes, facilitate Q&As and more, all with the goal of spreading the Zappos experience everywhere. This includes teaching about creating a company culture and delivering WOW through customer service. These events span anywhere from an hour to three days. Regardless of length, they require a ton of customer facing interaction and logistics.
Creating the WOW experience is so important in conveying the value of everything Insights does, and we recognize that to impact our clients honestly, we need to practice what we preach. These events are the perfect opportunity to do just that.