On Thursday we kicked the day off with training on the personal organization system “Getting Things Done”, or GTD. This system was developed over many years by David Allen in his consulting and business coaching company. The system allowed business executives to be more productive, thereby getting more things done. I read the book many years ago and have loosely used his system ever since. It is legendary.
Brian incorporated this information into the training because Holacracy enables people to have more autonomy, but with more autonomy it is up to each person to then figure out how to prioritize and get work done. The GTD system does just that, so it fits in very nicely with the Holacracy framework. He demonstrated how he tracks and processes all of his tasks. He has developed his system over 10 years and being that it is Brian, it was amazingly detailed and specific. He estimates how much time each task will take him, and then the software he uses allows him to filter down to just those items. He also tracks what context he needs to be in to process each task. So if he’s at home and has an hour, he can filter down to just those tasks that can be done at home in less than an hour.
After the GTD session we took a break and then switched gears back to Holacracy. We were each asked to facilitate a simulated governance meeting where all of the participants were assigned disruptive personality traits. It was fun to be one of the disrupters, but tough to be a facilitator. It really stretched your abilities to keep the meeting on track while people were interrupting each other, holding side-conversations, and arguing about what was being discussed.
After lunch we had a training session about the actual Holacracy structure and how different parts of the organization interact with each other. There was a lot of emphasis on the concept of evolution and how Holacracy organizations constantly change and adopt to both the outside world and the people working within the organization and how they interact. The advantage of Holacracy is that it isn’t a rigid structure designed by a single person or select group of people. Those rigid structures do eventually change, but it is usually through “re-organizations” that many times drastically disrupts the culture of an organization and the lives of those within it. Holacracy, on the other hand, allows the people within the organization doing the work to create a structure that more closely matches the way work actually gets done, and the structure is constantly changing and adopting.
We wrapped up the day with an exercise where we broke into small groups and came up with solutions to about 10 different scenarios that they threw at us. The scenarios were all issues dealing with different parts of the organization needing to work with one another and we had to figure out how we would solve the problems.