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An update on our journey with Holacracy

An update on our journey with Holacracy

About us
Present Group is a completions enterprise offering a range of services including specialised high voltage electrical inspection and testing, high voltage asset, test equipment hire & sales, and equipment calibration to the energy, resourcing and engineering sectors. Present Group is located nationally, in Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia; and internationally in the Philippines and Singapore. With a client base comprising many of the world’s largest energy, resources and utility companies and a project portfolio that includes renewables, power stations, desalination plants, platforms, refineries, mines, ports and rail.

 

Why Holacracy?
We aspire to be a global completions enterprise that assists stakeholders to make a meaningful difference. We needed a way of working that aligned to our cultural belief of breaking down the 20th century concept of hierarchy of people and positions, but still held people accountable through clarity of roles and accountabilities. Also the benefit of breaking down silos by allowing people to be spread amongst a wider breadth of the organisation and hence increasing productivity. We needed a method to make the implicit explicit i.e. providing clarity. Holacracy fits with our values based culture of leadership and empowers our employees to be the best they can be.

 

 Challenges in the transition to Holacracy
Present Group implemented Holacracy across the entire organisation so we needed to consider the impact it would have on functional areas of the business, by the same token, we also recognised the benefits it would deliver. We had professional consultation at the start, but are now completely self-sufficient. A fundamental challenge involved breaking down the traditional beliefs of old conventional management hierarchies, these are often ingrained in organisations. Another challenge, was turning around the belief that you are not what you do, but rather a person energising roles.

 

As job descriptions change into roles and individuals fill roles in many different areas of a company, that there is a new differentiation between the “role” you are addressing and the individual who fills the role that takes some getting used to when transitioning to Holacracy. There was a tendency to mimic old conventional management hierarchical structures as well as creating roles that resembled positions. The method in which tactical and governance meetings were conducted did take some getting used to, however feedback has indicated that once people got used to it, they don’t wish to go back to the old way of conducting meetings.

 

 What are the advantages?
Increased productivity, we are doing a lot more with less e.g. our IT Lead is now also the Marketing and Branding lead. The Managing Director is the Rep link of the Product innovation circle. Holacracy gives all employees a voice and the meeting is designed to ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak. With Holacracy employees have the opportunity to work across other areas of the business which was not possible previously as they were siloed in departmental structures.

Previously, work was happening but we were not effectively or efficiently capturing the scope of what was being executed.  Since the implementation of Holacracy we can better identify the scope of what is being done and where the accountabilities sit. Being able to easily search for accountabilities means that accountabilities for all roles are made clear and concise. This enables people to go direct to the person with the accountability avoiding long bureaucratic drawn out meetings that typically require consensus.

Where you are now with our practice?
We are still in the relatively early stages of evolution but it has been rolled out to a vast majority of the business. We are looking forward to having Holacracy adopted across the entire organisation and unlocking the benefits that had been missed out on for so many years as a result of following a
19th century mode of running our business.
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An update on our journey with Holacracy